How to Become a Software Engineer in 6 Easy Steps

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Software engineers are the brains behind our working computer systems and mobile devices. These professionals create applications and system software embedded in technological devices. Therefore, as the demand for these devices and new technological tools increases, so does the need for software engineers.


Therefore, if you are passionate about computers, curious about how they work, or interested in building applications for computing devices, a software engineering career might be for you. Read on to find out how to start a career in software engineering.


1. Get a computer engineering degree

To start your career as a professional software engineer, you need to learn the basics of computer system software. Therefore, you might need a university degree in computer science/engineering, software engineering, or any equivalent discipline.

A college degree in any IT-related profession gives you the prerequisite theoretical and practical knowledge and industry best practices. Thus, it lays a solid foundation for you to build a professional career in software engineering.

In addition, a college education increases your business potential and your chances of occupying management positions. Plus, it puts you in a good position when negotiating your salary with employers.

2. Take Online Classes

Pluralsight website

Nowadays, online courses are widely adopted as an easy, fast and improved method of teaching compared to traditional education, and this is thanks to advancements in technology. There are several online programs you can take to gain the skills and knowledge needed to start a career as a software engineer.

Additionally, you can take courses in other relevant topics, such as cybersecurity, computer networking, and cloud development, while learning about software development. These courses give you a broader knowledge of the industry, thus increasing your value.

Additionally, although paid online courses are readily available on the internet, there are some fantastic free courses as well. You can find them in some of the best apps for free online lessons on your smartphone, so you can always access your lessons on the go. One of the many benefits of enrolling in an online program is that it allows you to plan a convenient time to undertake the program. You can complete it as fast as possible as it is at your own pace.

Here are some of the best online courses to start your software engineering journey today:

3. Learn technical skills

As with any other technology-related profession, you need to develop technical skills to become a software engineer. These skills include in-depth knowledge of programming languages, operating systems, computer networks, encryption, and cryptography, among others.

Additionally, as a software developer, you must understand the application of various technical skills required to successfully develop practical projects. Plus, staying up to date with the latest technological advancements in your field keeps you relevant.

The number of technical skills you master gives you the edge when applying for a job or taking on a project. Thus, you must learn to develop your technical skills to succeed in your field. You can acquire the necessary technical skills by participating in a training, workshop or bootcamp organized in this regard. You can always find one with a quick internet search.

4. Get Professional Certifications

AWS Cert Dev Ass screenshot

To be considered an expert software engineer, you have to go the extra mile to get professional certificates. Luckily, you can earn a certificate from the comfort of your own home, as online certification programs are becoming more acceptable and popular.

But you might be wondering how useful online certifications are in the modern job market? Being certified indicates the depth of your knowledge in your discipline. Additionally, earning a certificate proves to employers that you have mastered your skills and are licensed to operate in the industry.

Additionally, earning professional certifications from top-tier institutions is a great way to boost your career and your chances of landing top positions in the industry. So, you can get certified by taking a professional exam, taking a program or course, or training in your field.

Some of the best software engineering certifications include:

5. Build a solid portfolio of work

Employers in today’s job market are not influenced by your words, but are interested in the quality of your work. Therefore, you should work to continually add new, well-executed projects to your portfolio, as this greatly increases the number of jobs available to you and the ease of obtaining them.

However, the question is: how do you build a portfolio when you don’t have a job? You can start building your portfolio, even if you don’t have a job yet, by undertaking and completing personal projects that solve existing problems for potential employers.

Additionally, you can document the projects you worked on during a training, course, or degree in your portfolio. Additionally, you should demonstrate your problem-solving approach when building your portfolio, as this is one of the best tips for pitching your portfolio to employers.

6. Look for internships and entry-level jobs to gain experience

Man coding on laptop

Gaining experience is crucial to your success and relevance in your profession. The experience you gain working in high-pressure environments where your work matters exposes you to the practical and technical aspects of the job and helps build your confidence to take on more challenging projects.

As a beginner, you can gain experience by applying for internship opportunities and junior developer positions, allowing you to hone the required skills and be part of larger projects that you can add to your wallet. With more professional and industry experience, you can easily apply for higher positions and move up the career ladder.

Become a software engineer today

Software engineering is a career with a lot of growth potential that will remain relevant for decades. Additionally, technological advancements in robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and other automation system applications are contributing to the demand for software engineers.

Therefore, starting a career as a software engineer will be of great benefit to you and others who will benefit from the software you develop.

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