With the rising importance of software for business operations and day-to-day activities for regular users, software engineers continue to be highly sought-after professionals. Most aspiring students have already heard the stories of people who have dramatically changed their personal and professional lives by becoming software engineers, which raises the question- “How to start software engineering as a beginner in 2023?”.
It can be intimidating to take the first step into any new profession.
With software engineering, you will need to learn a lot of principles, frameworks, coding languages and other development tools to begin. However, the journey can be exciting and a lot more doable with the proper structure. We look at what software engineering is and the best ways to approach a career in the field in 2023!
What is software engineering?
Software engineering refers to designing, developing, testing and implementing processes that create software solutions with a structured approach. This is done by using various tools, coding languages and engineering principles to identify and fulfil the requirements of end users and stakeholders. This includes debugging tools, testing frameworks, and project management and version control systems.
You can pursue a career in software engineering in an in-office role or a remote position. However, it takes persistence and practice to master the different aspects of the field, and the ideal software developer will be a proactive thinker with a knack for organisation, collaboration and problem-solving skills.
How to start software engineering as a beginner in 2023?
It is easy to start software engineering in 2023 if you have the proper core education from a reputable course provider with a certification, the patience to learn the building blocks and the dedication to upskill continuously. Here are the steps that can take you from a student of software engineering to getting your first job in the field:
After that, a solid understanding of core computer science concepts will give you a better understanding of the science behind the software. This step will improve your knowledge of programming tools, algorithms, pseudocode, data analytics and data structures.
Choose a course provider
While learning Python, SQL, C++, and database architecture is essential, your future employer will appreciate a certification from a reputable institution to prove that you have put in the time and effort to learn all the vital skills with a college education. If you have the financial resources and the free time, a 4-year degree in computer science or other fields related to software engineering is an excellent option.
Otherwise, you can also learn through online courses or a coding bootcamp from a reputable course provider like the Institute of Data.
In the 12-week full-time or 24-week part-time software engineering course, you are guided by industry experts that teach you the specific skills you need to get and hold a job in the industry. After graduating from the course, the Institute of Data continues to help graduates for an entire year through a job outcomes program that supports graduates towards landing a job in the industry.
Practice and build
It is essential to look at the software around you with an engineer’s outlook and continue to learn more about your field independently with self-directed learning. It would be best to start building engineering skills and soft skills during all learning phases. One of the best ways to speed up the learning process is to practise building your software solutions, modifying existing options and writing code.
Start with a basic project like a simple game or a portfolio site, and slowly work your way up to building more interesting and complex projects.
If you plan to work in tech, it is essential to remember that the only real job security you will ever have is the reliable skills you develop and a strong network of like-minded individuals. This will help you polish up your technical lingo, grow your skills, learn relevant concepts, and get more information about potential job opportunities.
Finding your clan on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit is possible. You should also be active on tech-specific sites like Stack Overflow and GitHub, where you can share the projects you build, ask questions, get feedback and collaborate with other developers.
While practising your skills by building and modifying solutions in the learning stage is essential, it is equally important to document your work and prepare to showcase it as part of your resume and portfolio. This portfolio is something your future employees will look forward to checking as it allows them to assess your approach to fixing technical problems. You can maintain these portfolio projects on your LinkedIn and GitHub profile or put them on your personal website.
Once you have your portfolio, coding skills, resume and other certifications, you must start pursuing internships and applying to entry-level positions to begin your professional career and gain first-hand experience with how teams work and how software solutions are made in real life. During the job hunt, you will be presented with several job offers that will help you build a job outlook.
These entry-level positions will give you more exposure, help you expand your network, learn from experienced engineers and earn money!
Is software engineering a good career choice in 2023?
Yes, software engineering is an excellent career path in 2023 owing to the opportunities in the field, the increasing demand, excellent pay and flexibility. Here is a detailed look at some of these reasons:
Software engineers are paid much better than other professionals internationally, with an average of around $112,000 (salary+benefits). It is possible to make even more if you work in a big tech company or a specific location. Some big tech firms like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple can offer salary packages between $150k-$200k. Other factors influencing your income as a software developer include your willingness to upskill, experience, and network.
With the increasing advancements in technology and software, engineers can expect to get paid competitive rates.
An education in software development does not limit you to the career option of being a software engineer alone. The field is highly versatile for experienced professionals, and it is possible to have a flexible career with roles in multiple industries like education, finance, healthcare and entertainment.
Some professionals are concerned about the rising importance of robots, AI and automotive software in business operations, believing the new tech might leave them out of a job. However, software developers who can build solutions incorporating modern tech and maintain these solutions will always stay in demand, as evident in 2023, when the need for these professionals has increased by almost 17% (Opportunity Desk).
Software engineer career opportunities
After you finish studying software development through a university degree or a coding bootcamp, you will have several opportunities to scale professionally in the industry of your choice. As you grow in these roles and learn more about the industry, you can take your experience and expertise to better-paying roles as an expert.
Some software engineers prefer staying at their firms after getting enough experience as junior engineers, while others move to positions like project management.
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while most professions will grow by less than 10% in this decade, software engineering jobs are projected to increase by more than 20% in that same period.
Pursuing a new career is always intriguing, and it is best to be prepared for the challenges you will face as a junior software engineer. You will have an engaging and exciting journey from learning the essential topics, building your portfolio, applying for a job, and getting that first role.
The key to getting to the end of the road is staying curious and learning from the right course provider.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a software engineer but cannot afford the costs or dedicate the time required for university studies, we recommend booking a free career consultation with our team today. We can discuss our certified bootcamp programs that provide a more accessible and time-efficient pathway to acquiring the skills and knowledge needed for entering the tech industry.