Software engineering term is very popular nowadays mostly due to the rapid digitization of classic businesses. A well known example for digitization of businesses could be marketplaces; one or two decades back we had old fashioned markets with hand written invoices after each payment with a bunch of coins and notes. But now we have digitally printed invoices with card payments, bonus systems, even virtual shopping/online shopping and online orders thanks to computer software.
What is software and engineering
A computer software is basically a collection of instructions which instructs computers for a specific purpose or goal. Indeed, it has some documentation which is usually composed by technical writers in order to explain its users about the usage of that piece of software. Following things can be classified into modern computer software.
- Operating systems, embedded systems and utilities.
- Web applications (type of software that will run on a server computer and/or on client computers)
- Mobile applications
- Desktop applications
There is a specific life cycle or development workflow for above things. We call it Software Development Life-Cycle (also known as SDLC). Indeed, the application of engineering practices such as planning, designing, building and testing with SDLC for the development of computer software can be identified as software engineering. In simple words; software engineering is an engineering process of building/managing computer software.
Software engineering in Sri Lanka
As mentioned at the very first Sri Lankan software engineering industry got a huge push with the digitization of businesses and a lot of new software companies selected their desired field in business transformation such as manufacturing, medicine and education. Thereafter, some companies started creating tools or building boxes which will be used in software development by other companies or individuals. Also, some IT firms around the world (specially from countries such as the USA) established their development centers in Sri Lanka.
Types of IT companies in Sri Lanka
1. Standard/traditional service based companies
These types of companies have an organizational structure which is very similar to other non-IT companies. They offer software engineering as a service for other countries or for Sri Lankan businesses. workload is very flexible/manageable and importantly these type of companies are highly stable with a 100–500 total employee count.
Many people try to settle at these kinds of companies considering the long term employee benefits and work-life balance.
2. Standard/traditional product based companies
Product based companies usually resell a software product or set of software products with some customization for various clients around the world. Workload can be bit more than usual because the same engineering team may work with the product upgrades and the customization/reselling process. These type of companies are also stable with a 100–500 total employee count.
3. Medium-sized IT firms (service/product based or mixed)
These types of companies can be either service based or product based, or a combination of both. They are having 20–100 employees and can be considered as a mid-range company according to the employee count. Workload can be kind of varying due to the organizational changes.
Sri Lanka’s startup culture is not like Silicon Valley yet but mostly well experienced retired software developers are establishing startups perhaps with the support of foreign connections. Future success of these types of companies will depend on the business strategy and the growth of the targeted market of their software product or services.
Workload can be more than usual due to the limited number of employees or due to closer deadlines but joining with a startup will bring you a lot of experience and also great exposure to modern technology stacks. Employee count is normally around 20 at initial stages.
Sri Lankan software engineering industry is growing rapidly and there are lot of opportunities for newcomers. Indeed, this industry has a high salary scale compared to the other types of employment in Sri Lanka. If someone has a passion to become a programmer and also needs to get a high salary even in the beginning, becoming a software engineer is a wise choice. Anyone could become a software engineer somehow, whereas getting a job in type 1) , 2) company could be bit challenging because they are good in all aspects (such as compensation, reputation and job security)
Ideas about future
Due to the trend of software engineering culture in Sri Lanka many people will try to start their career as programmers. It is good but on the other hand the hiring process will be somewhat challenging for the Sri Lankan companies in near future.
We are planning to discuss “Fields in software engineering in Sri Lanka” with the next article. Follow us for future updates
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