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Are you interested in software engineering? This guide will help you to understand how to become one. You will find out what different roles, positions and salaries you can achieve as well.
I want to become a software engineer!
Logically, the first question to think about is: how? Follow these steps, and you may find yourself in this role in a few years (only if you are not already there ;))
- Be naturally interested in programming. To become a good programmer, you can not force yourself to do it. You should be somehow attracted to it.
- You should be good at math. If you have no trouble with calculus, algebra or geometry, you have a good prospects of becoming an software engineer.
- Know what field to focus on. You have to be sure, what field of software engineering attracts you the most. Is it game development or work for IBM? Make a decision based on your passion.
- Get a degree! We all know stories of successful university dropouts, who became huge names in this field. Honestly, your chances of having a successful career are higher with a degree.
- Try to be involved in a different projects during your studies. There is nothing better for your career than a CV full of interesting project you have been working on. Another benefit is networking. You will get to know a lot of interesting people, who may offer you a dream job in the future.
- Do a research. Sure, this sounds way too boring, but talking about something you love, reading your favourite IT or gaming website can be considered as research. The most important thing is knowing what is going on.
Lets talk about the roles
Once you are a software engineer, there are several different roles you can be part of. Lets start from the bottom to the top in terms of salary:
- frontend developer
- backend developer
They create everything going on the web site or web app that is not seen by a user. They create the logical back-end and core computational logic of projects
- mobile developer
Job is simply described as a development of apps for mobile devices
Architects are software experts, who work on important design and technical tasks, including software coding standards, tools, and platforms.
- VP of engineering/CTO
These are the leaders or so called ”rockstars” of an IT team.
Startup, IT firm or freelance?
All of these alternatives have its pros and cons, let’s take a look at it:
Startups feel really cool, because of the comfortable working environments and friendly culture. You feel like a direct part of the project. If it is successful, it will make you feel really, really good.
On the other hand, it can feel really harsh if your project is unsuccessful. Imagine working on something, you really care about, and in the end no one uses it. Also, if you feel like you can easily get a ”cabin fever”, working with a small group of people for a great amount of time might be problematic for you.
IT firm is more safe environment. You don’t really feel like directly responsible for a failure if a project. A great benefit for some people can be work time. You work for 8 hours, and then the work is done for you for the rest of the day. Another good thing is, if you work on a project which has eventually impact on millions of people.
Working in a company feels usually strict. Some of the employees can not do a home office and are forced to do as much as they can during their stay at work. Another disadvantage is, that you don’t really can make any decision, because there is too many people involved.
You have the luxury of choosing when to work. Are you able to work better in your garden? You are free to do it, because you are your own boss. Another great thing is, that you choose your own clients. Thanks to this, you can choose the projects you are interested in.
Cons of freelancing are, that in the beginning it can be pretty hard to find any clients. You will start slowly and it will make you feel useless. Next thing is, that you don’t really have a consistent monthly income.
Check out this beautiful infographic by fundersandfounders to know everything else about Tech Salary: