How to become a software engineer: checklist

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If you’re looking to pursue a career in software engineering and don’t know where to start, here’s your guide to salaries, job markets, skills, and common field interview questions.

Image: iStockphoto / SeventyFour

With the economy taking severe damage from the volatility of 2020, workers are looking to find the best jobs with the most stability. The job market is recovering and employers are hiring or planning to hire, thanks to widespread immunizations.

Software engineering is one of the best options. Software engineer applications accounted for 19% of all Gen Z applicants in the United States, making it the most requested job among this generation, according to a recent report from Glassdoor.

To help those interested in the industry understand how to launch a career in software engineering, we’ve compiled the most important details and resources. We will show you how to be a computer software engineer. For a free PDF version of this software engineering career guide, download this ebook. This article will be updated regularly.

(To note: This article on How to Become a Software Engineer is available as a free download in PDF format.)

SEE: How iRobot Used Data Science, Cloud, and DevOps to Design Its Next-Generation Smart Home Robots (PDF Cover Article) (TechRepublic)

Why is there an increased demand for software engineers?

Software Engineer is # 9 on Glassdoor’s list, America’s Top 50 Jobs in 2021, with Mobile Engineer at # 8, Front-End Engineer at # 11, and Back-Engineer. end at n ° 16. As of January 2021, there were more than 40,000 job postings for software engineers, according to the report. The Java software developer has been ranked # 1.

Backend, full stack and frontend engineers are the most in demand, landing more than half of all service requests for software engineer positions, according to Hired’s 2021 State of Software Engineers Report.

The demand for software engineers correlates with the ebb and flow of new technologies. For example, the blockchain explosion over the past year has resulted in a need for software engineers with blockchain skills, according to the report.

SEE: All TechRepublic Cheat Sheets & Smart Person Guides

Most companies try to stay competitive, which translates into greater investment in technology, across industries, according to Glassdoor’s business research blog. As more companies try to transform into technology companies, software engineers are needed in these industries (retail, finance, manufacturing, etc.) to plan, manage and launch software.

The demand for engineering talent still far exceeds supply, and 64% of engineers say there is a shortage of computer software engineers in their companies with worrying consequences for innovation and growth, according to one. Terminal 2021 report.

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What does a software engineer do?

Software engineers are responsible for the creation, development, launch and maintenance of software products and systems, according to Indeed’s career guide. Software systems include operating systems, business applications, connected hardware, networking systems, and mobile and web applications.

Software engineers and software developers are interconnected, but mutually exclusive. Software developers help maintain the performance of existing software, recommend improvements, and develop updates or new software programs in code. The main difference is in the word “engineer” because engineers are involved in software development, but software developers do not necessarily have the engineering background to be involved in this part of the process.

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What are the jobs of the software engineer?

Computer software engineers can choose from a number of different career paths. Here are the nine most in-demand software engineering jobs and their year-over-year growth rates, according to the Hired report. Mobile and on-board engineers are among the few positions to have seen slight growth in demand compared to 2019, according to the report. This is likely due to people spending more time on their mobile devices amid blockages in 2020, with mobile web traffic being 11.4% higher in April 2020 compared to 2019.

The most requested jobs in 2021 per interview request, according to Hired:

  • Backend engineer: 58%
  • Full battery: 57% (down 1%)
  • Front end: 30% (down 2%)
  • Data: 9% (down 1%)
  • Mobile: 8% (same as 2020)
  • Machine Learning: (4% down from 2%)
  • Research: 2% (down 1%)
  • Safety: 2% (idem 2020)
  • Natural language processing: 1% (down 1%)
  • Computer vision, gaming, on-board, AR / VR, engineer and blockchain manager were all at 1% unchanged.

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What programming languages ​​or other skills are the best to learn to become a software engineer?

Software engineers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering or information technology. People in the field are often familiar with software development and have extensive experience working with various programming languages ​​such as Python, Java, and C ++, as well as strong technical skills.

The fastest growing skills in 2019 for software engineers include experience with Flutter, Android design, NUXT.JS, continuous integration and software development, and Angular hardware, according to a report from LinkedIn.

SEE: Career Resource Coverage for Programming Languages ​​and Software Developers (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

For software engineers in managerial positions, or those trying to reach the managerial level, soft skills are becoming increasingly important. To nurture successful teams, the skills of software engineering managers must include people management, leadership, team management, team building and strategic planning, according to the LinkedIn report.

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What is the average salary of a software engineer?

Software engineers are one of the highest-paying tech jobs of 2021. As of April 2019, software engineers in the United States earned an average base salary of $ 103,984 per year, according to Indeed. Software engineers starting out in the United States have a median base salary of $ 110,245 with more than 40,000 job openings, according to Glassdoor data. ZipRecruiter Says National Average Salary For Software Engineers Is $ 99,729

The highest paying companies for software engineers, according to Indeed, were:

  • Citi: $ 184,513
  • Apple: $ 170,536
  • Facebook: $ 159,151
  • Octo consultation group: $ 153,511
  • Capital one: $ 151,009

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What are the hottest markets for software engineer jobs?

The 10 highest-paid cities in the United States for software engineers in 2021 and their average salaries, according to ZipRecruiter, are as follows (as of this writing):

  1. San José, California ($ 123,178)
  2. Oakland, California ($ 121,760)
  3. Tanaina, Alaska ($ 121,208)
  4. Wasila, Alaska ($ 121,206)
  5. Hayward, California ($ 119,210)
  6. Seattle ($ 118,406)
  7. Concord, California ($ 118,110)
  8. Sunnyvale, California ($ 117,435)
  9. Santa Cruz, California ($ 116,076)
  10. Redmond, Washington ($ 115,862)

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What are the typical questions of an interview with a software engineer?

Some questions a software engineer can expect in a job interview, according to Indeed, include:

  • What programming languages ​​have you used in the past? What are your two main coding languages?
  • How much do you code daily? If you don’t code on a daily basis, what is typical about your role?
  • How comfortable are you in a start-up environment or would you prefer to work in a more established company?
  • What distinguishes a good software engineer from a good one? Do you feel like you have these qualities?
  • What’s the most important thing to look for or check when reviewing another team member’s code?
  • What do you think are the principles of good software engineering? What are the basic principles that everyone should follow?
  • If necessary, how would you go about designing scalable applications? Tell us about your process.

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Where can I find resources for a career in software engineering?

There are many different paths to becoming a software engineer, and most take the less traveled, according to the previously mentioned 2019 Hired State of Software Engineering report (the 2021 report did not update these statistics). While 46% of those surveyed start their careers in software engineering with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, one in five people say they are rather self-taught. Although some people choose to earn a master’s degree, it is not necessary. Some 13% of those polled said they took a more hybrid approach, working on a computer science degree and taking advantage of software developer bootcamps through companies such as General Assembly and Hack Reactor, according to the report.

In terms of learning the best programming languages, sites like GitHub offer plenty of guides and resources to get started.

SEE: The Truth About MooCs and Bootcamps: Their Biggest Benefit Is Not Creating More Coders (PDF Cover Article) (TechRepublic)

Coding bootcamps have proven to be extremely beneficial for software engineers: 76% of bootcamp graduates said the courses helped them prepare for their jobs as a software engineer. Coding bootcamps are a great resource for software engineers looking to hone their skills, hone their skills, or break into the field, the Hired report added. Bootcamps are also a great way to work on a computer science degree.

For potential software engineers who wish to further their knowledge on the subject, EdX offers many courses and study plans for software engineers. The best part is that all the courses are online which could be useful for professionals and parents alike. EdX offers introductory courses on how to become a software engineer, as well as advanced certificate programs.

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