What Does A Software Engineering Manager Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Software Engineering Managers

Software Engineering Managers are responsible for managing the design and development of software applications. They manage the daily activities of team members working on a project.

Master's degree

Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

Software Engineering Managers help keep everyone on track when developing software. They are also the liaison between workers and higher management, reporting to executives when an issue arises.

As with most managerial jobs, working in this career also involves a lot of administrative tasks. Software Engineering Managers handle scheduling, time-off requests, and the allocation of resources.

Software Engineering Managers also need to understand the technologies that they work with. They have a technical background, often starting as Software Engineers or Developers before working their way up to Software Engineering Manager.

What they do

Software Engineering Managers are responsible for managing the design and development of software applications. They manage the daily activities of team members working on a project.

Manage the Daily Activities of Software Engineers

The primary responsibility of a Software Engineering Manager is to manage Software Engineers and Developers. They manage the daily activities of employees, which may involve delegating tasks, monitoring work progress, and assigning workers to teams for various projects.

Depending on the size of the organization, a Software Engineering Manager may manage multiple departments. In these cases, they may coordinate with the heads of each department or individual Project Managers.

Software Engineering Managers must manage workers and address their needs, which includes approving or denying time-off requests and resolving disputes. They may also be responsible for completing performance evaluations of the staff that works directly under them.

Software Engineering Managers are often hands-on and evaluate the work of their staff. For example, they may review the coding completed by the Software Developers each day to ensure that it meets specific requirements.

Ensure That Projects or Departments Meet Goals

One of the main duties of a Software Engineering Manager is to ensure that each project or department reaches carefully defined goals or milestones. They try to keep the development of software moving forward efficiently. If they detect any setbacks, they must attempt to minimize the delay.

When facing a delay, the Software Engineering Manager may need to revise the timetable for the project or reallocate resources from other departments.

Provide Updates to Senior Managers and Executives

Software Engineering Managers report to Senior Managers and various executives, depending on the organizational structure of the company. They may provide scheduled briefings each week or submit reports when specific milestones are reached.

Software Engineering Managers also typically need to keep executives informed of any changes to the release schedule for the project, such as delays. They may need to explain the reason for the delay and review the cost of resolving the problem.

Along with providing updates to executives, Software Engineering Managers may need to provide updates to clients when working on client-facing products. This may involve collecting metrics related to the performance of the software and compiling it into an easy-to-digest summary.

Supervise the Recruitment and Training of New Staff

Software Engineering Managers are often directly involved in the recruitment and training processes. They provide input when hiring new employees and supervise their training. When recruiting new employees, the Software Engineering Manager often looks to fill gaps in existing talent. For example, they may need a Software Engineer who is proficient in a specific programming language or software.

Software Engineering Managers may also develop training procedures to help get new hires up to speed with the rest of the team.

Perform Various Administrative Tasks

Software Engineering Managers may spend a significant amount of their work time dealing with administrative duties, such as filing reports or setting work schedules for employees.

Featured Schools

What is the job like

Vice Software

I start the day by going through emails and tasks in the to-do app I use. We’ve grown, so lately, this can end up taking half the day. Our company specializes in affordable, predictable custom software, and part of that is having most of our team out of India. This provides great value for our … Read More

BAM Studio

Being the lead developer in the company, I mostly spend mornings catching up on emails and Trello and Jira dashboards. We use Trello mainly to communicate design elements and this usually involves the client directly sharing their thoughts and revisions. Jira is more for programming work for our internal processes, guiding development processes, debug and … Read More


You Get to Work on Large Projects

By the time that you become a Software Engineering Manager, you will likely find yourself working on projects with a wider scope and the potential for more of an impact.

You Get to Help Develop the Next Generation of Software Engineers

Software Engineering Managers are responsible for nurturing their staff and promoting their strengths, which can make this job more rewarding.

You No Longer Need to Code

Software Engineering Managers review the work of Software Engineers and Developers but rarely need to code.

You Get to Build More Effective Teams

As Software Engineering Managers are involved in the recruitment process, they get to help build the teams that they manage.


Dealing with Conflicts

Dealing with conflicts between workers is one of the most challenging aspects of this job, as Software Engineering Managers are responsible for resolving disputes.

May Become Stressful

Software Engineering Managers often face stress when dealing with tight deadlines or unproductive workers, which can decrease job satisfaction.

Where they work

Tech industry
Healthcare industry
Retail industry
Government agencies

Software Engineering Managers often work for business services providers and IT services providers. The healthcare industry is also a major employer of Software Engineering Managers. Demand for Software Engineering Managers is also growing in the retail industry. Government agencies hire Software Engineering Managers, often through the Department of Defense. The research and development industries are also a common source of Software Engineering Manager jobs.

How to become one

Step 1: Study Computers and Math in High School

Software Engineering Managers need strong computer and math skills, which high school students can work on by studying programming and taking advanced math classes.

Step 2: Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for Software Engineering Managers. However, many employers prefer a Master’s degree. Common majors include Software Engineering, Software Development, and related fields of study.

Step 3: Obtain a Master’s Degree

Over 41% of Software Engineering Managers hold a Master’s degree, making it a recommended step for this career. A Master’s degree in Software Engineering or Business Administration provides more knowledge for managing a team of Engineers and Developers.

Step 4: Look for Entry-Level Jobs

Most Software Engineering Managers start as Software Engineers or Software Developers. Common employers include software development companies and SaaS companies.

Step 5: Apply for Managerial Positions

After gaining several years of work experience, start applying for jobs with more responsibility, such as Project Manager or Senior Software Engineer. With two to three years of supervisory experience, start looking for Software Engineering Manager positions.

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Thinker

People with this personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

Software Engineering Managers need strong interpersonal skills and the ability to lead, as they are responsible for managing a team of professionals. Problem-solving skills are also essential, as Software Engineering Managers need to solve a wide range of problems, from employee scheduling to dealing with delays. Software Engineering Managers should also be detail-oriented individuals due to the variety of information that they need to process each day.

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