How To Become Software Engineer / Developer? What You Don’t Need and What You Really Need to Succeed.

Software development engineering has been growing quickly within the last few years. The demand has been skyrocketing, as well as the number of open positions for Software Engineers and Developers. But what is actually software development? According to the IMB definition, it refers to a set of computer science activities dedicated to the process of creating, designing, deploying and supporting software. Most importantly, in this article, you’ll find an answer to the question of How To Become Software Engineer / Developer?

By software, we mean system software, application software and programming software. In simple words, software engineering and development is everything you need to do to create computer programs. The process of creating these is also called the SDLC (the Software Development Life Cycle) – these are all phases that provide a method for building products.

Currently, we define four basic types of software engineering and development.

  • System software – it provides the core functions (databases, storage systems, operating systems, networks).
  • Application development – it provides functionalities for users to perform tasks (social media tools, booking systems, productivity suites).
  • Development tools – this category provides software developers with the tools they need (compilers, linkers, debuggers etc.).
  • Embedded software development – it creates the software used to control devices (like robots, phones, vehicles etc.).

Who is a Software Engineer and Developer then? Briefly put, a Software Developer is a genius behind computer programs of all sorts. They create apps, programs, networks and underlying systems that power other programs.

What are software applications?

In order to dive deeply into software development applications, let’s explain what application software is. Simply speaking, it’s a type of computer program that performs a specific – educational, personal or business – function. The program is created to assist users with particular processes. They should facilitate numerous functions – managing information, manipulating data, coordinating resources, constructing visuals etc.

The examples of application software are the most commonly used programs like Microsoft tools or Internet browsers. The examples partially explain what is software application development. It’s creating computer programs (sometimes a set of programs) to perform various tasks that a business requires. The process of building such programs usually looks the same. First of all, the requirements are gathered and discussed. Then, the prototypes are designed. After the testing phase come the implementation and integration processes.

What are examples of software applications?

examples of software development applications

Software applications are endless in today’s reality and the trend is continuously growing up.

Application software developers create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software that is to be sold to the general public. It includes programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet. Among the others, these are games and word processors. When it comes to business applications, these are programs built to improve the accuracy and efficiency of operations.

Software development applications are endless in today’s world. Some of the most common examples are:

  • Resource planners for companies.
  • Customer Relation Management systems.
  • Databases.
  • Project Management Software and Business Process Management software.
  • Resource and Time Management Software.
  • Engineering Design softwares
  • Automotive software solutions
  • Autonomous systems software
  • Aviation systems software
  • Educational software.
  • Mobile applications
  • Games
  • Robotics Software (ROS – Robot Operating System)
  • Drone control, and many others

What is the differnce between Software Engineer and Software Developer?

Software engineering is the application of engineering concepts to the creation of software. Software engineers contribute to the software development life cycle by matching the demands of the customer with appropriate technological solutions. As a result, they design processes to perform certain activities in a structured way. Finally, software engineering entails applying engineering ideas to the development of software.

Software developers are the primary creative force driving products. Software developers are in charge of the entire development process. They work with the customer to develop a theoretical design. They then hire computer programmers to write the code required to operate the app effectively. Together with computer programmers will test and troubleshoot issues. Software developers give project leadership and technical assistance at all stages of the software development life cycle.

What is Software Engineer / Developer salary?

What is Software Developer salary

How much do software engineers and developers make? The reality is, it really pays off to be a Software Engineer or Developer. Salaries have been constantly growing and even as a Junior (entry-level position) you make as nice as $68 K. The average is approximately $76 K and Senior positions (6-9 years of experience) salaries reach around $120 K (check more data here).

The best-paying country for software engineers and developers is obviously the US, where the average software engineer salary in 2020 reached $107 K. The next country, when it comes to salaries, is Switzerland, then Israel, Norway and Denmark.

In terms of skills, you can earn the most as an iOS or Android software developer (around $125 K), then there are Python and JavaScript developers, C++ devs and Java developers. The average salary of a front-end developer in the USA is $106 K and a Full-Stack’s – $113 K (data comes from daxx.com).

What are Software Enginees job examples?

The area of software engineering is broad, with many responsibilities dependent on the complexity of the program. As a result, several sorts of software engineers work in engineering roles. The following are some of the most common types of software engineer roles:

  • Testing Engineer – Verifies the quality of an application by testing, reviewing, assessing software. These individuals also develop automated tests, tools, and procedures to ensure that systems function as intended, detecting mistakes and trying to account for their solutions.
  • Software Integration Engineer – also known as embedded systems developers, use coding languages to programme hardware such as consumer devices, home security alert systems, electronics, interfaces, real-time systems, and serial data transmissions in the modern era of smart devices and the internet of things.
  • DevOps Engineers – are skilled with the technologies necessary for system development in order to design, deploy, integrate, and manage back-end software and distributed systems. They primarily handle the application infrastructure, which includes database systems, servers, and so on.
  • Security Engineer – specialises in developing systems, techniques, and procedures to evaluate the security of a software system to exploit and repair security vulnerabilities. This sort of developer frequently works as a “white-hat” ethical hacker, attempting to enter systems in order to find weaknesses.

There are several more types of software engineer positions available in various technical tasks. Finally, they all strive to provide a unified user experience for their program.

What are Software Developers job examples?

How to get into software development? There are many jobs for software developers waiting out there globally in various industries. Among the others, after you gain some knowledge and experience in the field you can apply for the following positions, which are the most common software developers job descriptions:

  • Application Developer – you will develop, create and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. It’s crucial that you work with user needs so that you can utilize them in developing software solutions. You will work with customers who seek customized software for operational efficiency optimization.
  • Front-End Developer – specialises in the development of user interfaces (UI). Visual aspects such as layouts and aesthetics are included in user interfaces. Front-end engineers work on cross-browser compatibility and bug fixes to guarantee a great visual presentation of the user interface. As a result, they work with code that works on various consumer devices, browsers, and operating systems. Creating a responsive application falls under this category as well.
  • Back-End Developer–  is a software developer who specialises on the application’s underlying logic and performance. They frequently design and execute the fundamental logic while keeping scalability in mind. They achieve this by connecting with data systems, caches, and email systems through the use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
  • Full Stack Developer – can handle both front-end and back-end tasks. They have the necessary abilities to develop a fully working web application.
  • Robotic Software Developer – you will be working to develop software for robot control and automation. Being a Robotic Software Developer is close to embedded systems that control automated equipment. You will build systems from scratch, as well as test, improve and debug them.
  • Android Software Developer – it’s a person who specializes in designing applications for the Android marketplace. Usually, the job is closely related to creating applications end-users use on their smartphones and tablets. Android Software Developers usually have a choice if they want to work for an app development agency or in-house for a large organization.
  • Database Developer – typically, it’s a position in a corporate IT department, no matter the industry. Database Developers are sometimes called Database Programmers because they are responsible for creating and implementing computer databases. Database Developer is considered to be one of the jobs of the future – the demand for Database Developers is expected to increase by 11% through 2024.

Software related industries you can work for.

Let’s be honest – everyone wants Software Engineers and Developers. They will be in demand for the next several years at least, which is great news if you want to pursue such a career. Most IT companies declare they want to hire new Software Developers and Software Engineers in the near future. What industries can you work for as a Software Engineer and Software Developer?

  • Retail – do you know that the retail industry employs as many Software Engineers as Silicon Valley? That might sound a bit crazy, but it’s true. Companies like Amazon are almost constantly recruiting new experts to join the team.
  • Automotive – in today’s world, all new cars are equipped with software solutions. If you’re a Software Development expert there is a bright future for you in global leading car manufacturers, especially in the design and development area, as well as in software companies that play an essential role in the Automotive supply chain. If you consider the rapid development of autonomous systems, just imagine the number of new high-paid job openings in the Software Development sector where the global market for autonomous vehicles is estimated to reach $36 billion by 2025, with the US owning 29% of all driverless cars.
  • Healthcare – Software Development has played a huge role in the healthcare industry within the last few years. Clinical applications, analytics, cloud systems, patient portals, consumer health apps – there are so many fields to work on.
  • Research and development – think of game-changing product labs, technological revolutions and many other emerging business units with the need for specific types of Software Developers.
  • IT – such companies hire a lot of software engineers. They look for young developers to grow them over the next few years. There are also some high-tech Silicon Valley options like Google or Facebook, always ready to recruit creative and hard-working software engineering talents.
  • Game development – with passion for games, technical skills supported with the ability to work on your own and with a team, you’ll be involved in the design, creation, and production of games for personal computers, social/online games, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles, and other handheld devices – endless opportunities, isn’t it!
  • Defense and government – Software professionals may also consider the governmental-industrial complex. Secure software programmers with cyber-security skills and certifications are always welcome there.

Is Software Engineering and Development worth learning?

There are many reasons for choosing a career in Software Engineering and Development. First of all, this is a dynamically growing field. There is a lot of career potential out there. The number of Software Engineers and Developers in demand will be constantly growing in the next few years, continuing to outpace the supply. At the moment, Software Developers are on the list of twenty in-demand freelance skills in the US.

Is Software Development worth learning?

The next thing is the salary. Tech careers do pay well. Although a formal degree might be required by some of the employers, what is really cool about being a Software professional is that a college degree is not mandatory to be succesfull. The barrier to entry is relatively low – it’s estimated that over 55% of Software Developers don’t have a computer science degree! Almost 70% consider themselves self-taught. Software Developers have multiple ways to learn on their own – studying online, doing boot camps and earning certifications. Finally, Software Development is a very flexible career.

What you don’t need and what you really need to succeed as Software Professional?

You don’t need to be a genius.

What does a software engineer do? The reality is that Learning to code is not like learning brain surgery and anyone can learn how to code and become a software developer. The range of skills spectrum as in any industry can be from excellent to poor. Excellent are those that are above average, we may call them remarkable. Most of those that are poor, have not developed knowledge they have learned as a result they stopped their education at some point in the past and expected to earn as much as possible – this is not the way to success, unfortunately.

You need to be creative, always curious and hungry for new challenges.

What you really need to succeed as Software Developer?

To learn how to become a software engineer or developer is exactly the same as pursuing any career path. Only hard work, creativity, and continuous development will truly determine success. Be hangry to continue learning and developing your skills all the time. Read industry-related articles, be a part of the software engineering community in industry groups, take courses, don’t afraid of new challenges, and actively participate in projects to gain practical experience at your workplace. If you are a Software Professional, curiosity and creativity fuel your improvement.

You don’t need a college degree to become a software professional.

Although you may think you need a college degree to become a software professional. Nothing more misleading. Programmers without degrees are usually more common than you think. The reality is that there’s a significant population of software developers who are self-taught. The more to this day, still don’t have formal degrees.

You need to focus your attention on practical, job ready skills.

job ready skills

Those successful software developers, programmers, software engineers are focused on the specific subjects they really like and are good at. In most cases, these people are highly educated in job-ready skills they can get in a shorter time than a standard College Degree, which is the typical software engineering requirement. As a result, they are equipped with practical knowledge they can use in a new job and further develop these skills while working. You can then run your Software Development company, and obviously, you don’t need a formal degree to do so as long as you have relevant skills and experience to be successful in this field.

You don’t need advanced math skills to learn how to become a software engineer or developer.

Success as a software engineer or developer and math proficiency are not directly correlated. To be a full–time programmer or software developer you don’t need to be a gifted mathematician. To know how to code, it is not required for you to know how to calculate integral counting, calculating the partial derivatives, or the slope of an orthogonal trajectory. The more, you don’t have to even know what does it mean.

You need strong analytical skills to find solutions.

Strong analytical skills to find solutions

The analytical skills to become a software engineer or developer are covered by quick estimations, understanding of probability, statistics, and logic to write correct code, knowledge of basic algebra, and practice strong problem–solving skills. You should be ready to resolve complex problems and have structured thinking. Other than these two prerequisites, the degree of math you need to know is highly dependent on the specific project you are working on but not serious math skills are required for the career as a whole.

You don’t need to know ‘the best’ programming language.

There is no ‘the best’ programming language to learn. Only the requirements of a project will determine which programming language to use. However, even then, you will most likely need to use multiple languages to complete a project. The reason for it is that programming languages work together and not against each other. This is a standard practice that each language has an intended purpose within a given project. For example, Javascript is typically used as front–end language, meanwhile, PHP is a back–end language intended for back–end development. Languages used within the specific project are used with the aim to achieve a common goal. And therefore no one is the best as all of them are needed to complete the project.

You need to know the programming language that works for you.

know the programming language that works for you

Instead of thinking about which is the best programming language to learn, start playing with any code in order to learn the basics and fundamentals. Complete your first personal projects will give you motivation and will decide which language to start with. As your programming skills progress to more advanced, you will gradually discover the complexity of each language. Later in time, you will understand in your own experience, why there is no ‘the best’ programming language in the industry. The most important for you is to start coding as soon as possible.

You don’t need to be a youngster to start learn programming

career in software development

It’s never too late to change careers and become a successful software developer or programmer. Regardless of age or prior experience, the path to becoming a software professional is open to anyone who aspires to take it. And by the end of series of specific programming courses, students are able to find jobs as web developers! Hard to believe, isn’t it? That results are mainly driven by courses equipped with job-ready skills employers are looking for and obviously people who are passionate to learn these skills. No matter how old are you or what level of coding experience you have, never is too late to start the learning journey to become a software engineer or developer. Check the real-life inspiring story

There are two learning paths that are worth to be considered. These programs are equipped with practical job-ready skills supported with real-life projects and exams ended with certification. All you need to learn to become a successful software professional is concentrated in the series of courses focused on practical skills required by most employers.

Learning paths to get job-ready skills in Software Engineering / Development

How to Become a Software Engineer / Developer?

Programming knowledge is the key in Software Development so if you don’t have previous experience with coding, you should start with:

This is a perfect course to start programming with. The Nanodegree is especially valuable for those who know that they would like to learn software engineering, programming, however, they are unsure of which discipline to target. The program introduces you to the fundamentals of programming, computer science is not included though. One might say that this is your first step towards careers in Web and App Development and Machine Learning.

You will be familiarized with HTML, CSS, and Python. Based on that, you will be entitled to select the programming path for your final project. A great thing is that the course will make you think like a developer. You will gain some analytical and problem-solving skills.

Skills Covered:

Introduction to Programming, HTML, CSS, Python, JavaScript

Learn more about the Software Development Process, Architecture and Design:

As your software developer skills progress, you may now enrol to Software Development Process course. This free program will teach you how to choose and implement the ideal software process for your development project. You will be familiarized with many real-world cases and engaging examples presented by professor Orso. You will learn both conceptual and practical aspects of Software Development. The program covers engineering, architecture and design, testing and maintenance.

Skills Covered:

Software Development Life Cycle, Requirements Engineering, Design Patterns, Black-Box & White-Box Testing, Continuation on Agile Development Methodology

The next course to continue with Software Development Skills is Software Architecture & Design. In this free course, you will learn the principles and concepts involved in the design of sophisticated software systems. This course is dedicated to those students who have already gained minimal industry experience in Software Development.

Skills Covered:

Unified Modeling Language, Object Constraint Language, Software Architecture, Software Design, Code Review

If you’re considering Project Management in Software Development, Agile is well known and recognized methodology:

If you want to start your adventure by building products that deliver value to customers and learn some basics of Agile at the same time, you should definitely start with the Agile Software Development program. No experience with programming is required to enrol. By the end of the course, you will be familiar with Scrum, Kanban and XP and you will be ready to release a plan for a Minimum Viable Product.

Skills Covered:

Agile, Scrum, Kanban, XP, Minimum Viable Product, Agile Frameworks, Agile Planning, Agile Prioritization, Risk Identification, Risk Mitigation

Pursue a specialization

There are two general specializations within software development: applications and software or systems development. However, there are distinct areas of practice within each one. Software Developers may choose to become experts in a specific programming language or type of development. Below is a list of specializations to choose from where Udacity offers job-ready skills in their popular Nanodegrees:

Web Development specialization

In this Nanodegree, you will learn how to build top-notch websites and dynamic applications to create amazing user experiences for the web. The course is divided into three interesting modules. The first one is exploring JS objects, tools, and tests. The second module will introduce you to everything between the server and the interface. The last one is a hands-on part – building with React. After completing the course, you will be able to build responsive websites and develop interactive websites and apps.

Skills Covered:

JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Webpack, Flexbox, Node, Object-Oriented Programming, Document Object Model (DOM), Web APIs and Asynchronous Applications

This Nanodegree mostly focuses on server-side, data-driven web applications. You will learn how to use them to scale and support the front-end. The Full Stack Web Developer course is especially useful when your goal is to build database-backed API and web apps.

After completing the course, you will be able to create and deploy these, as well as manage and secure user authentication and access control for an application backend and apply compliance principles. The course also covers Flask-based web applications – you will be taught how to deploy such apps to the cloud using Kubernetes and Docker. The Full Stack Web Developer course is not considered to be for beginners.

Skills Covered:

Python, JavaScript, PostgreSQL, Flask, Docker, Kubernetes, Data Modeling for the Web, SQL, Server Deployment and Containerization

DevOps specialization

You will learn how to design and deploy infrastructure as a code and deploy scalable microservices. The course also covers delivering services at high velocity which is a highly desired skill in the IT world.

You will be introduced to the basics of cloud computing as well as Amazon Web Services. You will get familiar with storage and content delivery in the cloud. You will also have a chance to create a DynamoDB table and launch a MySQL database instance. The program also includes security, networking, messaging and containers and AWS management. After completing the course you will become more competitive in the Agile world.

Skills Covered:

AWS, Configuration Management with Ansible, Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment, Microservices with Kubernetes, CloudFormation, Cloud Foundations, Code (IAC), CI/CD Pipelines, Monitoring & Logging

Throughout this Nanodegree co-created with Microsoft, you will learn how to test, deploy, and monitor cloud apps. You will use Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery for cloud infrastructure management. You will also have the opportunity to create test environments and run automated testing. The Udacity experts will also explain the idea of Quality Assurance and alert triggers in Azure Monitor, as well as custom log files in Azure Log Analytics. After completing the course, you will be prepared for passing Microsoft’s AZ-400 DevOps Engineer Expert certification exam.

Skills Covered:

Infrastructure as Code, Configuration Management, Agile Planning, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Test Automation, Monitoring, Azure, Quality Assurance

Mobile development specialization

The Nanodegree program has been created for those who are still new to mobile programming but want to develop their skills towards building Android apps. During the course, you will be guided through the process of creating an app from scratch.

You will learn everything about the Android user interface (and transform designs into layouts), user input, multi-screen applications (including adding audio and images to an app), and networking (HTTP networking, JSON parsing, and threads). By the end of the course, you should be able to know how to build an app’s layout.

Skills Covered:

Android Development, Java programming, Android Studio, XML layouts, Android Views, Multi-Screen Apps, Android Networking, HTTP networking, JSON parsing

Kotlin is now one of the hottest and fastest-growing programming languages. It’s used by companies like Google, Pinterest, Atlassian. The Android Kotlin Developer course will introduce you to the fundamentals of building Android apps using Kotlin.

You will learn how to build Android applications using the MVVM design pattern, RESTful API, and RecyclerView. You will be introduced to Android development platform best practices, Android Jetpack, Kotlin, and Android Studio. You will have a chance to design interfaces that implement modern Android components. You will be able to integrate hardware capabilities (like location) to provide users with mobile enriched features.

After completing the course, you will be ready to become a professional Android developer and you will be able to use Android Studio and Kotlin. The course takes around 4 months to complete. Experience with object programming is required.

Skills Covered:

Android Development, Kotlin, Android Studio, Gradle, Restful Interfaces, Web APIs, App Architecture, Databases, Custom Views, Notifications, Location Services, Testing, Firebase, RecyclerView

The main objective of this popular Nanodegree is to teach you how to build your first iOS application. You will master your Swift skills and learn all mobile development fundamentals like design patterns. The course also includes building your portfolio you’ll show later on to potential recruiters before you start your career as an iOS Developer. The program is divided into the following lessons: Swift programming including iOS app development, UI Kit fundamentals, data persistence and network requests and GCD. Each lesson focuses on vital aspects of iOS development. The course ends with a final project. This is your opportunity to let your skills shine – you have to design your own iOS app.

Skills Covered:

Swift programming, Core Data, UIKit, iOS networking, App publishing, User interfaces, Local Persistence, APIs, Network Requests, GCD, Data Persistence

Technical stack (e.g., Python, C++)

The Data and Algorithms Nanodegree will introduce you to common data structures and algorithms in Python. You will get familiar with various technical issues and learn how to solve them. In total, you will solve more than 80 problems, all concerning data structures and algorithms.

You will also learn how to build complex algorithms. You will be taught how to find the best solution based on your design choices. The course was created in cooperation with tech industry leaders who know current trends in recruiting. It will work for you, no matter if you are a newbie in the field of data structures and algorithms or if you have some experience. The course consists of many video tutorials showing different approaches to technical issues.

Skills Covered:

Data Structures and Algorithms, Problem Solving, Interview Practice Problems, Python

The Intermediate Python Nanodegree program is perfect to leverage the capabilities of Python and streamline the functionality of applications that perform complex tasks, such as classifying files, data mining a webpage. As a result of this course, you’ll have a portfolio that demonstrates your ability to apply practitioner-level Python skills on the job.

Skills Covered:

Python, Object-oriented programming, Modular code, Python Package Index

C++ is a cross-platform language, one of the most popular in the world. The demand has been rapidly increasing, so the C++ course might be an option for you if you see your future in operating systems and high-performing applications. The program is divided into four areas, each of which has its own importance in building blocks of programming skills.

You will be introduced to C++ foundations including developing, compiling, and executing programs. You will learn how to link together multiple files. On top of a massive dose of theory, you will also work on five real-world projects so the hands-on experience is really satisfying. You will write a process monitor for your computer and implement your own smart pointers.

Skills Covered:

Data Structures & Algorithms, Memory Management, Concurrency, Object-Oriented Programming, C++

This top-notch Robotics Software Engineer nanodegree is an excellent choice for those who’d like to master robotics software development. This program is an advanced level program where you will learn core robotics skills you may need later on in mapping, localization, navigation, path planning projects. You will discover the Gazebo world – you will get familiarized with robot simulation that is a key tool in every Robotics Software Engineer’s toolbox. You will test algorithms, design robots, and train AI systems. During the course, you will build five practical projects to acquire core robotics software engineering skills.

Skills Covered:

C++, ROS, Localization, Mapping, SLAM, Navigation, Path Planning, Robot Operating System, Robotics, Gazebo

Summary

A career in Software Development might be both highly lucrative and fun. As long as there are web applications and software-driven technology, software development skills will always be in demand. Software Development is a booming industry and offers a career path with endless progression and opportunities – if you are wondering whether you should become a Software Professional or not, the answer is a big yes!

yes

However, to be successful, you need to focus on job-ready practical skills supported with real-life projects that will give you the best preparation for your dream job. If you are a creative problem solver and a tech enthusiast with analytical skills, the Software Development profession will assure a bright future for you!

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