The opportunities brought by the ongoing technological evolution led to a constant high demand for software engineer jobs. Unfilled vacancies call for software development talent with high adaptability and attracted job seekers who aspire to higher salaries. According to U.S. News, the median software engineer salary lies around $107,510. Remote software engineer jobs also increased, bringing flexible working modes that allow software engineers to work from home or freelance.
More consider a career change as a response to this new era, or find online software development jobs to live more freely. However, before making dramatic decisions, one should probably conduct research to understand the fundamentals and requirements of working as a software engineer or a software developer.
This article walks you through the basics you need to know on how to get into software development. Follow the steps to become a software engineer and make a plan using the resources below.
First and foremost, clarify and learn about different coding career paths. Software engineering is the general terms of the following roles, including differences in job duties, qualifications, and talents.
You should understand the specific details or inquire others to know what their work is really like, their software engineer salary, or what fits your personality to know what to learn to become a software developer.
8 common coding career paths:
Be clear with your end goal, so you know what to study to become a software engineer. There will be changes, but planning ahead would make you more adaptable to them and less hesitant in decision-making. Understanding what you’ll have to do will make your career change to software engineer smoother.
After deciding on the software engineering role that best suits you, coding language knowledge is the next thing you’ll learn about how to become a software engineer and what do you need to be a software engineer.
10 trending programming languages:
✨ CakeResume offers Online Coding Tests to certify your skills. Attract interview invitations by passing the test and winning a certificate badge!
There are endless resources to assist your career change to a software engineer. Collect available resources to keep them handy at all times. Making good use of resources ensures more solid progress.
Top 5 ways to learn coding online & offline:
Even if you don’t meet the software engineer education requirements, you can include these experiences in your entry-level or senior software engineer resume. Remember, a fixed path does not exist, but knowing where the helpers are makes your career change to software engineer easier.
A portfolio best demonstrates proof of software engineer qualifications. For those without a relevant degree, combining your hobbies with software engineering can fill the gap of lacking software engineer education requirements.
Suppose you have unique expertise or interests. Integrate them with coding to develop side projects. On your career change to software engineer, you’ll definitely write one or two projects.
How to build a portfolio for a software engineer:
This medium article by Filipe Silva might inspire you if you haven’t thought of one. A major software engineer qualification is a good portfolio. Listing side-projects in your portfolio collection showcases your ability and passion for the industry.
Besides your software proficiency, you should also notice practical experience related to the software engineer industry.
There are channels to gain working experience before landing a job. You can practice essential software engineering soft skills like communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, or scheduling, through various activities. These experiences are supplementing coding exercises to list as software engineer qualifications.
4 ways to beef up a software engineer resume:
Do you need a degree to be a software engineer? Not necessarily!
Most software engineers or computer programmers start their careers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Luckily, there’s no need to panic or give up if you don’t have one. Online coding practice or computer programming courses provide abundant resources to learn the basic coding for beginners.
More often than not, you can request certificates that are recognized or acknowledged by most companies. There are also coding practices and assessments for self-learn-beginners like you. CakeResume Coding Tests might act as a quality guarantee if applicants don’t have a computer science diploma.
Here are some best websites to learn coding for you to check out. How long does it take to become a software engineer? Most computer programming courses have overviews and the amount of learning hours for students to follow through. It varies widely depending on personal devotion, but you’ll never run out of materials to learn programming online.
Here is a list of best websites to learn coding & programming online below.
An online interactive platform that sets out to “create a world where anyone can build something meaningful with technology, and everyone has the learning tools, resources, and opportunities to learn programming online.” It has helped millions of people learn to code and provides an enjoyable learning experience.
A non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools. They focus on increasing students from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups to engage in computer science coding for beginners’ lessons. They offer courses in over 45 languages such as Japanese, Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi, and more.
A career-oriented online coding courses website that teaches not only coding & programming but also subjects like business and marketing. Indonesian, Vietnamese, and 8 other languages are available on their website.
It features open courses held by prestigious US universities. You can find credit-eligible, advanced, or master-level computer science programmes on their website to learn programming online.
It offers various programming practices known commonly as “kata” to power up your programming proficiency. They form a software engineering community with gamified rankings and honor through completing, contributing, or proposing quality kata solutions.
An interactive learning platform with online community forums, chat rooms, publications, and local organizations to make learning web development accessible to anyone. Their curriculum intends to use “pair programming” to overcome students’ doubt about their adequacy of skills.
These two are popular platforms that provide a wide range of selections. Anyone can teach Udemy courses, so it’s cheaper compared to Coursera. You can find all sorts of topics with a shorter learning time. Coursera, on the other hand, is more academic and accredited but also more costly if you need a certificate from a reputable university.
There might not be a best way to learn coding, but try out these online coding practice platforms and stick to the coding practice sites that match your language needs, learning habits, or financial concerns. Challenging yourself might just be THE BEST way to learn coding.
Finally, you have reached the stage of writing an entry-level software engineer resume. Here are five professional tips from CakeResume on how to write a software engineer resume. Take notice of these tips to avoid common mistakes and write an impressive software engineer resume.
Always use quantified results to substantiate your accomplishments. Hiring managers are more sensitive to numbers. Use data and metrics to quantify and back up your previous effort. Calculated results are easier to interpret than job duties descriptions.
Similarly, categorize your skills to create a concise and HR-friendly resume. Use job roles such as front-end or machine learning as categories, then bullet point programming languages below.
When considering what kind of skills to put in a software engineer resume, remember that soft skills are as equally valued as coding skills. Soft skills like collaboration, problem-solving mindset, scheduling, or conflict resolution are big helpers in the practical workspace. Having an engineer who’s an awful communicator is probably more harmful than not having one.
Portfolios are hard-proof if you are unsure what kind of skills to put in a software engineer resume. Developing a personal portfolio website that includes your side projects is a way to stand out. An ideal portfolio website should reflect your personality and explicitly present the process of your work.
Suppose there are several companies you are applying to. Highlight each of their differences to tailor your software engineer resumes. Learn common phrases in the company's culture and use exact terms in the job description to make the resume ATS (Applicant Tracking System) compliant. Submit different resume versions with different keywords, even if responsibilities are similar.
Now you have the idea of how to get into software development! Let’s recap on the key takeaways.
Your career change to a software engineer might not be easy, and there will be frustrations ahead. Luckily, you are not alone. Establish your software engineer networks of support to make your career transition more successful.
Chao Min is currently a content writer and graphic designer. She also enjoys design researching, visual culture theories, and good pasta.