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Becoming a software engineer: 5 steps to follow

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Worldwide the number of people working in the software engineering sector continues to grow with over 26 million people employers as software developers globally in 2019. In Ireland, we are known as a centre of excellence for software companies, with multinational and indigenous firms employing 24,000 people across the country.

Software engineers  are in big demand and it is a high paying job at the moment. In Ireland, some of the most in demand jobs for 2021 are IT related, which is reflected in wage packets. Depending on experience and skills you can expect to earn anywhere between €35k – €130k+ annually, which doesn’t take into account the many extra benefits software companies increasingly offer.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer systems engineering or even mathematics, Software Engineering is a viable career or career change option. While some professionals choose to quit their full-time jobs in order to do a Software Engineering Bootcamp, others choose to study part-time, take up night classes or study online themselves.

Austin Tackaberry decided to teach himself whatever he needed, to go from his chemical engineering degree to a software engineer, while trying to keep his full time job. He started a plan to earn 6 figures in less than a year. Proving it is possible. The biggest lesson he learnt was that you must work just 40 hours on your full-time job and no more than this. All the rest must be dedicated to learning the skills necessary to become a Software Engineer.

Interested in becoming a Software Engineer? Follow these 5 steps to get your plan in motion:

1. Do you have a degree in computer science, mathematics or relevant experience?

Even if you don’t have a degree, it’s possible to get a job as a Software Engineer if you are dedicated to self-learning, starting with how to code.

Software Engineering is not focused just on coding, but you need to know some languages in order to have a deeper understanding of their function. You can start some courses online like Udacity CS101 and start coding in your free time.

You can even start learning on YouTube. There are even options for children, so if you find it hard in the very beginning, give this project a try.

2. Set yourself a goal

Your goal should be accountable and realistic, for example, start with 10 weeks of experience programming. Track your progress, ask for advice and reach out to other developers. These will all help motivate you and keep you on track.

3. Start building your network

Networking is very important, but the problem here is, if you haven’t don't have a related degree, you probably don’t know many people within the sector.

Start looking for coding virutal MeetUps (Eventbrite can be useful for this) or any other way to meet people in the industry. This will help you when you start to look for jobs, plus if you know others in the industry you can ask their advice and learn better and faster as a result.

4. Think of your previous experiences and hobbies

Even though building software requires very specific skills, your current hobbies or even your previous jobs could still be beneficial to your career. In other words, don’t ignore strengths you’ve already developed in other jobs, like problem-solving, effective communication or teamwork. They can help you on this path, and distinguish you amongst other developers who may be technically skilled but lack certain soft skills. Make a list of your strengths and things you think will benefit you while developing software.

5. Start building software

Once you have studied some coding, met people doing the same as you and thought about your transferable soft skills, it is time to actually start building software.

It’s going to be important to show results when you start job hunting, think of each project as an addition to your CV and portfolio. The best way to do it is without pressure, without deadlines and doing something you are familiar with and interested in – whether that’s an app idea you have or a website idea you’ve been thinking about.

After that, you can start looking for a job, confident that you are prepared. There is a huge requirement for skilled software engineers, AI engineers, machine learning engineers and big data engineers in Dublin and further afield.

If you have the right skills and are interested in learning about career opportunities you can view all live Technology & IT jobs on our jobboard.