Is Software Engineering Hard?

Is Software Engineering Hard?

There is a huge demand for software engineers, so it would make sense to want to pursue this career, considering the field is highly marketable. However, before plunging into it, you must consider whether you can handle its demands. Is software engineering hard? This should be one of the questions you ask.

Software engineering requires constant education, focus, and a lot of patience. This is because you will likely encounter many obstacles before graduating. Find out how software engineering compares to other professions in terms of difficulty in this post.

Is Software Engineering Hard To Master?

Learning software engineering is difficult because it entails acquiring knowledge in different related fields. It combines algorithms, data structure, and programming in computer science foundation, and mastering this isn’t a walk in the park.

It is much harder if you do not have prior knowledge or background in technology or any coding or programming skills. You must take time to acquire skills that will set you apart from others in order to be an excellent software engineer.

Typically, programming is the hardest obstacle in your software engineering studies. However, that does not mean you should focus all your energy on it and ignore the other subjects. For instance, being the best coder is not sufficient if you are eyeing a position in software development. You will also need to be a good leader and have a knack for steering projects.

Is Software Engineering Harder Than Medicine?

Medicine is a more difficult career path than software engineering since it takes longer to be a doctor than a software engineer. In addition, doctors work longer hours, and the job is more emotionally draining. Here is a detailed comparison of these fields.

1. Study Duration

It will take four years of undergraduate studies and two for a master’s degree (optional) to become a software engineer. You can also become one without a degree by learning independently. However, this is not the case with medicine. Before becoming a licensed doctor, you must complete a minimum of 10 years in school.

To study medicine, you will go through 4 years of undergraduate studies, medical school for four more years, and a residency program for 3 to 7 years. Based on duration alone, medicine is more difficult.

2. Skillset

Both professions require extensive skills. Doctors and software engineers need different skills, but they overlap in some aspects, like problem-solving. However, doctors face death every day, and they must keep a level head and keep doing their jobs. This is a skill not everyone can possess.

3. Workday

After spending years in school, you must work to earn a living, and depending on your profession, you will either spend many hours at work or a fairly reasonable amount. Software engineers work about 40 to 45 hours weekly.

On the other hand, doctors can do over 80 hours per week during training. The average physician works 51.4 hours weekly, and it is common to see them work a single shift lasting over 24 hours.

Is Software Engineering Harder Than Computer Science?

Software engineering is a more challenging and complex field than computer science. Software engineering spans many platforms and languages. In addition, it usually requires debugging and testing processes which need programming languages expertise and consume a lot of time.

While software engineering is more practical-oriented, computer science is more theoretical in nature, focusing on science and math. It is worth noting that some students find computer science’s theoretical studies much harder than software engineering’s practical learning.

Nonetheless, computer science is essential when training to be a software engineer since the fundamentals of computer science shape software engineers.

Is Software Engineering Harder Than Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is much more complex than software engineering because electrical engineers typically work within physics limits, thus requiring much more technical training. This also makes electrical engineering a broader study area compared to software engineering, which deals with logic more, emphasizing on science and math.

Software engineers use analytical, scientific, and technical skills to build application software and computer systems. On the other hand, electrical engineers combine research, development, testing, design, manufacturing, and installing electrical systems, components, and equipment.

Is software engineering stressful?

Although every job has its share of stressors, software engineering is a less stressful profession. Software engineers experience challenges, but most people in the field attest to how rewarding their job is.

Software engineers typically just need computers and the internet to do their jobs. This offers the flexibility not found in some professions, which is working remotely either from a coworking space or home. In addition, a lot of tech companies allow their employees to pick their working hours aside from core hours.

Moreover, tackling various challenges and overcoming them is pretty fulfilling. For instance, software engineering students will feel amazing once they master a code or find a way to solve a problem. The same applies when working on a work project.

In addition, it does not hurt that the profession pays well and comes with excellent perks.

Causes of Stress in Software Engineering

As mentioned, software engineering is not free of stress. Student and professional software engineers experience various challenges, including:

1. Crash In Production

Discovering a critical problem or bug in a production environment affects the product users. Software engineers must work to restore the live version within the shortest time, which can be quite stressful. A crash in production can happen at any time, night or day and whether you are at work or not.  

2. Tight Deadlines

Estimating the time it will take to develop specific software and have it fully functioning isn’t easy; that is why tight deadlines are prevalent in the tech industry. Rushing to meet your deadlines can be stressful for software engineers.


Software engineering is undoubtedly challenging but more manageable than other careers like medicine. Additionally, the time, money, and sacrifices you put into becoming a software engineer will eventually pay off. This can be an exceptionally fulfilling career if you are interested in it.


Tom is a network engineer and a tech consultant. He spends his time solving networking problems while keeping tabs with the latest in the technology field.

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