The software engineering industry is developing extremely quickly, as is technology. It can be intimidating trying to get into this industry, but it is important to remember that everyone has to start from somewhere; even your popular casino software developers had to start from the bottom and work their way up. From creating mobile games to creating AI such as Amazon’s Alexa – the software engineering industry is ever-growing, and it isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Experience may be one of the most important things you will need to start your journey into the software engineering industry. Some fantastic ways to initially gain experience are through some boot camps – specifically those focused on coding. These will allow you to develop fundamental skills as well as get an understanding of what programming skills may be expected of you. These are best suited for those who are slowly getting into the industry.
They are not as long as your typical degree program and can often be completed in your own time. There are also many boot camp programs out there that are completely free or do not include an upfront cost. You are going to have to work quite hard with these boot camps – this means revisiting the tasks and dedicating enough time where you can perfect your skills. They allow you to help build your portfolio – keep reading for some tips on creating a perfect portfolio.
Expanding your outreach is extremely important, especially as a newcomer to the industry. The best way to get insight is by talking to those that are already working at the types of jobs you may be interested in. Networking with individuals in companies that you are interested in applying for is very useful – you will be able to ask about any available positions as well as come to a conclusion on whether you think the company will be the right fit for you. Networking will allow you to have many contacts at your fingertips, and you can contact them when you need some advice. The best way to start networking is to attend job fares.
As much as boot camps and building your portfolio may help, you will also need some sort of certificate. It is all good and well saying you know how to code in Python, but it is a lot more credible having a certificate to show as proof. When applying for high-level positions, having several certificates to vouch for your experience with different languages or show your involvement with courses, will allow you to come across as a serious and capable candidate.
There are several you may wish to add to your portfolio, and also many institutions where you can complete courses to receive your certificate. For example, both Microsoft and Amazon allow you to receive a certificate after completing an exam – it should be noted that these are not free.
The best thing to do when you are starting your journey into the world of software engineering is to choose a programming language to become proficient in. There are several languages to choose from, and you might find yourself lost for choice.
Some of the most commonly used languages include HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) – which is often used when formatting and changing the appearance of web pages, Java – which is an extremely common language that is a good option if you are interested in back end development, and Python – another super common language that is also quite easy for beginners to learn, it is also a highly sought after language by many recruiters.
A portfolio shows employers how skilled you are. It is your chance to show that you are the best candidate a recruiter will find. It is important that there is some versatility in your portfolio; instead of working on similar projects, you should try to showcase your skill by working on many different projects. If you are looking for more variety, you could look into game design and inventing a tool that allows you to encrypt messages.
Something related to AI, such as a chatbot, would also be impressive. Your portfolio should almost be telling a prospective employer a story, it should clearly show how you have developed and improved from your first piece to your last.