How to Become a Software Engineer – Complete Career Guide

How to Become a Software Engineer - Complete Career Guide

Software Engineering is a in-demand and highly paid profession with financial security and promising future.

The most important fact is that, there are much more software engineer job vacancies available than available professional in this field. The unemployment rate of software engineer is too low around 1.5%.

So, without doubt we can say that becoming a software engineer is a smart career choice with lucrative salary, Becoming a software engineer does not confirm of having a college degree.  You can become a software engineer even just by studding at home by taking some certification course. What is most important is that you accumulate all the needed skills to fulfil the requirement skills of employer.

It is also projected that the job vacancies of software engineer is going to grow in near future. These all indicates that choosing the career in software engineering is a great step to take.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. What is software engineering Or Software Engineer meaning?
  2. How to become a software engineer?
  3. Salary of Software Engineers
  4. Job availability of Software Engineering
  5. What Does A Software Engineer Do? Or Software Engineer Job Description
  6. What are the Different Types of Careers in Software Engineering?
  7. Software engineer requirements
  8. What are the Best practices for Software Engineers?
  9. Software Engineer Skills
    • Top Hard Skills for Software Developers
    • Top Soft Skills for Software Developers
  10. Software Engineer Resume
  11. Software Engineer Portfolio
  12. How to Get a Job in Software Engineering?

1. What is software engineering Or Software Engineer meaning?

Software engineering is the application of engineering and programming languages to the designing, development, implementations and maintenance of software for higher quality, better affordability.

It is a profession where  first of all analyzing of need of the user is considered and according to that design, construction and testing done using programming languages and finally presented a software that meet the need of the user. Different business or organization requires different kinds of software as per their need, so a software engineer understand that start working on that project to fulfil the need.

A software engineer applies the engineering and skill of programming languages together to successfully create a software to help the business to enhance the work efficiency.

2. How to become a software engineer?

One of the great plus point of becoming a software engineer is that you can even become a software engineer from your home by doing some online course without going for expensive college degree.

In this profession one thing is the most required is that your skills, so if you can develop and practice enough to develop all those required skills, trust me numerous doors of opportunities will be opening before you.

In this article I will present some really simple steps to take for the real serious and dedicated person to become a successful and professional software engineer.

Here are the 15 steps to become a software engineer:

STEP # 1 : Ask yourself why do you want to become a software engineer

STEP # 2 : Prepare a dedicated mind and heart for reaching to that ultimate destiny of becoming a software engineer

STEP # 3 : Get a quality course to follow a good instructor of software engineering

STEP # 4 : Learn the required programming languages for software engineering

STEP # 5 : Have some good books on software engineering

STEP # 6 : Use all the good supplement related to software engineering

STEP # 7 : Read other software engineer’s code and learn from them

STEP # 8 : Work on real projects

STEP # 9 : Master all the required skills for software engineering job

STEP # 10 : Be regular and constant in practicing

STEP # 11 : Network with other experienced software engineer

STEP # 12 : Be a generous contributor

STEP #  13 : Be updated with the advanced technology by continuous learning

STEP #  14 : Go for an internship  

STEP #  15 : Face the job interview and accept the job offer  

STEP # 1 : Ask yourself why do you want to become a software engineer

It is extremely important that you have reason for becoming a software engineer. Take a pen and paper and write down the reasons you find. Read the reasons for several time because becoming a software engineer does not happens in overnight.

So, when you feel down hearted all these reasons for beginning the journey will boost and energise you to move ahead.

If it is possible hang it on wall, so that you can read it again and again.

STEP # 2 : Prepare a dedicated mind and heart for reaching to that ultimate destiny of becoming a software engineer

Buying a lot of course or downloading videos surely won’t make you a software engineer, unless you are ready to work hard with dedication.

It is your continuous learning with tireless practice that makes you a successful and professional software engineer.

Before spending any time or money, make sure you are ready to run a long race. If you are truly serous about your destiny of becoming a software engineer than this run time may seem even short to you.

STEP # 3 : Get a quality course to follow a good instructor of software engineering

It is obvious that you can learn many things from many free learning platforms but surely they are till certain level. It is not possible to get a complete guide for free.

So, if you are really serious about your learning than go for a bestselling or highly positively rated course.

There are many high quality online courses available in many platforms with very nominal cost.

This course will help you to get guidance from an experienced instructor with a step by step process.

STEP # 4 : Learn the required programming languages for software engineering

In order to become a software engineer you must understand how the programming language works. You must have a clear understanding about the fundamentals of programming language.

There are many popular programming languages to learn such as,

Python

JavaScript

C#

C++

Ruby

Java

Perl

MATLAB

SQL

But have a goal of learning at least two to three languages. You can begin with Python as it is easy to learn and a general purpose programming language. You may also go for Ruby programming language as many people prefer to learn first for becoming a software engineer.

Learn about database management software like SQL, as database is the central and vital part for storing and utilizing data.

STEP # 5 : Have some good books on software engineering

Get some good books on software engineering because books are very handy and easy to take help from.

But have a currently published book so that you can get the updated information as the technology is constantly evolving and getting better with time.

Carry this book any where you go and go through the pages when you get some free time and later on implement your learning in your practice. Or you may use the book while practicing.

STEP # 6 : Use all the good supplement related to software engineering

Without doubt StackOverflow is one of the most trusted and used supplement by the developers. So, if you are planning for becoming a software engineer than StacOverflow is surely going to be your best friend.

Except this there are also many more sites like CodinGame or CodeWars  also provides many solutions for programming.

You can even follow some blogs that related to software engineering.

STEP # 7 : Read other software engineer’s code and learn from them

In order to be a professional software engineer, you must know what other software engineers are doing. Go to their codes and read them to get a clear understanding on how the program is working. GitHub repositories is a great place to find the code of other developers.

Reading other’s code and practicing them will enhance your skill and will make you a better software engineer.

STEP # 8 : Work on real projects

Building real projects not only help you to become more expert it also helps you to prepare the portfolio for the future employer.

At the beginning start with an easy project and once you complete that move on to the harder project. All the projects that you are working with today tomorrow they will help you to get a job with confidence.

Working on real project also help you become a better software engineer as you know now to help people with real service.

STEP # 9 : Master all the required skills for software engineering job

Most software engineers are master in at least two programming languages. But as an expert software engineer you should have at least basic knowledge of other programming languages used in software development field.

Along with the programming skills, you are required to have some other skills like:

  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Database Architecture
  • Data Analytics
  • Node.js
  • Troubleshooting
  • Technical Documentation
  • Linux/Unix
  • Perl
  • Shell
  • Data Structures
  • Optimization
  • Strategic Planning
  • Agile Scrum Team
  • Computer Architecture
  • Operating Systems
  • SaaS
  • Version Repository
  • UI Toolkits and Frameworks
  • Microsoft ASP.NET MVC
  • Web API

STEP 10 : Be regular and constant in practicing

It is the practice that will lead you one step ahead towards becoming software engineer every day.

Remember you need to be steady and constant in practicing. Make sure you practice regularly so that you get the most benefit of learning.

If you are following a course, than complete the entire task or assignments given by your instructor without procrastination.

STEP 11 : Network with other experienced software engineer

As you are making a long journey towards becoming a software engineer, you should know that many others have already reached to destination you are heading to. So, it is always wise thing to network with them to make your journey smoother and better.

Be an active member of the software engineer’s group on online platforms, like facebook page, blogs, forums etc.

Get in touch with some senior and experienced software engineer and learn from them.

STEP # 12 : Be a generous contributor

Find out any non-profit organization or any small business, whom you can help by your service. Provide free service by building some projects for them without cost, it will help you in three ways.

  • You will become a more confident software engineer.
  • You are building your real portfolio.
  • There recommendation will help you to get the future job in much more easier way.

So, be a generous person to help others, it will come back to you with much more fruits can be even more than your imagination.

STEP # 13 : Be updated with the advanced technology by continuous learning

To be an expert and effective software engineer, you must be in the process of continuous learning. As the technologies are advancing, you need to adopt the change and be a integral part of that advance technology.

In the industry of software engineering, you cannot stand in the same place rather you have to move on to exist and grow. So let advancement of technology not discourage you rather take it as a challenge to become smarter by embracing the advance technology.

STEP # 14 : Go for an internship

Internship is a great way to sharpen your skills and getting ready for real job.

As a software engineer intern you do all the tasks required for a software engineer, such as programming, debugging the software, working on design elements and testing the software to implement necessary changes etc.

STEP # 15 : Face the job interview and accept the job offer

Now it is the time face interview and displays all the great things you have learned and practiced along with your resume and portfolio.

By this time, you will be fully confident of your work and hope will be a winner to accept the job offer and begin the career as a software engineer.

3. Salary of Software Engineers

Salary of a software engineer depends upon many factors, such as skill sets, level of experience, size of company and location etc. Entry level software engineers earn comparatively less salary, but experienced software engineers can earn much higher salary depending upon the city and company.

According to Payscale the average salary for a Software Engineer is $85708 in USA. Whereas indeed.com provided the data pretty higher than this, the average salary for a Software Engineer is $110050 per year in United States.

According to Payscale the average salary for a Software Engineer in India is ₹517126.

4. Job availability of Software Engineering

According to U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, It is projected that employment rate of software engineer is going to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, it is much more compare to other occupations. The employment rate of application developers is going to grow 26 percent and for system developer 10 percent. All these data confirms the future of job availability for software engineers.

Here is the list of job availabilities in some popular site:

  • com – 90,000+ job vacancies for software engineer in usa
  • com – 46455 software engineer job vacancies in usa
  • com — 131060 software engineering jobs
  • com — 94457 new Software Engineers Jobsacross India
  • com — 42178 Software Engineer jobs

5. What Does A Software Engineer Do? Or Software Engineer Job Description

  1. Developing software using designing, developing and testing.
  2. Determining the problem, understanding the requirement and Appling solution.
  3. Understanding the need of the users and developing software solution and studying system flow, data usage and work processes.
  4. Finding the problem areas.
  5. Following the software development process.
  6. Bringing improvement in operations by performing system analysis and applying the recommended changes.
  7. Maintaining confidentiality in information by protecting operations.
  8. Should have knowledge of various designing approaches.
  9. Must be good in programming along with data structure and algorithms.
  10. Must be master in at least two or more programming languages.

6. What are the Different Types of Careers in Software Engineering?

With the degree of software engineering or skills you can start various careers, such as:

  • Software engineer
  • Software tester
  • Applications developer
  • Systems analyst
  • Application analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Game developer
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Web developer
  • Web designer
  • IT consultant
  • IT technical support officer
  • IT sales professional

7. Software engineer requirements

  • A software engineer must have all the required skills.
  • Experienced in software engineering for certain years.
  • Hands-on experience using programming languages.
  • Should be experienced in using relevant tool suites.
  • Must have good written and verbal communication skills and interpersonal skills.
  • Problem-solving skills with creativity.
  • Experienced in software development lifecycle.
  • Should have the ability to prioritize activities.
  • Capable to deliver projects on time and within budget.
  • Experience in working with clients in regular basis.
  • Required to have a comprehensive understanding of computer science concepts.
  • Must be Excellent in coding skills.

8. What are the Best practices for Software Engineers?

  • Practicing moral approach in developing and maintenance of the software.
  • Maintaining integrity in work place is very crucial.
  • Must have team spirit and spirit of supporting each other.
  • Software or service must meet the highest standard.
  • The service of the software engineer must be beneficial to the client and employer both.

9. Software Engineer Skills

Software engineers must hold hard skills which are the bread and butter for them, and along with them they need to have even some soft skills.

  • Top Hard Skills for Software Developers

Hard skill is programming languages that software developer is required to learn, such as:

  1. Java
  2. JavaScript
  3. SQL
  4. C++
  5. C#
  6. Python
  7. Ruby
  8. Perl
  9. MATLAB
  • Top Soft Skills for Software Developers

Soft skills are all about personality traits, individual preferences and ability to work as a team etc.

Some soft skills are:

  1. Ability of multitasking
  2. Communication ability through different medium such as email, phone, in-person meeting.
  3. Ability to work as a team by supporting the other colleagues.

10. Software Engineer Resume advice

  • If you are a fresher then focus on your core areas of education.
  • The languages you are expert in.
  • Give info about the projects you have completed and how they have benefited the organizations.
  • If you have done any internship, then give details.
  • Tell the company, how will you be benefited to them by adding the value.
  • Learn about the company and let the words in your resume match with the work of the company.
  • If you are experienced then give detail about you most recent job and accomplishment.
  • Display your experience in those previous organizations.
  • Why are you switching to this company?
  • Provide info to the point; don’t make your resume more than three pages long.

11. Software Engineer Portfolio advice

  • Give top priority to your technical skills, add link to your practical work.
  • Keep your contact details in focus, because what you most want is that they will contact with you.
  • Provide link to all your projects or contributions.
  • Display all the testimonials, if you have any.
  • Do not make your portfolio over designed. Keep it neat and simple.

12. How to Get a Job in Software Engineering?

Once you are ready for the job, you have two ways to go. You can either go for fulltime job in an organization or working as a freelance software engineer.

There are several job portals for applying:

  • Stack Overflow
  • Dice
  • Crunchboard
  • GitHub
  • Mashable
  • ITJobPro
  • Authentic Jobs
  • Indeed Prime
  • F6S
  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • JustTechJobs
  • TopTechJobs
  • Trovit
  • Jooble
  • Monster
  • LinkedIn
  • Craigslist
  • AngelList

If you want to work as a freelancer than, check out these sites:

 

  • WeWorkRemotely
  • Guru
  • Fiverr
  • Upwork

Conclusion

Let us review the major takeaways from this article, how to become a software engineer – complete career guide.

  • Software engineering is understanding the need of user and according to that applying programming languages with engineering approach to design, build and test the software that satisfy the user.
  • According to U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, It is projected that employment rate of software engineer is going to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, it is much more compare to other occupations.
  • Knowing why you want to become a software engineer is must before jumping in this career.
  • Get a quality course and start following the instructor, complete the entire given task.
  • Learn at least two programming languages thoroughly, and gather basic knowledge about other popular languages.
  • Work on real projects and learn from other’s code.
  • Master all the required skills needed for becoming a software engineer.
  • Be regular in practice.
  • Network with other software engineer and contribute your service for your confidence, portfolio and recommendation.
  • Learn continuously and remain updated with the latest technology.
  • Go for an internship for better understanding the real world scenario of work place.
  • Face interview and start the career in software engineering.
  • Software engineer’s salary grows with experience and depending on city you are working in.
  • Software engineer are paid high salary, which makes it a lucrative job.
  • There is huge number of vacancies available for software engineers.
  • You can work in a company or work as a freelancer from your home.
  • The average salary for a Software Engineer is $110050 per year in United States.

If you have any question or suggestion, feel free to write in comment section below. I will try my best to answer you as soon as possible.

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