Did you know space exploration helped pioneer software engineering? Learn more about the role software developers and software engineers play in the space industry.

A systems engineer looks at screens

Two software developers huddle at desktop computer

The Rundown

What do software developers and software engineers do?

Software developers and software engineers design, program, test, implement and maintain software programs.

Software helps run almost every organisation and business in the world, and the space industry is no different. In fact, space exploration helped pioneer software engineering. In the space sector, software developers and engineers create tools and applications that set the standards for other industries.

Benchmarks and performance standards in the space industry are extremely demanding and precise. There's no room for error when it comes to missions in space. Rebooting is often not an option in space, so the software needs to keep running no matter what, using a minimum of power.


What you’ll need to know and do

Software developers and engineers need extensive experience with testing code in order to refine and streamline systems. An understanding of the way systems in space and on the ground interact and work together is also vital.


Your study pathway

There is no minimum study requirement to work as a software developer or engineer; however, there are many study options available. Some people are self-taught, while others pursue tertiary study at TAFE or university.

Degrees in the following study areas may be relevant to becoming a software developer or engineer:

  • computer science
  • information technology
  • engineering (software engineering).

Almost all universities in Australia offer degrees in computer science. Visit individual university websites for more information.

Key resources

Our key space career job roles and study pathways information is packaged up into downloadable PDFs that students, teachers or parents can easily browse through and keep as a handy reference.

Careers in space booklet image

Careers in space booklet

Our space career booklet covers all the space careers we talk about online, and can be downloaded by students, teachers or parents to read, share or use in the classroom.


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