A Software engineer can become an IAS.
The only thing for preparing are ...
1. Have wish to appear and pass the exam with good marks.
2. Daily 4-5 hours + Full Saturday and Sunday are enough for the preparation. If you are getting the less free time than this then you can have two ways to go for IAS
a. Leave your current job and give your 100 % to UPSC.
B. Keep you current job and if you are not getting the time less than 4-5 hr a day...then plan your studies for two year...have the target for the second attempt. Here you should be confident that you should reach atleast to the Mains...if you crack the mains ...it will be a sugur in milk.
I choose the second option as I cannot have more than 3-4 hrs a day but have full Sat and Sunday.
I am preparaing for the CSE with the 2 years plan (only high level planning is done till now) and my targte is to get through CSE in UPSC-2011.
I will there in 2011 All India List and IAS batch 2011...Are you?