Parallel | The 411 on Becoming a Software Engineer

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March 21st 2023

The 411 on Becoming a Software Engineer

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Let’s talk Software Engineering. Aside from the snippets of “super smart people who should be considered essential workers in Marvel movies” – what’s the reality behind a career in software engineering? This week on Parallel we’re deep diving into what a typical Software Engineer does during their 9 to 5, what education is required to get there, what salary you should be expecting, and what companies are currently on the hunt for… you guessed it: a Software Engineer.

What does a software engineer do?

The simple answer? A software engineer is someone who finds a problem within a system, figures out what went wrong and then fixes it using code.

Luckily for Software Engineer’s – pretty much every industry needs one on their team. So long as there is a microprocessor in a system, an engineer is needed. Think: phones, cars, TVs, websites... everything that works with technology needs a software engineer around. Because if we know anything about technology, it is it’s tendency to malfunction (dramatically at times).

Fun fact: here at Parallel our Software Engineers, Adim and Precious, work directly with one of our founders, Usman, to ensure that there are no glitches on our platform. Consider them a crucial cog in our machine to ensure we carry out our company goals while continuing to provide a painless way of applying for jobs.

A Day in the Life Of A Software Engineer

Software Engineering is alot of being computer screen champions with hours spent writing code. Though there are some other duties you should expect to be responsible for! Think:

  • Understanding industry trends to help develop new technologies

  • Coordinating with project management, software architects, and other engineering teams to determine overall system solutions

  • Working with the company’s clients to understand their pain point and how you can help solve them

  • Analyzing, designing, testing and developing software to meet company and/or client requirements

Want a proper peak inside a day in the life of a Software Engineer? NYC based Dima Osadchy spills on what his 9 to 5 as a Software Engineer at Spotify looks like here!

This Career Is for You If:
  • You love true crime and solving problems

  • You want to be in the tech industry and be in your bag

  • You want a remote job that allows for flexibility

  • You don't mind having multiple meetings every day

  • You don't mind working long hours and possibly weekends too

  • You love working solo while simultaneously helping the team

Education Requirements

If you already have a Computer Science or an Engineering degree, then you are all set! Don’t have a degree? No stress; you actually do not need a degree to get into Software Engineering – just some formal training.

Coding bootcamps like Springboard and Codesmith are brilliant alternatives to a college degree. Supercharge your education and become a software engineer in 6 months, while skipping the whole “being up to your eyeballs in student debt”. I mean, why not?!

Sure, these bootcamps may not offer the same in-depth education and support that you would get from attaining a college degree, but the ability to learn at your own pace, often remotely, can be a game-changer… and don’t forget to network! Building connections is a surefire way to open the doors to the inner world of coding.

Let’s Talk Money

According to Indeed, the average salary for Software Engineers in the US is $119k. Yeah, we choked on our coffees too. The AVERAGE salary being more than 6 figures!? BRB we’re signing up to bootcamps right now.

Though newbies – at entry level you should expect around $74k, whether your freelancing, contracting or working in a companies HQ.

According To A Software Engineer

We asked one of our Software Engineers at Parallel, Adim Victor, what has been the biggest struggle for them in their career and how they have managed to overcome it (if they have).

My biggest struggle has been managing the uncertainty and complexity that arises from changes in business and technical requirements of software and adapting software to meet these new requirements. Have I overcome this? I can’t really say ‘100% Yes’, but I certainly have gotten a little better at this over the years because I’ve built intuition from experience.”

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