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How to become a Software Engineer?

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Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered April 08 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
There are several ways to become a Software Engineer. While a computer science degree used to be considered the critical first step in becoming a Software Engineer, this is no longer strictly the case. Major employers such as Google and Apple no longer require a computer science degree. Instead, recruiters for these companies look for experience and skill over formal education. 

Still, there is some education required to learn how to code. Depending on your personal goals, you can choose to obtain an Associate's degree, a Bachelor's degree, or attend a coding Bootcamp. All these education programs have different pros and cons and vary in terms of cost. It is essential to consider your personal goals and finances before deciding which kind of program is right for you. 

Once you complete your education, you will probably need an internship to gain some real-world experience. Many companies have internship programs where you can work on a team with more senior engineers and learn from their work processes and gain insight into the job's day-to-day. 

Important Things to Know Before Becoming a Software Engineer

Software Engineers get to work in exciting companies and generally are paid quite well. However, before you decide to launch into a career as a Software Engineer, there are some things to consider. 

  • Understand what the job entails
There is a misconception that Software Engineers sit at a desk and write code all day. However, Software Engineers also lead discussions around design, communicate with stakeholders such as project managers, and collaborate with developers. This requires good people skills, communication skills, and leadership skills. Think about your personality profile and if these are areas in which you are comfortable. 

  • You do not need to live in Silicon Valley to be successful
There are Software Engineering opportunities all over the country, often in places where the cost of living will be a little more affordable than Silicon Valley. Think about what you are looking for in a job and a lifestyle before you relocate. 

  • FAANG companies are not the be-all and end-all of the jobs
FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) are considered very desirable places to work within the software industry. However, because these companies are so large, you may wind up working on just a very tiny component of their software. Whereas with smaller companies, you may get more responsibility and be able to steer larger projects. Think about what you want to get out of your work life and what kind of projects fuel your creativity.