dcsimg

Career Story: Software Engineer For A Radar Systems Manufacturer

Software Engineer For A Radar Systems Manufacturer

Job Title: Software Engineer

Type of Company: My company is a large defense contractor. My division does mostly radar systems. I am in the software engineering department.

Education: BS, Electrical Engineering, Manhattan College (Riverdale, NY) •• MS, Electrical Engineering, Polytechnic University (Brooklyn, NY)

Previous Experience: I have been at my current company for 20 years. I started as a software developer and then moved to software integration where I worked my way up to Software Integration Lead. As I learned more about software and the application domain, I became a software architect.

Job Tasks: Most of the programs I work on are designed to control radar systems for the Department of Defense. Each of these complex programs contains 350,000 to 500,000 lines of code and are developed in a "divide and conquer" process. As a software architect, I am responsible for breaking down the overall system into manageable pieces, each of which can be developed by a team of 10-15 people. In order to make sure that everyone knows what to do, we document the interfaces between each section of the program and develop a clear outline of what each is supposed to do.

Most of my day is spent working with the software developers to make sure they understand the requirements. I do a lot of teaching about radars and I review their designs to make sure that they match the rest of the system and comply with the interfaces. I also spend a lot of time analyzing the results of the tests we conduct to make sure that the software is doing what it is supposed to do. When there is a problem, I work with the developers to identify where and what the problem is to help them fix it.

As we are developing the software, most testing is done in a simulation environment while other groups are building the actual system hardware. When both are ready, then we have to make sure that the software can correctly control the hardware. This usually involves travelling to a test site and making sure that the system works as a whole.

Having been doing this for 20 years, I also work with other programs as an independent reviewer to make sure that they get off on the right foot.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I am constantly learning new things in a number of areas. I also enjoy solving problems. Being able to mentor younger engineers is something I find very rewarding.

I think the worst part of my job is that sometimes there is a lot of pressure to meet deadlines. We occasionally need to work overtime and/or come in on weekends to get everything done.

Job Tips: When I was in school, I was very interested in hardware design. I wanted to design computer chips. But my career took me down another path and I have transitioned into a software architect and am also involved in systems engineering. The most important thing I have learned is that you always need to learn more. I see many software developers who think they only want to sit at their desk and write code all day. Writing code that no one can read doesn't help anyone, so being able to communicate both verbally and through writing, is very important. I have also found that, no matter how much I think I know, there is always someone who knows more. Dealing professionally with people and maintaining relationships will help you continue to learn and gain people's trust and respect.

Additional Thoughts: The coolest thing about this job is seeing the systems that I have developed actually work. The biggest surprise is that I have been able to do so much travelling. The systems have been deployed in areas from Alaska to England. Volunteering to deploy with the systems to do on-site integration and testing has not only allowed me to learn more, but it has afforded me the opportunity to travel more than I ever would have thought.

Popular Schools offering Computer Programming Software Development Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads
ABCO Technology
Los Angeles

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

  • Programs: Programming, PHP , Computer Science , more...
  • Degrees: Certificate
Platt College
Anaheim

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Software Development Coding
  • Degrees: Certificate

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

  • Programs: Computer Programming - Associate, Mobile Application Software Engineering - Bachelor, Computer Science - Bachelor, more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor
California College San Diego
National City, San Diego, San Marcos

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

  • Programs: Computer Science - Software and Mobile Application Development (BS)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.

 

  • Programs: Cloud Computing - Bachelor's
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: Undergraduate Certificate in Web Development
  • Degrees: Certificate

Congratulations! Your interest in Independence University is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

  • Programs: Web Design and Development (BS)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

  • Programs: Web Design and Development, Bachelor of Science (Online), Mobile Gaming
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

  • Programs: Information Systems & Technology: Information Security Studies (MS)
  • Degrees: Master
CodingDojo
Burbank, San Jose

Only Coding Dojo teaches five full stacks of the industry’s most in-demand web and mobile development technologies and languages with its onsite flex bootcamp.

  • Programs: Full Stack Web Development
  • Degrees: Coursework
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Software Engineers For Applications

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Software Engineers For Applications, including:

Back to Top