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How competitive is it to enter a software engineering job?

I am wondering how competitive it is to get a job as a software engineer i n America, as I have heard how competitive it is, but don't know the scale of it.

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Vaidehi’s Answer

If you are looking for a path into Software industry, I would suggest working on a career path and take one step at a time to reach to your end goal. For example: try to get internships/part time jobs in the area of technology you would like to work in. Look at other job postings and see what you are lacking at work towards those. Keep learning those skill that are in demand of your desired position. Many free tutorials on youtube and freecodecamp. The first one or two jobs may not be exactly what you aimed for, but try to see if you can slowly move into the area you wished for. For example, a lot of UX designers learn coding while they are working and become front end developers and so on. Those job interviews always make you feel that you are not good enough compared to other candidates but patience and dedication can get you what you dream of. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon This is great advice but can you share a little bit about how difficult it is to find a job in this industry? Gurpreet Lally, Admin
Thank you comment icon It is not difficult to find a job in this industry if you have the skills that are in demand. You just have to keep up with the technology. As I have said in my response earlier, moving towards the skills you need for your area where you want to apply in, can get you into the door. Go to tech conferences and career fairs. Many companies are looking for talented people and networking is the best way to get a job. It's all about strategies. If you are applying all online, it'a okay but sometime asking people in your network on linkedin or in your circle is also important. It is okay to apply even if you do not have the full list of skills. Many hiring managers are looking for attitude if you are willing to learn and grow even if you have just couple of skills mentioned. Vaidehi Dave
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Ashley’s Answer

I used to support Tech Recruiters and saw that it can be competitive simply because there are so many jobs and companies looking for this out there. The important thing is to brush up on your soft skills, as many aren't as great interviewees and can communicate their experience effectively. Also, you'll have to ask many professionals what are the coding languages most companies use because I noticed a trend of people lacking in fundamentals and that's exactly what the company was looking for.
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Len’s Answer

Daniel - The only thing I would like to add is, while there are many people seeking software engineering jobs, but great news there are more job openings then quality candidates. If this is an interest, work hard and become the best you can be, I guarantee you will be able to find plenty of work.

Best of luck!

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Stuart’s Answer

Nicole and Ashely hit on many great points. I agree that the field is competitive but good people find jobs. As a leader of a software team, I look for different things based on the level of experience. Based on your question, I will assume you are looking for your first software engineering job. They way I handle things is basically:
1. I do a phone call or zoom call (a lot of interviews are virtual). During this call, I usually take 1 or 2 things on your resume and discuss them with you. The purpose it to see communication skills, get a gauge on technical skill levels. For entry level or recent college graduates, there usually isn't a lot of practical experience, but that doesn't matter to much. If you cannot discuss items on your resume in a way that I can understand, that would be a negative.
2. If I feel you are a good candidate, that is when my team does a more detailed tech interview
3, Part of the interview process is also checking your personality. Some teams work as individuals, some as groups. Teams will want to understand this

You also need to understand what you want to do in software engineering. Coding in C++/ Java/ etc? Coding in scripting type languages? Focus on OS level things, etc

I am pointing out that communication is a big deal. Smart people that understand technology can pick up programming languates
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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Daniel. Thanks so much for this great and forward-thinking question!

I totally agree with the previous response. What I will add to that response is a bit of a twist. In many ways, in the case of software engineering jobs, the competition is for talent to FILL software engineering roles. In other words, the competition is more about getting software engineers than it is about software engineers trying to find jobs. And getting GOOD software engineers (which can absolutely happen over years of digging in and doing the work to keep your skills fresh and relevant)...getting good software engineers..well there is even more competition there.

I graduated with an engineering degree many, many years ago. I did not graduate with a software engineering degree but I did make the decision to 1)Take some coding classes when I was in college and 2)Continue to practice writing, using and implementing code wherever I can. I am only about 2years old in Python :) but I work on building that skillset as much as I can. I mention this as an example of ways that software engineers can become good software engineers and thus be able to compete for good jobs and create sustainable careers for themselves.

I do hope you find this response helpful. Best of luck to you!
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