Software engineering is a broad discipline that involves computer software design, development, and maintenance. Software engineers develop software that meets project goals and specifications while handling issues like system architecture or performance organization. Some are also involved in planning and testing stages.
Skill sets vary, meaning there’s a lot of opportunity to strike out on your own career path and explore your own areas of interest.
Software engineers may work in various roles depending on their experience level and expertise. With more experience, you’ll progress from junior to mid-level to senior roles.
Software engineering is a well-known career path in computer science, but it doesn’t cover all of your job options. A software engineer’s responsibilities will still differ from those of other tech professionals.
Learning the fundamental principles of coding languages and software development can give you many opportunities to explore different, fulfilling career paths. These are just a few examples of the direction you could take your career.
Before releasing a new product, a QA engineer will write tests to ensure there are no bugs. They’ll report findings to those who may have a stake in the program and work to resolve any issues.
A DevOps engineer works to strike the balance between the competing demands of different phases of the software development life cycle, from initial design and development through ongoing testing and improvement.
Cybercrime may take many forms, and security engineers work to mitigate risks by designing and overseeing business data and technology security measures.
Application integration engineers are responsible for all three stages of the integration cycle (planning, design, and execution). This can entail documenting procedures so future managers and engineers can easily reference the information when a problem arises. They stay in close contact with the client to help meet their needs.
Software engineers can serve as computer consultants who guide businesses on the best ways to use technological advancements like the internet, intranets, and extra-office networks as well as the gear and software necessary to run these systems.
A product engineer develops commercial products and production techniques. They’re responsible for market research and working closely with product development teams to transform their insights into valuable products.
Implementation engineers help with overall technical design concepts and diagnostic testing to guarantee that all features and levels of performance meet the highest quality standards. They also find possible problems in a system and provide reports on how to fix them.
With the third generation of the internet, Web3, anyone who works on projects and is responsible for designing and implementing blockchain technology is a blockchain software engineer. Their duties include developing and maintaining a system that links their company’s assets to a public ledger.
The salary for software engineers is known to be quite lucrative. In 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that software engineers earned a median annual pay of $109,020. ZipRecruiter reports that the average annual salary for a software engineer in 2023 is $139,952. These numbers can fluctuate depending on factors such as experience and location.
What is a software engineer salary for someone starting out in the field? App Academy gathered information from our cohort of graduates in 2019. For those who completed our Campus Programs in either New York City or San Francisco, first-year compensation ranged from $86,900 to $104,037. It also typically took our graduates less than five months to land their first position.
There are many paths to becoming a software engineer, and the first step is to determine which avenue you want to pursue.
If you’re working in a different industry, you may be able to transfer a lot of your skills to a software engineering role. Sales and Marketing work often provide a great foundation for software engineers to grow from, and with a bit of learning, practice, and brushing up your resume, you could be well on your way to a whole new career.
Going back to school for a degree in computer science or a related field is a common point of entry for aspiring software engineers, but it’s definitely not the only form of education to help you learn how to code.If you do choose to go back to school, you may decide to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant field.
Coding bootcamps often offer several options that may align more with your lifestyle and career goals. Plus, in many cases, the financial savings are obvious. According to SwitchUp, the typical cost of a coding bootcamp is $12,000 for a duration of 11 weeks, while a bachelor’s degree in computer science would set you back $40,722 for a year. When it comes to what you learn in a coding bootcamp vs. with a computer science degree, bootcamps teach the fundamentals of software development, while degrees tend to emphasize theory.
What sets the best software engineers apart from the rest of the pack? Sure, software engineers need a certain handful of hard skills, but there are other abilities that help them stand out from their peers, too.
A good software engineer should:
Love problem solving
Enjoy a challenge
Software issues and bugs can get frustrating or become tedious, and the best software engineers should find it rewarding to develop solutions for even the toughest problems.
Is software engineering a good career path for growth? The short answer is yes.
As more businesses and sectors adopt new technology and software-based solutions, the employment outlook and potential for software engineers are unparalleled. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 25% increase in job opportunities by 2031 (the average is 7%).
Many companies now often welcome applicants without a four-year college degree in CS because they value skills and experience. Coding bootcamps help aspiring software engineers get the practical experience they need to enter this dynamic and growing industry, regardless of their degree.
There has never been a better time to begin a career as a software engineer. Explore our programs and learn how App Academy can help you change your life today.