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What does it take to become a software engineer?

By Eckysaroyd Nyato
Published in Tutorials
October 23, 2021
3 min read

Software engineering refers to analyzing user requirements to design build, and test software applications that will satisfy the user requirements. Software engineering involves the use of engineering concepts to develop software. Its primary objective is the creation, improvement, as well as maintenance of software. It considers engineering aspects such as software and hardware environment when working on a program.

A software engineer creates, designs, and tests software applications. The software engineers employ engineering principles in the software building process.

Software engineers use programming languages like Python, Java, C++, C#, Ruby, and JavaScript to develop applications that run on computers. The following are the steps to become a software engineer:

  • Set clear goals
  • Choose a language to learn
  • Acquire education in the related field or computer science
  • Supplement education
  • Read Code developed by experienced developers
  • Find a community of software developers/ engineers
  • Develop projects
  • Build portfolio

Set clear goals

It is always difficult to start a new career. Although if a clear goal is set, it aids in finding and dealing with challenges that may occur along the way. To be a software engineer one needs to establish a clear goal such as: “ I want to develop my career as ab software engineer.” After setting a clear purpose, one can now start navigating through it.

Choose a language to learn.

Even though software engineering does not emphasize exclusively coding. It is necessary to learn at least some languages. A comprehensive understanding of those language functions is essential in mastering the science of software engineering. Some programming languages are Java, JavaScript, C#, Python, Ruby, and C++.

Acquire education in the related field or computer science

There are three primary paths to acquiring the necessary education to be a successful software engineer for aspiring software engineers. These paths are self-directed learning, coding bootcamps, and college. The options one chooses will depend on the person’s preferences as a scholar and the person’s lifestyle circumstances, for instance, financial resources, intended timelines, and schedule conflicts.

Coding bootcamp comprises gaining a set of job-ready programming expertise or skills via an accelerated curriculum. Even though engineering is challenging to study from scratch, a bootcamp helps newcomers t develop a solid knowledge base as well as ready for an entry-level role easily so long one is willing to work, dedicate, and put in the time to flourish in the field of software engineering.

College education comprises 4-year programs that cover computer science theory as well as practice, access to supportive instructors, offer communal learning environments, as well as facilitate networking opportunities. Majoring in computer science will provide the most helpful background for software design.

Self-directed learning involves picking necessary coding skills through free educational sites. This method is regarded as cost-effective as it is easy to access the websites. Here classes are created to fit self-guided instruction as well as scheduling, hence highly customized by default. This method comes at a cost depending on the website one chooses to self-study.

Supplement education

Most educational books or materials are outdated, and due to the slow revision of reference books, it is necessary to supplement the acquired education. Another reason to supplement classroom education is that most educational institutions offer theoretical concepts.

Supplementation of the acquired education can be done by applying the knowledge of real-world software. This can be obtained from websites such as StackOverflow-offers most reliable question as well as the answer for developers. A software engineer can search according to the problem space, language, or technology they need to improve. Other places to supplement education are sites such as CodeWars and CodinGame that provide several programming solutions that assist in testing one’s skills.

Read Code developed by experienced developers

Through learning how to read or studying other software engineers’ code can help. This can be achieved by checking websites such as GitHub repositories, among others, and going through the documentation. Learning to read codes developed by other software engineers will help understand how a particular program was developed and how it works.

Find a community of software developers/ engineers

To be a successful software engineer, one needs to learn from an already successful software engineer- surrounded by a community of like-minded persons. This group of engineers will offer guidance on areas to emphasize. Websites such as Meetup offer such support.

Develop project.

This involves gaining practical experience. By developing projects on languages, one is comfortable with will help achieve the much-needed practice. By learning how to code and develop projects, newcomer software engineers will advance their software engineering profession.

Building portfolio

Developing a coding portfolio is such a crucial objective a software engineer should aim to achieve. Developing a portfolio helps show the software engineering skills, knowledge, and experience a software engineer has gained. This is important as it helps in getting professional jobs and can help while seeking employment.


sofware engineeringsoftware developercomputer scienceprogramming
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Eckysaroyd Nyato

Full-Stack developer

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