If you have a passion for computers and coding, you may be wondering how to become a software engineer. IN BMA reports that the positions of software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers will see 22% employment growth from 2020-30.

Even more good news: This high-responsibility role is more achievable than you think.

Software engineer designs, builds and maintains computer applications. They can watch a team of software developers write code. A career in software engineering usually begins with specialized education, professional certification, and training. However, there is no single “right” path to follow to enter this dynamic career field.

Read about our example of what software engineers do, what niches they specialize in and how to become one.

What do software engineers do?

Software engineers develop, design and test software applications. They apply engineering principles to the software development process.

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What exactly is software engineering?

Imagine a sought-after career in which you combine computer science and mathematics to develop innovative computer software. This is software engineering.

Using programming languages ​​such as C ++, Java and Python, they design software for computer applications, mobile applications, cloud platforms and web applications. They work closely with other technicians – especially software developers, programmers and quality assurance professionals – to ensure that programs run smoothly.

Comparing software engineers with web developers and other programmers, software engineers need more knowledge and proficiency in more coding languages.

The responsibilities of a software engineer often include:

  • Planning the process and approach to creating software
  • Design models that show the different parts of the programs
  • Testing software to identify and correct errors
  • Work with a team of software developers and testers

Software engineering work is usually full-time and can be in the office or remotely.

Summary of the steps to becoming a software engineer - identical to the titles of the sections below.

Tori Rubloff / ZDNet

How to become a software engineer?

Software engineers invest years in building the technical skills and knowledge needed for their careers. You also need to create a portfolio, create a resume and gain professional experience.

This section offers a step-by-step guide on how to become a software engineer.

1. Define your professional path in the field of software engineering.

Software engineering offers a number of specialized professional pathways, including:

  • Game engineer
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • CRM engineer
  • Software integration engineer

You can find a great career based on the skills you develop while studying software engineering. For example, if you find that you like to understand how to troubleshoot software, the role of a quality assurance engineer may suit you.

Keep dream employers in mind when building your portfolio / skills. For example, if you want to work for Amazon, develop your skills in CRM engineering and quality assurance.

Also, think about your ideal professional life, including the minimum wage, corporate culture, and office work versus telecommuting.

2. Learn skills through degrees, coding training or certificates.

Take a look

The best coding training camps 2022

The best coding training camps 2022

A reputable coding camp is an alternative to obtaining a four-year degree in computer science. Graduates of the best coding camps are usually ready for many high-demand jobs.

Software engineers are entering the job market in several ways.

Most employers expect entry-level software engineers to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, a degree in software engineering, or a degree in a closely related field.

A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years. ABET accredits software engineering programs.

Or you can take a coding training camp. These accelerated programs teach learners key programming languages ​​and platforms. The coding training camp usually takes 12-24 weeks. This may be appropriate if you are changing careers or do not want to spend time and money on a degree.

In addition to bachelor’s degrees and coding training camps, you can pursue one-year bachelor’s or diploma programs in software engineering certificates.

Software engineering programs typically teach the following computer programming languages:

  • Java
  • Python
  • C / C ++
  • JavaScript

Software engineers can also learn Ruby, PERL, SQL or other languages ​​depending on their specialization.

3. Take on programming projects and build your portfolio.

Then you need to build a coding portfolio. The coding portfolio is a website that shows your credentials and professional experience to employers. You will need to include:

  • Education
  • Certificates
  • Programming projects
  • Examples of your work in the form of screenshots

Your portfolio needs to grow as you work. You can even start building your portfolio before you find your first job. You can use samples of extracurricular activities or original graphics and animations that you have programmed.

4. Create your resume and apply for your first job in software engineering.

Make a resume and start searching for job search sites. Indeed and Glassdoor offer the most ads, but technology-specific search engines like it JustTechJobs may narrow your search.

Your resume should include:

  • Programming languages
  • Areas of specialization
  • Education
  • Professional certificates

Adjust your resume to the keywords / expectations of individual job postings. See our guide to refining your job application.

Competition from technology companies such as Microsoft and Amazon is fierce, so consider applying for internships and smaller startups to gain early career experience.

5. Develop your career by earning certificates and continuing your education.

Professional certification can help you stand out in the job market and demonstrate specialized skills while looking for more advanced positions.

Many technology companies offer certification of their products. For example, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce provide professional certificates.

Applicants usually need a combination of education and experience to earn their credentials. Most organizations also require a test.

The best technical certificates for software engineers include:

Applicants need a combination of education and experience to gain these credentials. Most organizations also require a test.

Letters of credit usually remain valid for several years before renewal is required.

Another way to advance in your technology career is to earn a degree, such as a master’s degree in software engineering.

You know how to become a software engineer. Now what?

Now that you have a better idea of ​​how a software engineering career usually begins, get ready to turn your passion into reality!

Consider joining your university’s computer club or online communities such as CodePen, JSFiddleand Github. With community support in addition to education and training, you have a solid foundation to pursue your career plans.


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