High salaries, numerous career opportunities, and the option to work remotely are only some of the factors that attract many career starters and changers to the software engineering field.
The good news is that no software engineering career path is the same. You can break into the field the traditional way: attend college, earn a degree, and apply for jobs. Or you can explore nontraditional paths, like attending a coding bootcamp, flying solo, or working at a startup—all in less than a year.
Indeed, many coding bootcamps focus on preparing you for your first tech job. While this is important, learning and understanding how your software engineering career could look five to 10 years from now is vital.
In this guide, we dive into the general phases of a software engineering career. We also sat down with Laura-Ashlee Kotelman who graduated from coding bootcamp Coding Temple and has since built her career as a software engineer.
What Does a Typical Software Engineering Career Path Look Like?
There’s no set career path or trajectory in software engineering. You can work full-time for a company or take on individual projects as a freelancer. If you decide to do the former, here’s what your career path might look like.
Junior Software Engineer
Junior software engineers are entry-level developers responsible for supporting software design and coding in a team. They are expected to contribute to meetings, prepare reports, and improve their coding skills. The average salary of a junior software engineer is $63,943 a year.
Senior Software Engineer
A senior software engineer builds software solutions, studies systems flow and work processes, and follows the software development lifecycle. They also determine the operational feasibility of software by evaluating requirements, proposed solutions, and the development of these solutions. The average salary for this role is $148,097.
Tech Lead/Engineering Manager
A technical lead or engineering manager oversees and leads a software development or engineering team. They also troubleshoot technical issues involving engineering tasks, software development, and product releases. On average, a tech lead or engineering manager makes between $128,912 and $158,796.
Chief Technology Officer
The Chief Technology Officer or CTO oversees an organization’s technological needs and research and development (R&D). They also look at the organization’s short- and long-term tech needs and serve as the company’s highest technology executive. The average salary for this position is $245,058 to $305,027.
As mentioned above, you can also explore opportunities outside the corporate or startup career ladder and fly solo as a freelancer or contractor. A freelance software engineer can be a backend, front-end, or full-stack web developer. Some freelancers work with other developers or graphic designers.
So, how can you start your career in software engineering, you ask? Your first step is enrolling in Coding Temple, a coding bootcamp offering immersive software engineering and data science courses.
Coding Temple can help launch your new Software Engineering Career, no matter your background.Learn how here.
How to Become a Software Engineer with Coding Temple
Coding Temple offers its Software Engineering course designed to prepare you for a career in the field in as little as 10 weeks. You can take the program full time, part time, or at your pace. Whichever format you choose, you will be able to access the program’s comprehensive full-stack curriculum.
Coding Temple’s Software Engineering course consists of seven modules that will take you from beginner level to job-ready in weeks. To get to this level, expect to build software engineering projects designed to put your skills to practice and instill real-world experience.
If you are still on the fence about Coding Temple’s training program, that’s totally understandable. After all, it’s always better to hear from students who actually went through the bootcamp. That’s why we sat down with one of their alumni, Laura-Ashlee Kotelman, who started her software engineering journey at Coding Temple.
Meet the Alum: Laura-Ashlee Kotelman, From Teacher to Software Engineer
After graduating with a degree in education, Kotelman immediately began working as a middle school teacher at a charter school. But like others, she was forced to teach online when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. When the situation got better, Kotelman returned to in-person lessons. Yet, Kotelman says, something in her had shifted.
“Nothing about education fundamentally changed…Consistent and constant emotional labor is still thrust on the teachers. Education is an industry where we’re expected to solve a lot of social problems through children that we only have a certain amount of control over their upbringing,” shares Kotelman.
She underwent a lot of pressure and emotional labor while teaching, which made her realize she needed a change. Her husband, a software engineer, suggested that she switch careers and enter software engineering, which generally offers a better work-life balance.
Kotelman found Coding Temple, where she learned essential skills to break into the field. Describing her initial days in the coding bootcamp, she says they were told the program would differ from traditional classes. “Their teaching approach was [more like], ‘We’re going to show you this stack. Watch, follow along, and then you’ll do it yourself,’” Kotelman says.
This approach pushed Kotelman to pay closer attention to instructors, learn how to manage everything she learned, and combine them into a consistent workflow – skills she now applies to her new job as a Web Graphics Developer at Gateway Ticketing Systems.
In her advice to aspiring Coding Temple students, Kotelman says, “Code along. Do it even if you don’t understand every single piece the instructor does. If you have to, ask to slow down the code along. It makes a big difference.”
She also advises students to speak up in class.”Those paraphrasing questions where you try to reiterate what you think [the instructors] are saying will help crazy amounts with your understanding.”
Launch Your Software Engineering Career Today
Coding Temple builds the fundamental skills to break into tech. Kotelman is just one example of how Coding Temple’s Software Engineering course can help anyone launch their software engineering career.
If you’re interested in learning more about Coding Temple, give them a call today.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.