How to Become a Software Engineer in Australia
A Software Engineer develops complex software solutions. They analyse the needs of end-users and then design, develop, maintain, test and evaluate computer software. As software tends to be made up of complex, comprehensive and structurally-complex engineering tasks, these solutions are most commonly developed by teams. For a Software Engineer, it is crucial that careful planning is conducted - both when it comes to the creation of an end-solution and when it comes to the long-term maintenance of it. All existing software solutions, including operating systems, programmes, games and applications, are built by these computer science professionals.
Software Engineers have a deep knowledge of programming languages, principles of engineering, design and project management. They use these skills to come up with and create processes and tasks, which make up the basis of more complex software solutions, applications, programmes and systems.
Do you like working on complex projects, testing and probing to see what works and what doesn’t? Are you detail-oriented and dedicated to the end-game? If so, the career of a Software Engineer just might be for you! Here’s an easy guide to help get you there.
Step 1: Get a Bachelor in IT
Due to the complexity of tasks you will be faced with, a large majority of positions available for the position of Software Engineer require a Bachelor degree. It would be preferable to study something more general, like Information Technology or Computer Science. However, since software engineering is usually done in teams, there is always a need for good designers, front-end or back-end developers. Whatever your study path is, ensure that you are provided with enough theoretical knowledge and practical skills to face up some programming challenges.
Step 2: Get Some Practice In
Try your hand at different things - you can do this while still in school or after you’ve graduated. Join some Hackathons (events where you can test your speed, creativity and skills) or conduct independent research to see what your community is lacking. Once you’ve come up with viable information on the problem areas, try your hand at building a comprehensive software solution to meet those needs. If your city doesn’t have an app showcasing all upcoming cultural events - someone should get on that, right? The possibilities are endless.
Step 3: Get an Internship
One of the foolproof ways to get noticed by a specific company is to intern with them. Look up internship opportunities in your area - sometimes, these are even available for students during the breaks. Not only will this enable you to buff up your CV, build your skills and network of contacts, but it will also increase your chances in staying with that company. Most firms use internships as a way of scouting for new talent - and that’s your cue!
Step 4: Get a Job
Use the network of contacts you’ve built up and score an interview. Or apply for jobs in the area, offering your CV and achievements as proof you’ll fit in. Most interviews for IT-related positions will consist of two segments - the personal interview and the technical skills test. For the former, you will need to show that you embody the values of the company and that you’ll be a great part of the team. For the later, you will probably be asked about your competencies and might be required to build a software solution as a test. Be sure to prepare for both!
Step 4: Don’t Get Settled In
No matter how long you are in a company, how much you enjoy the team or how good you are at what you know - always continue learning. IT is a branch that is forever-changing, so you would be wise to stay ahead of the competition. Attend conferences, seminars and events. Organise Hackathons, projects and oversee internships. Be sure to continue building your skills and you will never go jobless, or bored for that matter.
What Does a Software Engineer Do?
A Software Engineer analyses the needs of the end-users, both in connection to existing and new software. Afterwards, they apply engineering and computer science principles to alter existing software solutions or create new ones. They develop, test, evaluate and maintain software, including applications, programmes, games and systems. Additionally, they need to keep in mind the long-term development of the software, as well as its maintenance and the possibilities of building it up via updates or patches.
- Carrying out analysis and evaluations
- Designing computer software components
- Creating comprehensive software solutions
- Testing the efficiency of generated solutions
- Maintaining and analysing existing solutions
- Performing regular updates
- Generating patches as fit
- Working in a development team
Skills for Success
- Collaboration and communication
- Technical knowledge and skills
- Knowledge of principles of engineering
- Ability to code in several languages
- Openness to feedback
- Solution-oriented approach
- Time and project management
- Dedication, passion and motivation
- Visualisation ability
- Flexibility and willingness to learn
- Great analytical and problem-solving skills