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How to Become a Software Engineer in 2024 (From Scratch)

02nd Jan, 2024
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    How to Become a Software Engineer in 2024 (From Scratch)

    Various computer systems and applications are designed and created by software engineers to solve real-world problems. The software engineer, also called the software developer, is responsible for developing software for applications and computers. If you’re someone willing to pursue a career as a software engineer, then you need to enroll in Software Development and training courses.

    Successful software engineers use the right programming languages, architectures, and platforms to develop everything from computer games to network control systems. The role of software engineers involves more than just developing their own systems. They also improve, maintain, and test other engineers' software. For more information, check out Data Science self-paced course.

    You might perform the following tasks on a daily basis in this role:

    • Maintenance and design of software systems
    • Scalability and speed optimization of software
    • Testing and evaluating new software
    • Testing and writing code

    In this article, we will discuss how to be a software engineer, how long it takes to become a software engineer, what software engineers do, and the demand, benefits, and salary analytics of this profession.

    Who is a Software Engineer?

    Software engineering is the discipline where professionals develop, write, test, and maintain computer software, including mobile and web applications. Today we interact with dozens of applications every day-all developed by software engineers. If you're an analytical person who likes to solve problems and make digital products easier to use, a job as a computer programmer might be right for you.

    As a programmer, you'll operate in an environment constantly changing with speed due to new technology and the dynamic technology landscape. A software engineer works with a system analyst or system architect who helps create the foundational structure for the software or applications. As a software engineer, you will be responsible for developing software codes that meet the user’s or client’s demands and suggest them for the future.

    What Do Software Engineers Do?

    Software engineers use software development processes to create software applications to meet requirements. The software is developed using various software languages. Examples of such languages are C++, PHP, Java, HTML, Python, etc. Software may include mobile or web applications, cloud platforms, or applications. To ensure that programs run effectively, the programmer must collaborate with other tech professionals, including other software developers in the team, programmers, software testers, graphic designers, UX experts, and other specialists.

    Work for software engineers isn't restricted to only software development. Work includes analyzing the software development requirements and planning the complete story. The whole development can take place in a phase-wise manner. Software engineers are also required to test the new software codes after every piece of development or change in the existing code. Based on the testing results, the software engineer may need to rectify or rewrite the code. Sometimes software engineers are also required to develop technical specifications and user documentation so that the customer or users can easily use the software. They may also be required to work closely with UX designers, hardware engineers, and other professionals.

    How to Become a Software Engineer in 5 Simple Steps?

    Listed below are essential steps on how I can become a software engineer and how to do software engineering after the 12th.

    Step 1: Master Skills

    How to get into software engineering? You need to learn the necessary skills, which we will discuss.

    Top Skills Needed to Become a Software Engineer

    1. Soft Skills 

    We will discuss how to become a software engineer after the 12th. It's not just technical skills that are in demand, soft skills are just as important. On-the-job training often can't teach soft skills, unlike technical skills.

    Technical skills aren't the only skills recruiters look for. Soft skills might be even more valuable. According to a LinkedIn survey, more than 60% of US hiring managers found it difficult to hire candidates who didn't have great soft skills, which is a surprising statistic. As you advance in your career, these skills become increasingly valuable.

    Some of the most competitive companies will pay higher salaries to software developers with excellent soft skills.

    • Good Communication: To develop software effectively, software developers must be able to interact with non-technical counterparts, request support when needed, and delegate their work in a way that engages the team. Intercultural communication skill is especially important in remote work settings.
    • Problem-solving Skills: Software projects and development teams will always encounter problems. The ability to solve problems effectively is essential for software engineers in their day-to-day work and in their long-term careers. 
    • Time Management: Meeting deadlines requires software managers to keep their teams on track. Teams of software developers who work in different time zones are becoming more common. Due to this, senior engineers and project leaders must be able to manage many moving parts simultaneously.
    • Teamwork: Each person in the team has different strengths and different areas of weakness. Team members should be able to complement each other nicely. And this calls for good teamwork skills.
    • Creativity: A software engineer will often be required to think creatively and come up with creative solutions to the problems at hand. Sometimes there are a lot of constraints in getting the correct answer, and programmers may need to develop some workarounds. Creativity is a powerful skill that can enhance productivity.
    • Adaptability and Flexibility: The ability to solve problems and analyze data goes hand-in-hand with this soft skill. Demonstrate your ability to adapt to changing work conditions on your resume or how you’ve gained skills, tools, and knowledge to keep up with changing industry standards.

    Working with distributed teams and collaborating remotely requires adaptability and flexibility. If you are wondering how to become a computer software engineer, make sure to add adaptability and flexibility at the top of your skills list. Enroll in KnowledgeHut Data Science self-paced course and progress your career as a data scientist.

    2. Hard Skills

    hard skills of software engineer

    Many of us get confused about what technical skills are required or more important to become software engineers. Due to the rise of remote work, the software development hiring market has experienced a slight disruption in recent years. Cloud security, for example, is in greater demand than it was in previous years.

    In 2024 and beyond, there will be an increasing need for software developers to possess the following hard technical skills: 

    Software Testing Skills: 

    • Programming Languages 

    The foundation of software engineering is knowledge of programming languages. You can write commands for a machine to follow using programming languages. Software engineers do not need to be fluent in every language, but they should be proficient in at least one. The most commonly used programming languages are:

    1. JavaScript 

    An essential scripting language for creating websites is JavaScript. It drives the behaviors and functionality of a website, allowing visitors to engage with its content. JavaScript runs on the user's web browser because it is primarily a client-side language. But now that Node.js is available, JavaScript can run server programs.

    2. HTML 

    It is a markup language for displaying user interfaces to web users. A markup language is human-readable and uses tags to distinguish document elements. When one of these tags is in a document, the computer reads it and displays the content following its instructions.

    3. Python 

    Python is a widely used back-end server language and a popular general-purpose programming language among data scientists. It's known for being straightforward and readable and provides capabilities that cope with massive data processing and large-scale programming. Python is known for having over 135,000 libraries to help with operations.

    4. SQL 

    The most common language for extracting and structuring data from databases and for information retrieval is SQL. This procedure is critical for data analysis. Even if the research is done in Python, SQL is required to extract data from a company's database.

    5. C++

    This programming language can assist you in creating software for medical equipment that maximizes hardware capabilities. Video game developers widely use C++ because it allows them to make complicated gaming systems with high-quality computer visuals.

    • Algorithms and Data Structures

    Algorithms explain the steps necessary to execute tasks, whereas data structures are various organizational strategies for storing information in a database. To evaluate which combinations of data structures and algorithms will assist them best in maximizing the information in a program's code, software developers frequently have a comprehensive knowledge base. A finished array structure, for instance, can store various permutations of the same kind of data, like writing software that saves font information. Users could select a font type and size of the developer utilizing the correct algorithm.

    • Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) 

    An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software suite combining the fundamental tools to design and test software. Developers employ various tools throughout creating, producing, and testing software code. Text editors, code libraries, compilers, and test platforms are examples of development tools.

    • Knowledge about Text Editors

    Using text editing tools, developers can create and modify the plain text, a standard file without formatting from word processors. Because text editing software makes it easy to move the code into different systems and add formatting, software engineers frequently use it to write the text and symbols needed for a coding language. Here are some common text editors:

    1. Atom: This choice is open-source and designed for software developers; thus, it includes Git and other essential program tools.

    1. TextMate: This software is available for Mac OS X and has interface compatibility for all programming languages.

    1. Notepad++: This open-source software is compatible with Microsoft Windows and offers numerous customization options, including integrating with another programming application.

    1. Brackets: This program is compatible with Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems, and it may be integrated with software that uses Git or similar development tools.

    • Network System Knowledge

    Knowledge network systems provide an online database of corporate experts in well-defined knowledge categories and leverage communication technologies to help employees discover the right expert within a firm.

    • Basic Networking 

    The study of networks is a large and intricate area. Engineers spend their entire lives studying complex network topologies, routing protocols, and hardware configurations. A software engineer should know the basic networking concepts: IP addressing, TCP and UDP, DNS, NAT, and basic hardware (routers, access points, modems, farewells).

    • Cross-Platform Software

    Any software program on many platforms—often called operating systems or hardware—is considered cross-platform software. An operating system, such as Windows, Mac OS, Android, or iOS, is a platform. Users can access a broader range of devices and computers when a software product supports multiple platforms. If you have a similar user experience with the software on any platform, the learning curve will be significantly lower, if one exists at all. As a result, regardless of the operating system or device you choose, you will be more productive and able to use a software product you are acquainted with.

    • Database Knowledge

    Databases are electronic systems enabling people to organize information, notably company data. Software developers must be able to conduct information searches, enter new lines of data in a table format, and update a system with fresh materials.

    • Software development Lifecycle 

    SDLC is planning, developing, testing, and deploying software. As it cascades from feasibility research to systems analysis, design, implementation, testing, installation, and maintenance, this life cycle is frequently a waterfall model. While there are numerous benefits to using this framework for a design project, this skill will make you a well-educated engineer.

    • DevOps:

    The most marketable expertise going into 2024 will be Software Development Methodologies (DevOps). There is ample evidence to support the benefits of having a DevOps lead in your organization. DevOps teams deploy software 200 times more frequently than low-performing teams, according to a 2016 survey. These teams recover 24 times faster using DevOps and experience three times fewer change failures. Security issues are addressed by these teams 50% less frequently.

    • IT Automation:

    According to our predictions, IT automation will be one of the most sought-after technical skills for software developers in 2024 due to its high level of demand. A digital process and workflow automation expert is someone who is qualified to automate digital processes and workflows in a business environment.

    • Full-stack Development:

    There is more to being a great front-end developer than just being an expert at designing beautiful user interfaces: senior and mid-level software developers should also have solid back-end development skills.

    However, to learn these skills, one needs to enroll, learn all the essential skills, and gain a deep understanding of the Full Stack Developer certification cost courses.

    3. Other Competencies

    How do you become a software engineer? Well, along with soft and hard skills, there are some other competencies: 

    • Software Engineering Passion: One needs to have a passion for becoming a software engineer if he/she is willing to pursue a career in this field.
    • Experience: How to become a software engineer with no experienceThe passion you have is great, but if it is accompanied by skills that are truly valuable, then that's excellent. In spite of this, it is true that most Software Engineering Manager positions require significant hands-on experience and, preferably, current skills to be able to do something daily.

    Top Software Engineer Certifications / Degree

    Do you want to know how to become a software engineer without a degree? Besides possessing a bachelor's degree in a field related to software engineering, information technology, computer science, or another similar area of study. 

    How to become a software engineer without a degree? How to become a computer software engineer? You can become a software engineer without a degree. However, it is very important that one has a good grasp of technical and programming skills.

    How long does it take to learn software engineering? It is extremely important to have knowledge of at least one scripting language, such as JavaScript or Python, and one object-oriented language, such as C or Java.

    Certifications Recommended: 

    • Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional.
    • Amazon Web Services certifications 
    • Microsoft Azure certifications 
    • Agile certifications

    Step 2: Determine Your Ideal Timeline

    How long does it take to become a software engineer? As you did with your earlier skill assessment, you may find it helpful to establish a concrete timeline for your educational journey.

    Start Learning in a Suitable Format  

    It is easier than ever to learn how to be a software engineer in today's era of open-source, but it's also easier to get lost in the muck of the information. The number of different educational routes that newcomers have to choose from is nearly overwhelming.

    We will discuss the primary methods aspiring developers use to become marketable programmers below and provide resources to assist you during your journey of becoming a marketable programmer.

    Despite the fact that there isn't a single best way to learn full-stack development, it's important that you compare your timeframe and learning requirements to the opportunities listed for software engineering when you're perusing the options.

    • Boot Camps
    • Self-Guided Courses
    • Degree Programs

    How Long Does It Take to Become a Software Engineer?

    Let’s discuss in detail how to become a software engineer after the 10th. A bachelor's degree is usually required to become a software engineer, which is a four-year full-time course. Employers sometimes prefer candidates with a master's degree, which requires two more years of academic study in addition to the bachelor's degree.

    Step 3: Begin Building Your Portfolio / Resume

    Employers do not organize interviews with the intention of turning people away, contrary to what you might think. Hiring managers who are sane will want to believe that you are the perfect candidate for the job. To prove your capabilities, you need to provide them with as much evidence as possible in support of that claim.

    In fact, resumes serve as the first impression recruiters get of you, which is why portfolios play such a crucial role. Whether it's a personal project or one that you're particularly proud of, don't be afraid to showcase it in your portfolio.

    You can check out the resume templates and how to build one for software engineers here.

    Step 4: Where and How to Find a Job?

    To start job hunting, you first need to develop a portfolio with two or more polished projects. While it may seem intimidating, capturing a hiring manager's attention with the right resume and skill set is possible.

    Suppose you want to be competitive when you apply for a job. In that case, you should identify your career goals well in advance, get feedback on your cover letter, and tailor your resume specifically for the position you intend to apply for. Consider reaching out to companies directly, attending career fairs, and registering for weekly job alerts so that you do not limit yourself to online searches alone.

    Top Companies Hiring Software Engineers

    companies hiring software engineers

    • Google
    • NVIDIA
    • Apple
    • Microsoft
    • Amazon
    • Meta

    Job Outlook for Software Engineer  

    Do you know how to become a senior software engineer? The job prospects for software engineers are generally good. During 2021-2031, the BLS (Bureau of Labor) projects a 25% nationwide growth for common software engineering jobs, more than three times as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth in the economy, inflation, and technological advancements can all affect software engineers' employability in the coming years.

    Individual preferences also influence career options in terms of industry, concentration, and location. An applicant's competitiveness in the job market can be improved by specializing in an emerging technology area such as blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, or virtual reality.

    Step 5: Ace the Interview

    You got the job interview; now what? The best way to get that interview and, hopefully, land the job is to pat yourself on the back and then examine a few of the most important tips to help you get that interview.

    • Ensure your coding skills are up to date.
    • Preparation for the behavioral questions in the interview.
    • Ensure you are prepared for verbal explanations.

    Who Can Become a Software Engineer?

    How long to become a software engineer does it take? Well, there are some necessary requirements for becoming a software engineer. They are as follows:

    • Earn a Degree in Engineering: A two-year associate degree can probably suffice for a lot of jobs, even though most employers prefer four-year degrees.
    • Gain Necessary Skills: The prospective employer is looking for candidates with verifiable skills relevant to the position. If you feel that continuing education is the most beneficial option for you, or if earning a certification is the most effective option, you can do independent study and research in the field.
    • Gain programming skills by learning a couple of languages one by one, such as Java, Python, C, etc.
    • Take an Internship: It is a valuable opportunity for students still in college to gain real-world experience and knowledge through internships. Internships also provide opportunities to build contacts that can be useful later in your career.

    What’s the Demand for Software Engineers?

    There has been a significant increase in the demand for software engineers for quite some time now, and it does not seem like it will stop anytime soon. By 2028, the employment of software developers is expected to grow by 21%, which is better than the projected growth rate of 5% for all occupations as a whole.

    Salary Details for Top 5 Countries

    The top countries for software engineers are listed below:  

    1. United States - $110,140 
    2. Switzerland - $97,518 
    3. United Kingdom - $55,275 
    4. India - $7,725 
    5. China - $23,790

    Looking to master Python? Discover the best online course for learning Python and unlock your coding potential. Start your journey today!


    So, now you’re finally aware of how to become a software engineer. All you need is to gain relevant skills and acquire certifications to pursue a career in software engineering. However, if you’re someone willing to establish your career as a software engineer, then it can help you if you pursue the KnowledgeHut Software Development and training courses. These are all the essential steps how to get a degree in software engineering.  are all the essential steps how to get a degree in software engineering.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What qualifications do I need to be a software engineer?

    There is a minimum entry-level education requirement for those who want to build a career as a software engineer, typically a Bachelor's degree. In the field of Computer Science or Mathematics, the most common of these types of degrees are awarded in the field of computer software engineering.

    2What to learn to become a software engineer?

    It is recommended that you learn Python, Java, or C first if you are a beginner in the field of software engineering.

    3How do I know if a software engineer career is right for me?

    Software engineers do not require extensive degrees as long as they are qualified, have the necessary knowledge and skills, and have the experience required to be one. It is certainly helpful to have a degree, but it isn't necessary to have one. There are some countries where the term 'engineer' is protected, such as in Canada, so if you want to refer to yourself as an engineer, you need a license to use that word.

    4How long does it take to become a software engineer?

    A Bachelor's degree is usually required to become a software engineer, which is a four-year full-time course. Candidates with a Master's degree might be preferred by some employers, and it usually takes two years to complete a Master's degree.


    Bala Krishna Ragala

    Blog Author

    Bala Krishna Ragala, Head of Engineering at upGrad, is a seasoned writer and captivating storyteller. With a background in EdTech, E-commerce, and LXP, he excels in building B2C and B2B products at scale. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Bala has held key roles as CTO/Co-Founder at O2Labs and Head of Business (Web Technologies) at Zeolearn LLC. His passion for learning, sharing, and teaching is evident through his extensive training and mentoring endeavors, where he has delivered over 80 online and 50+ onsite trainings. Bala's strengths as a trainer lie in his extensive knowledge of software applications, excellent communication skills, and engaging presentation style.

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