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How to Start Your Career in Software Engineering

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If you have big dreams of developing programs, creating applications, or being an iOS or Android guru, then you may also be dreaming of a career in software engineering. That is where the skills, the street cred, and the money is in the tech world. For people proficient in tech, the process isn’t going to feel overwhelming.

The process for every technical application is always going to be one, two, three, what’s next? It’s the same thing for jumping into the field of software development and engineering and starting an exciting career. 

Software engineering is a meritocracy-based field where the only way to go is up, and that’s often from a starting salary that is near the six-figure mark. Not sure how to do it? Have a look at what is involved in this career, and how to get started today.

What is Software Engineering?

Software engineering involves the development of software. You might be designing the latest application to market beauty trends, or analyze them. Or, you might be learning how to maintain a hydro substation and keep the lights on for everyone in your city. 

When you are a software engineer you can work with any wheelhouse you want, after your wheelhouse of tech. You’ll develop and train the software that is needed to keep the building afloat from a technical standpoint.

There may be multiple software engineers where you work, and you may work in a specified department, or head multiple departments or regions all over the world. 

Software is found in nearly every business in the world today. That will never change. This is a career with promise, growth, and upward mobility. If you love tech, and love software, you are going to do well here, and enjoy the process at the same time.

Job Duties of a Software Engineer

Before you can find your path to success, you will need to do some research on what is expected of you. Search the job market and see what the companies you want to work for are looking for in their next software engineer. You’ll likely not be surprised by the responsibilities.

Essentially, you will need to be able to create software solutions. This is going to require at minimum a basic background in a programming language, of which there are many. The most common are Java, JavaScript, Python, HTML, and C++. This will require some in-course training.

In addition to standard software applications, you may be expected to work on your company’s website and mobile applications. That will require additional program language development, such as HTML and other coding languages. 

The Career Path for Software Engineers

The career path for software engineers typically starts with learning a programming language and working on program development skills. You will also have a better chance in the job market with some more in-depth computer science skills. This could involve education in computer science, or a computer science degree. You will see a lot of job listings that include the phrase computer science degree, or minimum Bachelor’s degree.

But, you will also see a lot of listings that just want you to have your programming language skills. Customer support could be the key role you work in when working as a software engineer. If you have skills here, and some programming background, then you may be able to enter a junior role of engineer. Some junior engineers are still making close to $90,000. You’ll need to learn how to code as a basic function of the job.

Learn as many applications as you can in advance of your job hunt, like Node.js, cloud computing over multiple operating systems, redux, ReactJS, Sass, and more. Learn as many as you can.

If you want to work in the field of technical security, some security background in the way of education or job experience can help as well. And, securing databases and the development of them is a growing field that is never going to get smaller. The hacks are out there, by the thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, in every country in the world, every single day.

Start Your Career in Software Engineering Today

The career path to software engineering is step 1, step 2, step 3, and what’s next. Search the job market and find out what is required. Get those requirements. Enter the job market. What’s next? Your exciting life in a lucrative field that you love.

Here are some open job opportunities you can apply to today:

Senior Software Engineer - SMB, Indeed

Based in Indianapolis, The Senior Software Manager will implement monitoring and tooling to rapidly identify, root-cause, and remediate problems that occur in a distributed microservice cloud-based environment. You’ll collaborate with engineers in different product areas to help them understand and implement good reliability practices, and to develop effective incident response solutions as well as set and enforce standards around end-to-end monitoring and alerting on critical systems. You will need a BS/MS degree in computer science or related technical field, as well as demonstrated working knowledge of CS fundamentals including OS, networking, data structures, algorithms, concurrency, and distributed systems. 

Five years of professional experience is necessary as is three-plus years of experience in managing and scaling distributed systems in a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment. Additionally, you’ll need the ability to review and author code in Java, Kotlin, Python, or a similar language. 

Find out more about the Senior Software Manager or discover more jobs at Indeed.

MTS Software Engineer, Venmo

As a Staff Software Engineer for Venmo experience engineering, based in Chicago, you will act as a subject matter expert for the engineering team. You’ll lead engineering effort(s) and take ownership of multiple larger project features, modules, or services, provide technical leadership for a team and design, estimate, and implement software on the platform securely, reliably and at scale. You will deliver high-quality code on time and follow Venmo’s SDLC process. 

You’ll need over eight years’ experience in software development or a related field, experience working on backend systems at scale, using technologies like Python, MySQL, or Kafka; experience working in Django framework is a plus. 

More information on the Staff Software Engineer role is available as are other jobs at Venmo.

Senior Software Engineer, Backend (GraphQL), Reddit

Based in Austin, the GraphQL team develops the API layer leveraged by product development teams across the company, providing the client access layer for Reddit's rich dataset and driving the next generation of user experiences. The Senior Software Engineer, Backend will be scaling GraphQL infrastructure to serve hundreds of millions of users. As a senior engineer, you'll be a technical leader and mentor. You'll draw on your expertise to drive Reddit’s technical roadmap and collaborate with other leaders to meet the needs of its ever-growing engineering 

organization. 

You will need three or more years of experience with large-scale distributed systems as well as more than five years of experience in one or more general-purpose programming languages; Go, Python, Rust, Java or C++.

Find out about the Senior Software Engineer, Backend job here, or check out more jobs at Reddit.

Start your software engineering career by searching the Hackr.io Job Board

Kirstie Mcdermott

Kirstie Mcdermott

Kirstie works for our job board partner, Jobbio. Based in Dublin, she has been a writer and editor across print and digital platforms for over 15 years. View all posts by the Author

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