There are a lot of programming languages, frameworks and tools out there, with different pros and cons, level of demand and purpose, but this doesn’t mean you need to learn them all in order to become a good Software Engineer.
However, in this fast growing industry, there a some required skills that build the foundation of every good Software Engineer at any time.
Before we dive in, let`s clarify What does a Software Engineer do?
A Software engineer is involved in all the processes related to creating or improving existing applications: from initial planning, designing, coding, testing to deploying stage.
There are 3 types of development areas:
- Front End engineer are focused on creating the experience on the client side. Everything a user sees, clicks, or uses to enter or retrieve information on an application is the work of a front-end engineer.
- Back end engineer create the logic which makes the application to work properly. They focus on the inner workings of web applications, on the code that runs behind the scenes on the web server.
- Full stack engineer work with both: the front and back end of an application.
Regardless of which direction you will choose, there are some fundamental topics you need to master:
1. Basics of Computer Science
Whether you just want to learn more about how Computers and computer programs affects your life, or you’re thinking of going further into the field, the basics of how computers and networks works are extremely important to understand. Things like Memory, CPU, Input & Output, Binary Code etc., are just a few of the building blocks of Computer Science.
An algorithm is defined in the dictionary as “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer”.
Even if it sounds complicated, Algorithms are definitely the most interesting and challenging topic that it’s worth to be explored.
Sorting algorithms (Merge Sort, Quick Sort etc.), searching algorithms (Linear search, Binary search, etc.) and Algorithms Analysis will help you find the most efficient solution to get users the right information, process and sort it properly.
3. Data structures
No matter what problem are you solving, in one way or another you have to deal with data that needs to be stored and managed in an efficient way .
This is where a data structure comes into play. It helps you organize and process the data effectively depending on the problem you are solving, the requirements you have (like time and space usage) and the expected result.
The most commonly used Data Structures you need to understand are :
⦁ Linked Lists
⦁ Hash Tables
4. OOP ( Object Oriented programming )
OOP is a programming paradigm in which programs are organized around objects. This means that you will map real-world entities into objects rather than functions, enforcing reusability, extensibility, maintainability and efficiency.
Beside classes and objects , you also need to have a good understanding of the four principles of object-oriented programming:
Once you`ve mastered the above topics, you can go further and learn some programming languages and tools based on the direction you have chosen.
Front-end developers are responsible for implementing designs and concepts on the web, meaning that the first languages that you should learn are:
⦁ HTML – defines the structure of Web pages.
⦁ CSS – describes how HTML elements should be displayed on the screen (things like the font, the size of your text, the background color or image,etc.) .
Back-end developers build the logic of the application, so they use server-side languages like PHP, Python, Java, C# and others, to build an application, and tools like MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server to find, save, or change the data.
Of course, this is not everything Software Engineering is about. There are a lot more topics you will learn during this adventure, some of them very interesting and exciting while others very boring but useful and efficient.
That`s why this is just a career blueprint inspired from my experience for those who have just started or want to start their journey in the Software Engineering world.
And one last bit of advice :
Don`t stick to a specific language or framework and get genuinely passionate about technology.