6 Tips in pursuing Software Engineering

This is a quick recap of our Casual Chat with a Software Engineer event on June 27!

About Meltem Kilic

Meltem is a software developer at Shopify, helping build the Shop app with the aim of making commerce better for everyone. Although she has a background in chemical engineering, she fell in love with building software and decided to pursue a career in tech ever since. Not only does she love to nerd out on linguistics, she fluently speaks 3 languages and currently learning her fourth. In her spare time, she can be found exploring Toronto's restaurant and music scene.


Interesting in pursuing a career in Software Engineering? Here are some main pieces of advice from Meltem:

1. Transitioning careers is a long journey

There are hundreds of resources you can use to learn code (Self-taught, Meetups, Bootcamps, Mentors, Blogs etc). Try them out and figure out what works best for you. At the end of it all, you will still learn a lot of new skills! It's important to understand that it will take a while to know what is most effective for YOU.

2. Build different projects to figure out what type of Software Engineer you want to be

There are multiple paths in Software Engineering (Front-End, Back-End, Full-Stack, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing and more). A way you can figure out what you enjoy is to build projects related to each field. This allows you to experience the tech stacks involved and how these fields connect with each other. The skills you learnt through exploring every field are applicable throughout your career!

3. Have an open mind as a Software Engineer

What makes a GREAT Software Engineer versus a GOOD one is their ability to keep an open mind when learning new skills and working with others. Alongside technical skills, Impersonal Skills such as Communication are just as important. It's good to know how to communicate your ideas, ask good questions and when providing / receiving feedback on your code. It is also a great skill to have when keeping up with new information and technology especially in the specific industry domain you are interested in!

4. Collaboration is important in the day to day life 

In a typical day in the life as a Software Engineer, there are calls such as daily syncs (sharing progress with the team), 1-on-1s with Leads (discuss goals, technical solutions and architecting) and quick meetings with co-workers around tasks you are working on or to network. Alongside, you will look at Pull Requests from other developers on the team.

5. Networking is key when finding your first job in CS

There are typically less applicants at smaller companies and the interview process is less intense. Take advantage of talking with your peers in Bootcamps or CS Classes, Coding Meetups and Startup Job Boards. Especially when first stepping into Software Engineering, it's important to be prepared for interviews through using resources like Leetcode, Free Code Camp and Cracking the Coding Interview. As well, practice doing Mock Interviews with others and getting comfortable with CS Concepts like Big-O notation.

6. Choosing between a CS Degree versus Bootcamp is based on personal preference

You are constantly learning on your own in Software Engineering. Bootcamps depend on the program and they are constantly evolving in course material. It's important to research the skills they offer and how they compare to a job you wish to pursue. A note is that there are still CS Fundamentals that a bootcamp may not cover that may be important in the interview process and throughout your career as a software engineer. If you were just starting in your career and knew you were interested in coding, it's completely okay to do a traditional 4-year CS Degree!


Got any questions?

Reach out to us on Discord via the #north-america channel: https://discord.com/invite/codecademy 

or contact us through email codecademytoronto@gmail.com