How To Become A Software Engineer

By | April 15, 2023

Do you wish to become a software engineer? It is actually a very simple career and you can actually turn yourself into a software engineer regardless of your educational background.

Since everything has started going digital, software engineering has become one of the most lucrative jobs in the world. Even if you don’t land a job in any of the top-tier tech companies, you will still have a lot of opportunities working as a freelancer.

There might seem to be a lot of money in this line of business but trust me. The process of turning yourself into a software engineer is not as easy as you might think.

If your goal is to pursue a career in software engineering, then read on while I divulge the nitty gritty of this career path. Since I have taken this path before, trust me to give you the best guidance you need.

How To Become A Software Engineer

How To Become A Software Engineer

Most people do believe that to become a software engineer, it must start from the courses you take in High School.

That is not always the case. You can actually start pursuing your software engineering career even if you have bagged a few master’s degrees in other fields. However, you should note that this will make your journey a bit tougher. Let us look at some of the procedures you must consider when pursuing a software engineering career below.

Choose Computer Science

The beginning of most software engineers started in the Computer Science lecture hall. This particular course is a broader study of computers so you get to learn everything about computers.

If you are moving from high school to university and aspiring to have a career in Software engineering, then you should choose Computer Science at the university as your program to study.

Getting your first degree in computer science or its related field should be a must for each and everyone who really want to start a career in software engineering. This is due to the fact that most software developers or engineer positions need a bachelor’s degree in the field to start. Having basic knowledge in computer science is going to prepare one to have the useful background needed for designing and perfecting software.

Most times, when software engineers seek jobs related to their field, interviewers ask questions by focusing on data structures and algorithms and that’s why getting a first degree in computer science prepares your theoretical background.

Online courses and software boot camps

This is one of the ways you can perfect your coding skills even after bagging a few degrees in Computer Science. If you find yourself switching to a career in software after studying something different at the university, then you make this the starting point of your new career.

The basics of becoming a software engineer start with knowing exactly what software is all about. This is one of the major things you will learn in a Computer Science program but that is not the only place to learn it.

There are many online Software engineering basics courses on platforms like Udemy, Lynda, etc. These courses are well structured enough to help you learn software engineering from a very basic level.

If you are already familiar with software engineering, you can also choose advanced-level courses to study.

Learn Data Structure and Algorithms

The term algorithm simply means a formula for solving problems. Some of these are path-finding to find the shortest distance between two points, finding a specific item of data from a given large data, and the arrangement of data in the order form as well. A certain way is a certain of organizing your data to make it easier to solve certain problems is termed Data Structure.

If you did not get the chance to learn this from any Computer Science program, then it is one of the very important things you must learn on your own.

Start Programming

No matter the level of education you have, you can give or throw yourself the challenge to start learning how to code or program. One thing you ought to keep note of is that software engineering is not focused exclusively on coding, but you have to know some languages and how they function as well. At least having an understanding of some programming languages such as Python, Ruby, Javascript, C#, Java, and C++ is a must for each and everyone interested in becoming a software engineer.

As some programming languages are better in terms of solving problems, keep in mind that no one language is better than another and there is no one language that is easier than the other. This is because most programming languages were written with certain types of problems in mind and might be better at solving such problems but will be weaker when solving other problems.

That is why we have HTML purposely for building website structures and CSS on the other hand dedicated to styling those structures. They are both programming languages but they solve different problems.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created a website and programming tool known as Scratch. It is a tool that teaches concepts of programming by using visual queues than intimidating text. There shouldn’t be any reason why one has to learn all the programming languages but it is a matter of finding your specific niche and mastering it on the go.

As a software engineer, you must learn multiple languages to be fully prepared for the job market.

Build your portfolio

How To Become A Software Engineer

Getting an associate degree in computer science can probably get you hired. Self-thought skills with a good portfolio will also get you hired.

Landing a job as a software engineer has nothing to do with your degrees. It most importantly relies on what you can do than what you have on paper. Because of this, most employers will hire you without actually looking at your degree.

Building a portfolio as a software engineer is simple. You build everything on GitHub. Having a strong collection of completed and fully functional projects on GitHub is the best portfolio you could ever present to your employer.

GitHub is a website built for developers. It is the platform where most developers host their codes as well as projects they have worked on or are still working on. Every employer in the software field knows about this platform so you will have to provide a link to your repositories if you claim you are a professional software engineer.

You can build your portfolio here by hosting your own mini-projects or collaborating with any of the over 31 million developers on the platform. GitHub also helps you write better code, manage your chaos and find the right and useful tools for your coding career.

Pursuing an open source project is something you can also do to contribute fixes and new features should in case you do not have the idea concept on your own. With this, you are allowed to submit code to a project to test by a welcoming community of developers that can greatly accelerate your skills after you have established a baseline skillset on your own.

Learn, learn, and Code

To become a software engineer you must understand that you will be stuck in a never-ending learning loop. Why is it so?

This is because technology keeps evolving at the speed of light so you have to constantly learn to evolve your skill set to keep up with the technology trends. Learning is a major part of becoming a software engineer.

Below are some of the things you must do to keep up with the technology trends.

Supplement your studies

Most of our education systems are outdated as textbooks are revised slowly than how software is being updated by a software engineer. Educational institutions are there to provide just the theoretical aspects and some ways of thinking and planning which can be critical to your success and therefore should not be discontinued.

As such, you only have the chance to get paid when you are able to apply the theoretical aspects learned to real-world problem-solving software.

Learn to join platforms for questions and answers for developers. Stackoverflow is one of the platforms. You can join this platform to browse through and identify the technology, problem space, or a kind of programming language you would want to improve on. You also learn for yourself while doing this.

Taking a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

MOOC courses are free online courses for interested participants to enroll in. You can find some of these courses once in a while and join to learn.

Some of these courses are organized by top software engineers so you are guaranteed to learn something from time to time. Coding boot camps, software developer seminars, and webinars, try not to miss any of them.

Learn advanced programming Languages

Of course, learning advanced programming should be your priority choice overall after having practical software engineering skills. There might be several ways you can do this.
Teaching yourself programming through online tutorials. Youtube, Google, and other search engines are available with varieties of information to help improve your programming skills.

There are also paid courses on platforms like Udemy, Lynda, Coursera, etc for you to learn. When it comes to advanced programming, paid courses usually do the magic.

Create Your First Software throws the challenge to you to create your first software after learning and implementing all the above information guides. Of course, the best way to know you are good and improve your skills is to create your first software whether a professional or a personal project, designing and coding software is going to give you a great deal.

Creating your own software will not only help you put your skills to the test but also help employers know your skills. Code your software from scratch with all the things you have been learning. Make sure you sure keep a public repository of your projects on GitHub.

Get Employed

If you have gone through the above steps and are now qualified as a professional Software engineer, then it is time to get employed. You have to fetch money into your pocket to further your career in software development at the advanced level.

Since software engineering is a highly in-demand skill in the IT sector, you have the chance of getting employed immediately. Though you might start as just a mere programmer, you can end your way up to a software development position in most software companies.

Always try your best to meet people already in the field and probably they might link you to a related software engineering job.

Software engineering jobs are usually remote jobs so you can try some of these online job placement sites. All you need is your portfolio to land a lucrative software engineering job.

Keep upgrading yourself

The more you upgrade yourself as a software engineer, the more money you will make. There are a lot of ways you can upgrade yourself.

Apart from improving your skill set, try as much as possible to also improve your certifications. Even though the majority of employers value your skills more than certification, certificates still play some very important roles in your career.

Try getting a master’s degree in Software Engineering. This will boost your career a lot. Since you already have the skills, getting a degree should not be much of a problem.


Software Engineering is one of the most lucrative fields in the world currently. With technology advancing really fast, it will take a lot to stay relevant as a software engineer.

As a software engineer, you should be able to build a portfolio that employers will use to grade your skills. You must also keep learning nonstop about new technologies. This will help you upgrade your skills to the level needed to work on every new technology all the time.

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