5 Tips for Aspiring Software Engineers

Actionable tips for aspiring software engineers, from choosing what to study to acing your first interview.

Are you considering a career in software development? The field of software engineering is very diverse, and there are many different areas of focus you may want to study. Navigating the best course of action as you begin to consider courses to take and areas of software engineering to study can be daunting. One of the lead software engineers at Enola Labs, Marty Burolla, provided some of his best tips (tips one through four) for aspiring software engineers like yourself as you begin this process. We also had our Operations Team Lead, Sean Killian, weigh in for the last tip with advice for that first professional interview of your software engineering career.

Tip #1: Focus on One Particular Area of Study

The software industry is huge and it continues to grow every year.  You might have a burning desire to jump right in and learn everything you can, but it is important to recognize that even the simplest of apps can be extremely complicated with many layers of code under the hood.  In general, application development can be split into two areas — frontend and backend development. The domain knowledge in these two areas is huge, and it’s rare to find somebody that knows both of these areas extremely well.  Figure out what which area interests you the most, and concentrate on mastering that area. This may mean taking a couple of classes in both frontend and backend development to determine which area you can see yourself having a career in.

Tip #2: Always Keep Learning

Whether you are about to start your first software development class, are preparing to enter the job market, or have had a career spanning thirty years, it is so important to always keep learning. As you focus on mastering your specific skill set, you should also dabble in new frameworks, technologies and anything related to your field.  The software industry can be extremely volatile, and new projects can come and go very quickly. Don’t be surprised if you have to completely retool your skill set to match the current demands of the job market in your area. Having experience and interests outside of your master skill set can help you stay employed and marketable for new opportunities.

Tip #3: Understand the Code

Don’t be afraid to look at somebody else’s code and try to understand it.  If you find yourself on a project with senior talent, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of it!  Don’t be afraid to ask your peers about something you don’t understand in their code. Take the time to break things down and fully understand every construct and keyword.  In these instances, slow and steady wins the race and will make you a stronger engineer.

Tip #4: Communication is Key

By nature, software people and engineers tend to be a bit more on the introverted side.  Not to lump all engineers into one group, but many of us can forget what it’s like to interact with other people after staring at code all day.  Make sure the emails and texts you send are simple, clear and concise. One time I received an email from a developer that was written so poorly, I could not determine if he was asking me a question or making a statement.  Simple and timely communication can make working on a project feel smooth, and will ultimately help your career in the long run.

Tip #5: Make Each Job Interview a Learning Opportunity

Whether you are in your first interview for a software developer position, or you have had a long career and are ready for something new, it is important not to treat each job interview as a learning experience. Sean Killian, our Team Operation Lead, believes candidates should not shy away from asking the recruiter or interviewer what hesitations they might have in offering you a role at the company. This will help you either clear the air regarding certain hesitations and misunderstandings the employer has, or it will help you determine where you need to strengthen your skills — which may be engineering or communication focused.

Alexandra Bohigian is a Marketing Coordinator for Enola Labs and contributed this content for Coding Dojo. For more information on Coding Dojo courses, and to apply for an upcoming program, please visit codingdojo.com

dojo guide

Looking for a Career in Web Development?

Read our quick-start guide to becoming a Developer

  • Includes exclusive insight from a seasoned Web Developer
  • Uncovers the top career misconceptions holding you back
  • Highlights the must-have qualities all employers require
  • 89,615 downloads to date

25 thoughts on “5 Tips for Aspiring Software Engineers

  1. Useful post, Thanks for sharing this 5 valuable tips. It is informative and will surely be helpful. As per my personal experience in a software development company in London. I must say, Your post will be very beneficial for Aspiring as well as experienced developers and freelancers who want to enhance their developing skills in today’s digital era.

  2. This is some really good information about online security for a small business. It seems like it would be smart to have a professional who understands code help you out with security.

  3. Great tips for all software engineer especially tip 5. Going to share them with all friends. Thanks.

  4. Nice blog. I would like to share it with my friends. I hope you will continue your works like this. Keep up the excellent work. You have a magical talent of holding readers mind. It is something special which can be given to everyone.

  5. A software engineer a person who can applies for the Desighn,devoloping ,maintaing,testing and evalution of software .he must know system programming language like C,C++,Java..etc for Desighn,devolping and maintaining software backend programme

  6. Easy to understand the information given in this article about Tips for Aspiring Software Engineers.

  7. I am reading your blog. I was looking for a blog that would help me. Found your blog on google And I got really good tips from your blog which is important to me. I am happy with your blog. Thanks!

  8. some of the information that are provided in this article about software Engineering are very useful to me.Easy to read and Easy to understand the details given in that article.

  9. This is very much important that the user is getting the best 5 tips which are going to follow for the future of the aspiring engineers of the softwarewindows technical support who know it very well the software part.

  10. Excellent and helpful post. I am so glad to left comment on this. This has been so interesting ..I appreciate your effort.

  11. Congs! for sharing with me what about software engineering. Am a Computer science ordinary honours diploma holder from Makerere University Business School aspiring to develop my profession in software engineering.

  12. Congs for sharing with me what about software engineering.Am a Computer science ordinary honours diploma holder from Makerere University Business School aspiring to develop my professsion in software engineering.

  13. I didn’t realize that there are backend and frontend part of software engineering. It is good to know that it would be smart to know if you are trying got be an engineer or if you need to hire one. After all, it does seem like it would be smart to understand that process.

  14. I’m in complete agreement with a lot of the information in the following paragraphs. You certainly are a special article writer have real profit put your own views directly into apparent phrases. Anyone will be able to understand why.

  15. Nice blog. I would like to share it with my friends. I hope you will continue your works like this. Keep up the excellent work. You have a magical talent of holding readers mind. It is something special which cant be given to everyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *