Recently, UMATR was looking for new talent at one of the Job fair exhibitions in London. Although we met a lot of potential recruiters, we also met a lot of aspiring software engineers.
“How do I get started as a software engineer?” “How do I get a job as a software engineer?” were few questions we got asked frequently. Since we’re recruiters, I guess we can't give you first-hand advice on how to start in software engineering.
We spoke to several software engineers, and asked them what people can do to get started and share any advice - here’s what they had to say:
📢 “Start where you like what you do. If you like programming - go for it. If you like soldering - go for that. Don't try to catch anything which is not your style. If you decide what to do, follow your learning style. Maybe you like learning on your own, then do so and try out things. Maybe you like learning together with others, check out courses and classes or meetups. The important thing is not what to do but to start in the first place. After trying out things you will definitely be able to judge which course, class, talk, conference or whatever will help you going on.”
📢 “There are so many courses and learning materials right now that if anyone is interested in tech, they have unlimited resources to use. I would say, choose any course that matches with your learning style.”
📢 “Meetups and conferences. For women, Women in Tech is a great conference to attend. There are also many groups where women looking for mentorship can turn. I've also found success in simply reaching out to people in fields you admire and asking for advice. In terms of courses, I think it's important to figure out what you actually enjoy doing and learn more in that field. To work in tech does not only mean you need to be a software engineer who codes, although if this is your passion that's great! You can also work in sales, marketing, product, ux, or other disciplines and be extremely impactful.”
📢 “Ensure you start from the basics of Computer science: data types and structures, algorithms, databases, etc. There are a lot of different courses on Coursera, Udemy, etc. Similarly, it’s worth trying bootcamp or software engineering courses (which have a program “from beginning” if it’s necessary).
But most importantly…practice! More practice. Do code, solve problems (leetcode, hackerrank), design databases and systems. Do own pet projects.”
📢 “I would say, just start coding. It is currently easier to get access to any video, course or any topic. We just need curiosity, patience, and discipline.”
📢 “I think a good start it’s looking for communities, e.g. for women - Women in tech ones, not because we need to be in a bubble, but because it’s easier to be surrounded by people that understand and support us. Once there, give it a try to different things, you’re going to start discovering if you’re more like a backend vibe, frontend, or DevOps. You can always tailor your talent to a different area. Look for free courses/conferences, if you don’t have access to formal education, you can learn a loooot on your own. However, I know from my country's reality that it’s not that easy for everyone to get access to this virtual content and I hope it stops being a barrier at some point.”