How To Become A Software Engineer

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How do you become a software engineer?

Software engineers are always needed, and are being hired by major companies across all industries. These jobs are not hard to find, but they do require a certain set of skills. Read on to learn what qualifications you will need to be considered for these positions.

What is a software engineer?

Software engineers are people who create, design and develop new computer programs. They also test their work to make sure it will run correctly. They tend to work as part of a team consisting of other software engineers, quality assurers and product focussed people.

Historically software engineers generally worked in an office setting, but they can also be found in the field or, ever increasingly as a full time remote worker at home or abroad. A software engineer is a person who specializes in the design, development, testing and maintenance of computer software. A software engineer's work varies from programming and writing code to designing and developing new products.

Software engineers are responsible for the creation and use of software, as well as its performance, usability and quality. Software engineers take on many roles like system architects or database administrators. They can be found working in the technology, video game, medical device or any number of industries.

Why become a software engineer?

Software engineering role are in demand and it's easy to see why. Software engineering is an exciting, challenging, and rewarding career that offers the opportunity to work on some of the most complex problems in the world. There are many paths to becoming a software engineer, from formal education to self-teaching.

The demand for software engineers is growing enormously and with a projected need of 5 million new engineers by 2030. This blog post will cover three ways you can make your way into this field: through university degree programs, through boot camps, or by teaching yourself.

Software engineering university degree programs

Software engineer degrees are offered at universities across the world. The largest and most famous universities have put many of their courses online for free so you can see what it's like before committing to 4 years of study and a lot of cost to get that much sought after software engineering degree. Here are five free university courses that help you become a software engineer:

  1. Harvard - this is how I learned to code properly nearly 15 years ago, as good now as it was then this the gold standard in online free university courses.
  2. Stanford CS101 - a close second is this course from the university at the beating heart of Silicon Valley.
  3. MIT: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python - MIT is known the world over as a hub of high flying technical innovation, learn from their professors.
  4. University of British Columbia: How to code Simple Data - takes a unique approach to learning to code and focusses on deep fundamentals with clear practical application.
  5. University of Michigan: Programming for everybody and Python - uses the most popular beginner language to take you from no code to all the code.

Software engineer boot camps

These have been growing in popularity for years and now there are hundreds of software engineering boot camps available in cities around the world or even 100% remote and online. Here are 5 software engineering boot camps:

  1. Flatiron
  2. Career Foundry
  3. Boolean
  4. LeWagon
  5. School Of Code

Software engineer self taught paths

There are so many resources online to learn software engineering now that self teaching is a very viable option [in fact it's the path I took over 15 years ago). There are YouTube channels, free courses, paid one off courses and membership platforms that guide you through a well trodden path. Here are 5 resources to get you started on your self taught software engineer journey:

  1. Brad Traversy YouTube channel
  2. Zero To Mastery learn to code platform
  3. Udemy course platform
  5. The Odin Project

How to become a software engineer summary

Which ever route you choose to becoming a software engineer know that at the end there is a fulfilling a in demand career waiting for you.

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