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How can I become a software engineer?

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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Frank,

I agree with Chad's answer, and I wanted to talk to his answer a little bit more.

As Chad stated, being a software engineer is all about knowing how to solve a problem and communicating that solution to the computer (code) and humans (documentation). At the base of it, that's all that's required.

I would advise you to try the things that Chad laid out (though for beginner languages, I'd personally recommend HTML, Ruby, and Python) and see if you enjoy coding. If you find that you do, I'd also recommend solving bigger and bigger problems to add to the complexity of your code. You can also gain coding experience by adding to your favorite open source projects (even if it's just documentation).

Lastly, if you find that you love coding, then you can get a career in that field either by building enough experience through what I suggested above. Most people though, go to college and get a bachelors degree in computer science (not a hard requirement though, at my company we have a Principal Engineer who does not have a computer science degree... though all the other Principal Engineers do).

Wish you the best Frank!

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Dexter
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Chad’s Answer

There are many aspects to software engineering.
- Breaking a problem down into small chunks you can solve
- Writing code that is easy to read (because your teammates need to understand what you wrote)
- Choosing the right libraries/plugins and understanding the pros and cons of each
- Getting comfortable with tools and IDEs
- A Code Versioning System (like git) because keeping a history of changes is imperative

To get started, look for a small project like a TODO project, or a Code Kata. Then pick a language and IDE. Try these languages out:
- Javascript
- Python
- Go

Try these IDEs:
- Visual Studio Code
- Anything from JetBrains
- Eclipse

Mix things up so you don't get stuck in a single domain.

Chad recommends the following next steps:

Find a Code Kata or TODO project to practice on
Try a language and IDE to write your code on
Make it readable and testable so you can explain it to others
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Rebecca’s Answer

Hi, to be software engineer, you would usually take the Computer Science as your major in the college. You may explore which universities having high ranking in Computer Science and their admission requirement. You can then prepare and make the application for the admission.
At the same time, you can also explore any intern opportunities on software engineer so that you can acquire an better understanding how the career really works.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Brayden’s Answer

Hello!

There are many ways to be a software engineer with one of the easiest ways is obtaining a degree in computer science or specifically software engineering. Both with give you the needed tools to go into computer electronics realm and make it easier to find a job. Both Chad and Dexter laid some great initials systems to become comfortable with in order to ensure that software engineering is something you truly want to get into. I think systems like python, matlab, and arduino are great systems to being learning basic coding and to become comfortable with the syntax and basic system function. From the little experience I have in the field, there are typically many ways to solve a problem but a good software engineer with apply the method that allows the greatest flexibility of the application which is a major advantage in coding. Not only does it allow you the flexibility to change things as a project progresses but it also allows you to explain to others what is happening while still keeping things simple.

I think going into the CS or software engineering realm is smart and in high demand so you will find no problem finding work. Good luck!
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Mark’s Answer

Hi Frank!

For starters, talk to your high school counselors .

Some skills and traits you should have:
Understanding of current technology
Attention to detail
Team player
Creative
Problem solving

Once you graduate high school, you are going to want to get a bachelor’s degree at the very least in software engineering. After a four year degree, many recommend pursuing a Professional Engineer (PE) credential. From there you might also consider a master’s degree in software engineering.

Hope this helps!!
Mark
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