Have you ever wondered what job would come out on top if you consider salary, job market health, future job prospects, stress level, and work-life balance? Well, it turns out software engineers and developers sit at the top of the list, according to data from the US News 100 Best Jobs Rankings in 2023.
Don’t believe us? Here’s how a software engineering job measures against these factors:
- Salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software developers earned a median salary of $120,730 in May 2021. That’s more than double the national median salary of $51,792, which was recorded in the same period.
- Job market. The demand for software engineers remains at an all-time high as organizations increasingly rely on software, whether for sales and marketing, communications, supply chain, project management, or accounting.
- Job prospects. This demand will continue to reflect in the foreseeable future as BLS predicts a 26-percent growth in employment for software developers from 2021 to 2031 – much faster than the national average at only 5 percent.
- Stress level. While a career in software engineering comes with challenges – tight deadlines, complex software projects, and production crashes – the work can still be rewarding for many. This is especially true if you enjoy problem-solving and find fulfillment in crafting innovative solutions in a high-pressure environment.
- Work-life balance. Software engineering is possibly one of the most flexible jobs out there. All you need is a computer and a good Internet connection, and you’re all set. Many software engineers also enjoy a degree of freedom when it comes to their working hours; even more so for independent software engineers who can set their own work schedules.
So, how do you get into the best job in 2023? First, you’ll need to build the skills to do the job. Read on as we guide you through the skills that hiring managers look for in entry-level software engineers and where to learn them!
Flatiron School offers a Software Engineering Bootcamp designed to help beginners and career shifters prepare for software development roles in less than a year.Try its free coding prep online!
Top Software Engineering Skills You Must Have in 2023
Software engineering, as with any other sector in the tech industry, is constantly changing, which means that the skills you’ll need to remain relevant will continue to change as well. That said, there are core skills that you should build when starting your career. And who better to discuss these than a software engineer themself?
We sat down with Oli Treadwell, a lead instructor at Flatiron School’s Software Engineering Bootcamp, to learn more about the top software engineering skills you would need to launch your career.
Treadwell attended a coding bootcamp in 2014 and has worked in software engineering since then. He has been teaching at Flatiron School for the past six months and enjoys working with students and fellow instructors.
Sharing his thoughts on the essential skills for a successful software engineering career, Treadwell says one of the first ones is awareness of the latest technology. “Learners must keep an eye and be aware of the future. This should be done with the warning that it [new tech] may not become as important as you think,” says Treadwell, adding that software engineering will always have a new product or new technology, such as AI or the currently popular ChatGPT.
That said, Treadwell advises that one should always maintain a balance between learning new tech and having a strong foundation in software engineering fundamentals. “Ask yourself, ‘What skills will continue to be used?” In other words, what are the fundamental skills that everyone still actively needs today and will need in the future? For instance, software engineers must always be well-versed in are Python, Java, and HTML.
Lastly, Treadwell emphasizes the importance of having soft skills. Many obstacles software engineers face relate to collaboration and communication – two areas that are pertinent for software engineers to succeed in the workplace. His advice: improve your working methods with team members, communicate effectively and empathetically, ask good questions, and write well.
Where Can I Learn These Skills?
While a degree in software engineering or computer science was previously considered the only way to become a software engineer, this has changed as coding bootcamps have soared in popularity over the years.
Flatiron School offers a Software Engineering Bootcamp that teaches learners software engineering fundamentals and helps them become job-ready in as little as 15 weeks. The bootcamp uses different methods to ensure you absorb the material in a short period, so expect rigorous training.
Treadwell notes that you must be prepared to read various resources, accomplish regular assignments, complete different labs, as well as pass tests designed to help instructors assess your progress and troubleshoot when necessary. The course also includes lecture workshops that cover specific subjects in need of more in-depth discussions. Code-along activities, which involve breakout rooms where you can discuss a certain topic with your peers, and one-on-one conversations with instructors or mentors are also part of the course.
At Flatiron School, you come out of the program as a well-rounded software engineer. Its curriculum covers five modules. The first two modules focus on front end development, while the other two cover backend development. The curriculum eventually culminates in a capstone project, where your overall mastery in full-stack development is evaluated as you build an application from scratch.
As you near graduation, Flatiron School conducts activities to prepare you for the job search process. “The Career Services team is excellent,” asserts Treadwell. “They teach you how to network and navigate the job search through regular check-ins to make sure you have the essential skills to land jobs.” A key component of the job search is building your project portfolio, ready to be showcased to prospective employers.
Top Tips to Survive Flatiron School’s Coding Bootcamp
Treadwell stresses that anyone can become a software engineer, but it would take a lot of effort, time, and repetition. Here are a few valuable tips on how to succeed in Flatiron School coding bootcamp:
- Complete Flatiron School’s software engineering prep course. If you have zero coding experience, Flatiron School offers free coding lessons can help you build foundational coding skills before jumping into the immersive coding program. The prep course also offers a glimpse into what it’s like to learn at the bootcamp.
- Prioritize your mental and physical health. As mentioned, the Software Engineering bootcamp is an intense skill training experience. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your health. Always get good sleep, stay hydrated, take deep breaths, and take a break whenever you feel anxious.
- Connect with people like you. Build relationships with your cohort-mates to overcome loneliness or frustration, which is common, especially if you spend hours in front of your screen.
- Self-reliance and grit play key roles in your coding bootcamp success.
Treadwell shares that attending a software engineering bootcamp doesn’t necessarily mean a student will land a software engineering role – and that isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, graduates might realize they would rather not sit and write code all day long, though this does not mean they can’t work in tech.
“Maybe you want to be a product manager, a QA tester, do user research, or UX design,” says Treadwell. “Software engineering can exist in many places, too. It can be Facebook, a non-profit, or the city government.” What’s important is to learn the technical and soft skills, and apply these vital skills to any path they take in your professional career.
Ready to take the first step? Learn more about the Software Engineering classroom experience at Flatiron School 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.