Cyber Security vs Software Engineering: What’s the Difference?

Imagine being able to work remotely from a laptop and make plenty of money while doing it. This is a reality for many people who work in the tech industry. Some of the most lucrative positions are software engineering and cyber security jobs.

Understanding cyber security vs software engineering is crucial for deciding which path is right for you. Both of these are amazing career options, and it’s essential to make the choice you’re best equipped for. Let’s explore the most important information to keep in mind so you can hit the ground running.

What Is Software Engineering?

This is a branch of computer science that involves designing, testing, developing, and maintaining software applications. Software engineers leverage their knowledge to create software solutions for the company they work for, their clients, and sometimes themselves. These professionals use programming languages to write programs that are then translated into machine code a computer can understand.

While most programming languages are similar, developers tend to prefer one or two over the rest available. In general, developers choose Python or JavaScript when learning how to code.

These are known as “high-level” languages. This term can be confusing, as it makes them sound inherently complex. If you think of software engineering as an iceberg, it becomes more expansive the deeper you go below the surface.

So, high-level languages are less complicated than low-level languages. With enough time and resources, experienced software engineers can make virtually anything they want to.

Software Engineering Jobs

There’s a variety of software engineering jobs available, and many of them are fairly different from each other. Understanding the available positions will help you pinpoint which one’s right for you. Listed below are some of the most notable.

Front-End Engineering

This type of developer focuses on an application’s appearance and usability. More specifically, they create, maintain, and improve user interfaces (UI). Responsive design is another one of their core responsibilities. This term refers to how an application displays across multiple devices. For example, a website might display fine on a desktop computer but be improperly formatted on mobile devices.

This can lead to a large number of issues, and it wouldn’t be unlikely for users to look for alternatives. Front-end developers need to quickly locate and resolve compatibility issues to maintain usability.

Back-End Engineering

Imagine that software engineering is like a car. If front-end development focuses on how the car looks and handles, back-end development is everything that happens under the hood.

Back-end engineers focus on the application’s underlying logic. They need to have strong problem-solving skills to excel in this role. During development, back-end engineers must consider scalability before each decision they make.

Without the right software architecture in place, there’s a good chance the application will break or fail to run properly. Even a single incident can adversely affect thousands of users under the right circumstances.

Full-Stack Engineering

Those who know both back-end and front-end engineering can become full-stack developers to make full use of their skill set. This position requires experience with multiple programming languages and frameworks. This type of developer should also have experience working with databases like MySQL. Since full-stack engineers work with many other developers, they also need solid communication skills.

Data Engineer

As the name implies, data engineers primarily work with data to ensure applications function appropriately. They collaborate closely with developers and test engineers to assess areas of concern and make necessary improvements.

Data engineers need a strong background in database design and data modeling. They also should be proficient with big data technologies like Spark.

Security Engineer

These professionals develop systems and methods to test the security of software or applications. They then attempt to discern and exploit these vulnerabilities to improve the application as a whole.

These developers are also known as “white hat” hackers since they breach security measures to help protect the application. In contrast, “black hat” hackers breach security for nefarious purposes.

One of the most common examples is someone using malware to infect a device and compromise sensitive information. Hackers are hard at work developing new ways to steal data. While this has led to many issues for victims, it’s also sharply increased the demand for security engineers.

Software Engineering Skills

To succeed as a software engineer, there’s a handful of skills you’ll need. Without them, you’ll have a difficult time finding a job in your desired role. As previously mentioned, communication is crucial. This is especially true for developers who work in teams.

The ability to solve problems is the most important, though. Since software engineering is so logic-based, the ability to work through complex issues will help you succeed in this field.

What Is Cyber Security?

This is the practice of protecting devices, networks, and data from unauthorized users. This inherently ensures integrity, confidentiality, and availability.

Without the right security measures, the potential compilations are virtually endless. A business could damage its reputation with its customers if it experiences a data breach.

Someone buying clothes online could have their payment info compromised. As time goes on, new cyber security advancements help combat hackers.

Cyber Security Jobs

There’s no shortage of roles in this field. It’s crucial to understand them so you can find the job that’s best for your needs. Let’s look at some of the most notable to keep in mind.

Information Security Analyst

Security analysts monitor networks for security breaches. If issues arise, they follow protocol to resolve them. Their course of action will depend on where they work.

They also help staff implement security products. For example, someone in a non-technical role could have computer trouble. The information security analyst can help them install and activate security software.

Digital Forensic Examiner

This role is ideal for people who love solving puzzles. Digital forensic examiners procure information from digital devices.

They then use this information to determine how someone obtained unauthorized access to a network or system. They sometimes provide expert testimony during court proceedings.

Information Security Specialist

People in this role serve as the primary individuals who handle a company’s data and network security. Your obligations will vary depending on where you work, but you can expect to be tasked with researching security risks and testing firewalls/security software. You’ll also need to come up with improvements that handle security weaknesses.

Cyber Security Skills

You’ll require a handful of important skills to succeed as a cybersecurity professional. Detailed knowledge of operating systems is one of the most important. Knowing Windows, Linux, and Mac OS is imperative.

It’s also essential to understand virtual machines and how they work. Educate yourself on Kali Linux before job hunting. This sees widespread use for penetration testing and ethical hacking.

You don’t always need coding knowledge to land a cybersecurity role. However, not having it could hold you back in the future. Python, JavaScript, and C++ are great languages to pick up.

Having strong communication skills goes a long way toward acquiring your first job. Your team will have trouble resolving issues if you can’t convey the problems.

Getting Started

There are certain strategies you’ll need to leverage before you can get started. First, you’ll need to take time to determine your needs. Be honest with yourself about what you want out of this career path.

This will help you narrow down potential roles. For example, you might not care about compensation. Instead, you want a job with a good work-life balance and low stress.

It’s essential to consistently make time to learn. Nobody’s born with these skills, and it’s up to you to hold yourself accountable when teaching yourself. There are countless resources online that you can take advantage of, as well.

Signing up for a boot camp is one of the best ways to improve your tech knowledge and gain marketable skills. These provide comprehensive information that will make you a well-rounded candidate. The best boot camps are those that offer ongoing support.

If you’re left to resolve issues on your own, you risk getting discouraged or burning out. Pricing also plays a large role in finding the ideal choice. To clarify, it’s essential to avoid boot camps that offer rock-bottom rates.

This often indicates they provide low-quality materials that may not meet your needs. The last thing you want is to pay for a second boot camp to correct the issues you encountered.

Assess the curriculum before deciding, as well. Make sure it has the information you want so you can continue down your desired path. With enough due diligence, you’ll find the right choice for your situation.

Cyber Security vs Software Engineering

The best decision will depend on your interests and ambitions. The good news is that both paths are fulfilling and lucrative. Be sure to determine your ideal role between cyber security vs software engineering so you can transition smoothly into the industry.

Coding Temple prides itself on helping people change their lives in a matter of months. We allow our students to quickly explore different career paths and determine which avenue is best for them. You’ll learn more about what we can do when you get in touch with us today.