How to become a software engineer

What I did to become a software engineer?

I am 27 years old and I am eager to share my journey as a software engineer. It will give a basic idea of how to become a software engineer.

I started programming when I was in the 6th grade and the programming language was BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). I had very little understanding of computers at that time and I was also not interested much. My perspective towards computers changed when my father brought a computer at home when I was in the 8th grade. 

The machine has slowly piqued my curiosity about the software installed in it and how they work. We had a very basic course of HTML in our syllabus and that was when I started understanding the websites. 

I began to code in HTML and I became very good at it. As a beginner, this was my very first step into the world of programming. I didn’t know CSS or Javascript back then, and I just used HTML (a very basic one) :). 

In our 10th grade, we had to write the HTML code of a website in exams by just seeing one screenshot and that constitutes 10 marks and I considered myself very good at that. In my 10th board exams, I got the best marks (out of all other subjects) in computers.

I decided to enroll myself in a diploma course in computer science so that I can fully concentrate on learning programming. I talked to my parents after the 10th board results and got myself admitted into a polytechnic college in Bengaluru, India. It was a 3 years course and I learned the basics of programming along with the languages like C, C++, Java, VB.Net, HTML, SQL, etc.

I was not fully satisfied with the knowledge I earned during the course and decided to pursue computer science engineering after the diploma course completion. My parents did not have any knowledge about this domain so I researched a little bit and chose a few reputed engineering colleges in India which conduct entrance exams for lateral entry students. I came to know about this later that diploma graduates cannot attend IIT-JEE. I gave the respective entrance tests and got myself admitted into a reputed college in Karnataka, India. 

In college, there was a good competitive environment which I was seeking for. I learned a lot from my batchmates and a few of them were really amazing coders. At this time, I started programming a lot and tried to solve many programming problems, this practice helped me a lot to grow as a programmer. After the 6th sem exams, I got an internship opportunity for 2 months at HCL technologies and there I pursued my school days hobby of developing web applications. Yes, this time it was not a basic static website but a fully-fledged web application. I loved doing it and started learning web development seriously.

In the 7th sem, I learned javascript, CSS, HTML(Advanced version), .NET, etc, and got an internship in an early-stage startup for my 8th sem project. I worked there for 6 months as an intern. I developed a very interesting web application for them. During the tenure, I learned a few more web technologies like jQuery, Bootstrap, etc. I also started learning server-side languages like PHP, databases like MySql, and also learned the process of hosting websites on the server. The tenure ended and I received a lot of appreciation for my work from the senior team members. My confidence got boosted.

I returned back to my college for the final sem presentation. Meanwhile, I was also applying to early-stage startups in Bangalore and fortunately, I got a call from a product-based startup within a week and I joined there as a Full-stack developer. This all happened before my final results were out. My final sem results were out after a month of joining. I consider myself lucky in this case as people get their joining after the results.

This is my 7th year as a professional software engineer and my major domain is front-end development. I worked on languages like Javascript, HTML, frameworks like Angular, VueJs, and libraries like jQuery and React. Apart from these front-end technologies, I have also worked on backend technologies like PHP and its frameworks(like SLIM, CodeIgniter, Zend framework, and Laravel), JS technologies like NodeJs, and databases like MySql, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB.

I have started my professional journey from a very early stage startup and later I worked in MNCs like GE. Currently, I am working as a senior software engineer in a well-settled US-based organization.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in software engineering or if you are an engineering undergraduate (especially from tier 2,3 colleges in India), my advice would be to start programming today. Step by step, start with the Hello World program in whatever language you want and work your way up. You can start with languages like C or Java or Python. Slowly you would be able to figure out the domain in which you want to make a career. You can learn from Youtube, GeeksForGeeks, CodeChef,  leetcode, etc. 

One more thing I would like to add, programmers generally don’t focus on Data structures and Algorithms and that’s the biggest mistake a programmer could make. Never underestimate DSA. It’s the most important thing in programming.

You really don’t need to rely on your college lecturers. If you are willing to do it then just do it, find your way. There are many free resources available on the internet. If you need help then reach out to me via mail. My email address is I would definitely help you according to my capacity. 

“Never underestimate yourself and Keep learning things that interest you.”

All the best!


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