How to Become a Software Engineer

How to Become a Software Engineer Overview

In the era of technology, people cannot imagine life without tech products and technological competition exists everywhere. Software is the core. As the scientific and technical nature, software engineer now appears in the list of high-paid jobs. If you decide to become a software engineer, here, steps are shown below in two different situations.

Situation 1: Regarding software engineer as the first job

Before entering university, many young teenagers get interested in the computer science field, to a great extent, they can become a software engineer in the future, following a general path.

Step 1: Major in computer science

After entering university, your first goal is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, that time, you just get the entry-level of the software engineer position. During this following four years studying, students are exposed to a large area, beginning with the basic concept of computer science, and then, algorithms, mathematics, data structures, database system, web technology, computer networks, programming languages are all required. It may be quite abstract, but students have to build their solid foundation in this first learning stage. The whole comprehensive theories you absorb will support you to be a successful software engineer.

Although employers prefer to hire employees who finished a bachelor's degree in computer science, it is not a compulsory requirement for being a software engineer now. Other related degrees, like software systems engineering which focuses on some key course of software development and programming languages with two years of study, is also available for learners.

Here, we list top 20 universities, whose graduates are seen as high-flyers for the jobs market:

  1. California Institute of Technology
  2. University of California, Berkeley
  3. Carnegie Mellon University
  4. Cornell University
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  6. Princeton University
  7. University of Washington
  8. University of Southern California
  9. University of Michigan
  10. Stanford University
  11. Brown University
  12. University of California, Los Angeles
  13. The University of Illinois at Urbana
  14. The University of Texas at Austin
  15. University of California, San Diego
  16. Harvard University
  17. Washington University in St. Louis
  18. University of Pennsylvania
  19. University of Arizona
  20. The University of Texas at Dallas

Step 2: Study and practice programming languages

Besides theoretical knowledge, students need to deeply understand and skilled operate the programming language on the way to be a software engineer. Mostly, this depends on self-learning time. It means you should devote yourself to it outside the class until you can communicate with a computer just the same as an old friend.

For choosing the language you will learn, remember no one is most useful or superior to others. In the beginning, the point is being professional in one of them: C++, C#, Python, Java, JavaScript, Ruby. Then, the second and third language you learn next will be much easier.

Step 3: Make use of algorithms and data structure

Mathematics is a prescribed course in computer science majors. The good mathematic background you obtain from the previous school enhances the process of becoming a software engineer. If not, you also can study and make good use of algorithms and data structures in university. The algorithm provides varied formulas for solving specific problems step-by-step, while Data Structure gives the clearly order to organize countless data. These math skills help programmers figure out the best option within the shortest time. Only when you have the ability to do that, can the software you design in the future be well programmed.

Step 4: Improve studies and skills

Most university students can find their textbooks are no longer closely catch up with reality, especially in the technology field. Never stop studying and exploring as technological booming has become a constant phenomenon. This requires the people who determine to be software engineers to follow the high updating speed of new software and technologies. Before that, there is a big step between the academic knowledge and coding skills you acquire in university and the practice or problem you face in the real world. You can seek a guide from StackOverflow, computer communities or even online videos. In this process, you may construct your own programming method in your mind after supplementing all your studies and skills.

Moreover, some employers consider experience as a potential element among candidates, so you should take part in some projects in university. Once you set out to design software, you may get an understanding of what a real software engineer does. The process of building software will also make a self-test and lead you to the next stage of becoming a software engineer.

Step 5: Find internships and job opportunities

As we mentioned before, the experience is a necessary factor for a software engineer position. Before you apply for the formal job, do some internships, which typically last six months, can be a great chance if you are facing graduating. Almost every university set career connect for graduates, not only introduce relevant job opportunities but also help them to prepare a resume and personal profile.

Step 6: Develop your career path

Now, you eventually approach the stage of being a software engineer, make sure you have fully considered the career and start to develop your career path.

Because of the increasing demand in software, you will embrace varied chances as long as you keep updating yourself and engage with change. For the first, you may start as an assistant or a small programmer during the internship, in the meanwhile, prepare exams for relevant certifications, which are promoting your career path. Then, you may decide whether to complete a master's degree, after all in the long term, more knowledge, skills, experiences you acquire, the larger opportunity you may get a higher position. Based on your effort and progress, several years later, you have a choice to work in a well-known company or a professional organization as a formal software engineer.

Situation 2: Turning into a software career

There is no single way to be a software engineer, some people become outstanding software engineers after they jacked up their original jobs. If you want to be one of them, read the following steps.

Step 1: Know software engineering jobs and prospects

Generally, the software engineer position may be quiet different from your previous job, the scientific and technical nature of it requires a series of learning and training, it is not such simple to switch to this career. However, we understand the decision you make because of the job prospects and your enthusiasm.

According to the latest data, the lowest and highest wages of a software engineer are around $60,920 and $164,010 respectively, while the average salary reaches $112,460 in the United States. The return of this job not only improves a worker's life level but also promote s technological development.

Step 2: Learn software programming

To achieve your goal in the shortest time, learn and practice software programming immediately. Do not be afraid, even if you never evolve in this area. So many entry-level courses are available online, as people have realized the increasingly important of programming. After knowing a basic framework, there are varied methods to get into deep study.

  • Some large-scale corporates set programming training for high-quality employees. Join the training if you work in one of these companies now.
  • If you are good at self-studying, keep learning through books and online videos.
  • Enter into online tuition, which can get a reply to your problems on time.
  • Enter into Coding Bootcamp for 6 to 18 weeks, if you have time and budget. You will learn a programming language, such as Python, Java, C++, in a hands-on environment. This is the most efficient and effective way.

Step 3: Analyse your skills and experience

From your educational background and previous work, it is possible that you acquire mathematical skills, problem-solving skills, analytic skills, which are also related to become a software engineer. Now, you may not as professional as the person who majors in computer science in bachelor’s degree, however, you may already have found your passion in a special area, basing on your life and work experience, such as web development, mobile development, game apps development, business software development, etc. Once you figure out your interest and specialty, focus on this industry and avoid irrelevance learning and practicing.

Step 4: Gain a master's degree

Up to now, you have possessed the related ability to some extent, and consider your career path, you need to choose whether to enroll in a degree program. Most universities offer master soft engineering courses for people who major in different courses in a bachelor's degree. If you enter the university, also remember to join the programming community and expand your social networking.

On the other hand, it is not a compulsory option, although we highly recommend it. The return of the expensive tuition fee is maybe not worth for you or you may meet better choice before this step.

Step 5: Find job opportunities and develop a career path

This step is the same as the first situation except you get advantages here, more experience, better personal profile, wider networking, and sources. You may still work in the same corporate and organization but switch to a higher position. Similarly, the demand for software engineers in every industry is significantly growing, the opportunities will always come to you when you have already prepared for them.

Software Engineer Tools

Software engineers bring numerous awesome achievements to make technological advances. Before you become one of them, selecting the best tools to support you.

Atom: A cross-platform editor with built-in package manager, file system browser, multiple panes and replace function.

GitHub: A Cooperative platform that helps the programmer and developer check the code and discover the better software.

Bootstrap: A free tool that built and develop websites for the specific program.

ProofHub: A straightforward software that improves your projects through workflow, timesheets, centralized files and customized supports.

Cloud: A cloud-based Integrated Development Environment where programming languages can be applied. Also, it is designed for both web and mobile users.

What does a Software Engineer do?

People's Opinions on Software Engineer responsibilities

A software engineer develops various applications that enable users to accomplish tasks on their personal computers and electronic devices. Often, software engineers are employed by software publishers or computer systems design firms. Generally, software engineers attain a bachelor's degree in computer science.

10/14/2020: Mishawaka, IN

A Software Engineer must have the aptitude to think logically to solve complex problems, if you are planning to find a job with top tier software companies such as Google or Apple.

10/9/2020: Essex Junction, VT

Software engineers create many types of solutions such as desktop and web applications, mobile apps, games, robots, operating systems, network systems, etc.

9/18/2020: Port Arthur, TX

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program.

8/30/2020: Narragansett, RI

Software architects are in charge of the "big picture" - transforming a plan and a set of requirements into something that's programmable and achievable.

8/12/2020: Fort Myers, FL
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What skills do you need to be a Software Engineer?

People's Opinions on Software Engineer skills

Computer software engineers also analyze user needs, provide consultation services to discuss design elements, and coordinate software installation.

10/16/2020: Alamogordo, NM

A Software Engineer also requires excellent communication skills, to survive the corporate jungle where animal spirits often rule the day instead of pure technical skills.

9/26/2020: Wilson, NC

Successful software engineers have skills in computer science, Java, software engineering, and javascript.

9/13/2020: Hayward, CA

Most software engineers like you possess an impressive arsenal of skills with an extensive knowledge in mathematics, physics, and other analytical disciplines.

8/22/2020: Jefferson, CO

Prospective software engineers typically get experience starting in programming or development before working as engineers or otherwise leading projects.

8/1/2020: Duluth, MN
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