Software engineers are professionals with the skill sets needed to make the maneuverability of your online experience interestingly possible. As inventive or creative ‘technologists,’ software engineers carry out some of the most overwhelming yet rewarding activities of creating and designing different types of applications enjoyed by people online. As such, this profession tends to be both appealing and profitable at the same time. However, breaking effectively into the software engineering industry can seem challenging for several core reasons. Myriad organizations set highly distinct standards for assessing experts in this field, implying that it is highly competitive.
Today, we shall look into the steps whose undertaking can help you land the first lucrative and appealing software engineering gig (job) following your graduation.
However, before we delve into the practical details of it all, let us first explore what software engineering entails.
Software Engineering: A Definition of What It Entails
Software Engineering is any technical field designed to aid in building, testing, designing, and developing different types of computer software. Therefore, this profession, career, or skill increasingly demands a shrewd (strong) understanding of rigorous (in-depth) knowledge of technology, engineering-affiliated skills, and computer science-associated technical knowledge. Drawing on this logic, experts in the software engineering career field regularly operate or work as a team of software developers, all of whom harbor the skills needed to produce or invent or create novel software.
Software engineers have been equated to programmers on several occasions; however, this is but one of the numerous myths that insights provided by this article will strive to eradicate. While the role, profession, and skills of a software engineer may supposedly seem to coincide with those of a programmer, the truth is that this profession does indeed differ from the latter (programming) based on the consideration of disparate core factors. Quite normatively, while a software engineer must have an in-depth understanding or knowledge of programming languages, these technical experts similarly perform tasks increasingly associated with developing code. Nonetheless, software engineers also have the unique role of building the ‘initial’ framework that a software developer would later use to build myriad other appealing applications.
As a technical profession, software engineering entails concepts, activities, and roles that go beyond mere coding. Instead, software engineering encompasses myriad other skill sets, including, among others, promoting the creation of the final product. It also entails creating and nurturing a collaborative atmosphere that subsequently encourages a culture of teamwork to flourish among software engineers. Thus far, software engineers must harbor extra skill sets besides coding and making software applications, such as pair programming, solving problems, critical thinking, and acting as team players.
Software engineer graduates generally begin their experience as junior software engineers. Not to worry, however, this is just an entry-level position in the aforementioned career field. At the junior level, software engineers tend to carry out myriad, less technical, or less demanding software development tasks such as, among others, hammering out code, creating software, and bug fixing. Remember, the tasks performed at the junior level are meant solely to prepare recruits to transition into other, more demanding roles at the senior level. While the tasks designated to software engineers at the senior level might comprise many of those delegated to junior experts in the field, senior software engineers can coach new trainees or recruits. This means that the path to rising in the ranks of this profession depends on the level of adroitness you show at handling different tasks and the other additional mix of skill sets mentioned above (teamwork, collaboration, and leadership skills).
The Path to Becoming a Software Engineer in Seven (7) Simple Steps
Step 1: Choose the Software Engineering Role that Appeals to You
Software engineering offers numerous roles to those who pursue this expertise. It is always important to identify and select a role before commencing your journey to becoming a qualified software engineer. The different roles in this career are listed below.
- Front-End Engineer
- Back-End Engineer
- DevOps Engineer
- Full-Stack Engineer
- Security Engineer
Step 2: Gain Access to the Requisite Training and Qualifications
Honing your skills or developing your qualifications is the next phase after choosing what type of software engineering role you intend to pursue. Achieving the right set of qualifications means you must use the right training and several other resources to prepare you for that entry-level position in a software engineering firm. Training entails learning and understanding debugging, knowledge of databases and coding languages, and several other technical skills. To learn and develop the said skills, you could either attend a college or use the following resources:
- Coding Bat
- Learn Git Branching
- Free Code Camp
Step 3: Master the Requisite Experience
To develop the right experience, you must continue learning and perfecting your coding skills. Over time, you may also have to pick up a few or (more) coding gigs or projects to add to your software engineering portfolio. You must also create your online presence to show potential employers that you have the requisite skills for the job.
Step 4: Draft a Winning or Superb Resume
Writing a good resume is the best tool to use to get the attention of potential employers. To do this, you will need to start with your most recent employment, followed by the most relevant positions in your previous employment. A striking resume will always outline your points of strength. As such, lead with your most relevant skills at the beginning of your resume.
Step 5: Create a Network with Other Experts in Software Engineering Fields
Herein, the famous mantra – “It is not what you think you know, but rather who you know” – applies accordingly. Many new entrants in not only Software Engineering fields but also myriad other careers find themselves in such positions because someone in their network of friends vouched for them.
Step 6: Attend Career Seminars
Job affairs or career seminars provide the best opportunities for connecting with potential employers in diverse fields at face value. It also gives you a unique chance to create that network of career-related friends or acquaintances.
Step 7: Apply for the Job
After completing all the others, the last step is to apply for this lucrative job. After earning your qualifications, building a credible network of career-related acquaintances, and sharpening your experience, you are ready to apply and get the job. Apply determinedly as you continue to sharpen your skills.
In conclusion, getting your first gig in software engineering is not a walk in the park. However, with some perseverance, you might just land that entry-level position in a software engineering firm. Alas! We all must start somewhere, don’t we? If you have the right skill sets, it is only a matter of time before you land your gig in this field.
If you want to learn more about how to apply or get further insights on this topic, don’t miss out on my next articles.