Step by step guide to becoming a software engineer

Computer programmers are the builders of the computing world. They translate software design into code that computers can read, crafting the operating systems and software applications consumers use every day. People’s interaction with computers is at an all-time high—familiar desktop models provide a constant stream information and entertainment, while complex systems perform countless behind-the-scenes tasks. The demand for computing power is only growing, opening more career possibilities for people interested in computer programming. Read more to learn about how to enter this profession – including degree and college options – as well as career trends and salary information.

What does a software engineer do?

Computer programmers turn concepts into reality. After a developer creates a basic software program, a programmer creates the instructions, or code, to make that program function. Programmers may create software to be run on personal computers, tablets, smartphones or automated systems used in manufacturing. With the explosion of smartphone technology, mobile applications are increasingly important, as are software-as-a-service (SaaS) packages, which drive Internet commerce. Once a program is functional, programmers may also be responsible for testing for bugs, removing errors and installing updates. Programmers also design the user interface, which is the part of the program that consumers see and interact with.

What kind of skills are required?

  1. Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  2. Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  3. Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  4. Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  5. Technology Design — Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
  6. Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  7. Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  8. Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

The steps to becoming a software engineer

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Choose a focus
  3. Keep learning