Is becoming a software engineer a good career option? In today’s technological world, with students increasingly opting for computer science courses and educational platforms, both online and offline, gearing up to award software engineering degrees to graduates, how advantageous is it to opt for a career in software engineering?
Well, it is extremely promising!
If you happen to be a computer wizard from a very young age, software engineering should be an obvious and logical career choice for you. However, even if this is not the case, software engineering is a rewarding career path to pursue.
As a proven recession-proof industry that has continued to flourish throughout the tough pandemic times, the demand for software engineers will remain ever-growing in the foreseeable future.
Let us explore the advantages of pursuing a career in software development and understand how to be a developer.
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So, Why Should you Become a Software Developer?
1. Software engineering is an exciting learning process
The job of a software engineer is certainly not easy. To succeed as a software developer, one needs to spend countless hours refining his or her craft and overcome challenges and obstacles faced while coding. Software engineers require determination and perseverance to provide effective and intuitive solutions to users.
They must be imaginative, in tune with industry trends, and constantly upskill themselves to ensure a rewarding career path. They are expected to learn every day, which in turn helps them gain a competitive advantage in the job market as they accumulate valuable experience.
This keeps their job exciting and offers them opportunities to grow professionally in their careers as well as contributes to personal growth. A skilled developer is not afraid of taking risks. In this way, they challenge the status quo and push their knowledge to the limits.
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2. The profession is in high demand
As mentioned before, software engineers are in heavy demand across all industries. It is estimated that a whopping 316,000 jobs will be created in the field by 2029.
And this does not just pertain to top tech companies like Google, Facebook, or Amazon – even small to mid-size companies and startups are eager to find talent and offer excellent opportunities on a global level.
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3. Software engineering offers unmatched salary benefits and perks
Software development is one of the fields where employees can command top salaries as they transition from SD1, SD2 to Senior Software Developer roles depending on the skills and seniority levels. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a software developer is $110,140 per year. As a Senior Vice President at a company like Google, software engineers can earn an average base salary of $661,700 – $711,302 per year.
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Even as a remote developer, one can pursue global opportunities and take advantage of the economic benefits of doing so. Of course, this depends a lot on the options available. However, a Masters in Computer Science from a globally recognized university like IIIT Bangalore & Liverpool John Moores University can help you secure jobs in top tech companies like Google and Amazon and uplevel your career.
If one chooses to be a freelancer, that is completely another domain where companies are again willing to spend good money on talent. In fact, plenty of engineers choose to pursue software engineers as contractors and demand higher salaries than full-time employees. Companies gladly hire independent contractors since it saves them significant costs in employment benefits like accommodation, retirement coverage, social security, etc.
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4. It provides a creative outlet
Just like painting or design, programming is a highly imaginative profession. Any time one sets out to write a program, he or she is creating something new, much like when one was playing Lego as a child. Many times one experiments with technologies, only to find that’s not the ideal way to approach the problem at hand, so he or she chooses a different path. In this manner, every time they write a new program, they learn something new.
As software engineers, you are encouraged to assume positions of autonomy and higher decision-making authority as you uplevel. This allows SWEs to explore their creativity to drive engineering excellence through innovative technological solutions.
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5. Software engineers are part of a large, active community
Software engineers rely on open source software, interact with people on forums to discuss and learn more about programming, star projects on GitHub, contribute to open issues, submit pull requests to improve the work of someone else, etc. — all of which bring them closer to other software developers around the world. They also collaborate with cross-functional teams and communicate project details to stakeholders regularly.
To top it all, software engineering solutions impact millions of people around the world. Companies use software built by people and also write manuals and guides that help users understand the software.
Therefore, even if one might spend 10 hours a day in front of a computer, it isn’t overstating to say that programming is a social profession.
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How to Become a Software Developer?
In any profession, passion is one of the key ingredients to realizing your full potential. If you are intrigued by how computer systems work, software engineering is an ideal choice. Here are the skills required to become a software developer:
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- Testing and maintaining: Engineers begin with software levels where they are required to debug, modify, and work with others testers to improve codes. As you gain experience, you can advance to independent roles.
- Collaboration skills: Developers work closely with analysts, project managers, clients, and designers in a fast-paced work environment where everyone should remain motivated towards project goals. Communication skills are pretty handy in this area.
- Problem-solving skills: No matter the discipline, engineers are called upon to solve user problems with code and fix problems in those programs. Almost every industry is investing in technologically-driven solutions today, which demands that software engineers possess top-notch problem-solving skills to address the requirements of their clients.
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Should you opt for a career in Software Development or not?
The tech industry today is growing at a rapid pace. Every company is going through a technological shift and is adapting to the digital sphere, and nearly every industry is in need of developers. Having secured itself as one of the most profitable industries worldwide, tech offers a heap of ever-growing career opportunities.
In recent times, remote work has gained prominence. One doesn’t have to move to Silicon Valley to make a fortune as a developer, especially as a web developer — it is one of the professions that quickly embraced remote environments and provides seamless support to employees to grow meaningfully.
Compared to other professions, a software developer falls in the higher wage bracket. Even as independent contractors, a software engineer can earn a lot of money by working for more than one company at different pay scales.
Even though you are likely to come across at least two developers in every group of five, there isn’t a shortage of opportunities. In addition to this, the profession is constantly expanding, bringing with it a wealth of opportunities for upcoming talents.
From Full-Stack Development to DevOps, you can take your pick as per your interests. So, if you are looking to pursue a career in software development, we recommend you to check out our software and technology courses on upGrad.
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What does a software developer do?
A software developer is an expert in computer programming and software engineering. Software developers typically write, test, and maintain all the computer codes that allow a computer program to run. They are the brains behind the programs that make all the computers and technology of the world work. In addition to writing computer code, they often purchase, test and recommend new computer systems, tools and applications. Software developers are the people who develop new software and update older software. You can think of a software developer as being a little like a carpenter: you can build a new house, or remodel an old one, but you can't do much with wood without the right tools. Software developers are the tools that make it possible for software engineers and designers to work, and you can't do much of anything with software without them.
How much does a software developer earn?
A software developer can earn almost anything from $25,000 to $250,000 per annum. However, the median salary is $92,000 per annum. There are many factors that contribute to this amount of salary. For example, the industry and the company where a software developer works, the size of the company, the location of the company, the experience of the software developer, the reputation and the specialty of the software developer are some of the important factors. It is also important to note that the salary of a software developer will not be the same everywhere, it will be different in every country and state.
How to become a software developer?
If you want to become a software developer, then one of the best ways would be to start your own company or work for a small startup. While a degree, by itself, is not that important in this field, it can be helpful in some cases. The most important thing you can do is to get some experience in the industry. If you know how to develop some applications, then you can probably get a job as a junior software developer, or at least get an internship with a software company.