Craft Logo

How to become a software engineer

Land the job of your dreams: discover how to get started and gain experience as a software engineer.

Published : March 14, 2023

Author : Tom Norman

A software engineer is a professional who designs, develops, and maintains computer software. They are responsible for the entire software development process, including planning, coding, testing, and deployment, and they’re behind many of the essential apps and programs we use every day.

The number of software engineering jobs continues to increase and can be found across multiple industries and company sizes. With a good salary and rewarding work experience, it’s no wonder it continues to be one of the most popular jobs.

How to become a software engineer:

1. Get your education:

Most employers require a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. Some also prefer a master's degree in computer science.

Another great way to start is by attending a software engineering boot camp. These can last anywhere between a few months to an entire year and typically has a high job placement rate afterward. It offers an alternative to earning a degree while still providing a comprehensive and respected way to get into software engineering.

2. Develop coding skills:

Learning about coding is not enough, you will also need to put them into action and get some practice. It's important to gain experience in popular coding languages like Java, Python, C++, and Ruby. You’ll get some experience from your degree or boot camp, but to truly level up your skills you’ll need to apply them. This could include starting a personal project to practice them or by doing an internship.

3. Gain work experience:

Speaking of internships, they can provide valuable experience in software development and engineering. This also allows for networking opportunities and introduction to industry professionals.

The hands-on experience gained in internships can improve your abilities to work in a team, communicate effectively, and solve complex problems within the industry. The knowledge and skills obtained during internships can also help in the transition from student life to the professional world.

4. Keep learning:

Technology changes quickly and it's important to keep up with new software development trends and tools. To stay ahead of the competition, it is essential to keep up with the latest developments.

One way of doing so is by pursuing certifications. Many leading technology companies offer certification programs that equip professionals with the latest knowledge and skills. These certifications both validate your expertise in a particular technology but also enhance your resume too.

Also, just being open and aware of the latest developments in technology and learning how to apply them can make a big difference when it comes to growing as a software engineer.

5. Build a portfolio:

Once you’ve started gaining experience as a software engineer, it’s important to demonstrate that clearly to potential employers to provide evidence for your experience and to show how much value you can bring to them. As well as professional work and certifications, you can include work done on personal projects, hackathons and competitions too.

Looking for inspiration for your portfolio? We’ve got portfolio templates to help get you started.

6. Apply for Jobs:

Start job hunting after gaining valuable experience through internships and building your portfolio. Applying to entry-level job positions can provide more opportunities to gain experience and learn about the industry in a professional setting.

There’s a huge variety of software engineering jobs available: from large corporations to start-ups; and from healthcare to finance. Many software engineers work remotely, which means you don’t even have to be restricted geographically.


Becoming a software engineer requires dedication and passion for technology. If you have the determination, the right skills and education, and a desire to learn and grow in the field, then you can become a successful software engineer.

It takes hard work, but the rewards are plentiful, including a fulfilling and challenging career, competitive salaries, and the potential to work across numerous sectors.

4m read


Interested?