career path of a software engineer

Career Path Of A Software Engineer: How To Become One?

The career interest for a software engineer is fixed, and if you want to earn a significant sum of money, you need to follow it. The career path of a software engineer determines the salary. As the software engineer continues to gain experience, they will also become eligible for expecting a boost in their career.


The ladder may not be as easy as it appears to be. When you set out to become a software engineer, there are several things that you will need to consider. Depending on the position, the Software Engineer salary increases as well. It is extremely crucial to consider the small aspects to get maximum advantages.


The path to getting the highest salary as a software engineer may not be easy, and it may take months and even years. However, the speed depends on the technical ability of the person, communication-skills and critical thinking abilities.


What is the typical career path of a software engineer?

Becoming a software engineer isn’t easy. Once you’ve finished the degree, you will need to start from the basics to earn significant money. Several companies are in search of a software engineer. If you have the ability, you will eventually earn more.


Junior Developer

This is the first step towards career interest for a software engineer. Once the developer graduates, they can apply for becoming the Junior Developer. They need to have basic programming experience.

The basic requirements of becoming a junior Developer are as follows

  • Should be able to write simple scripts.
  • Needs to have a basic idea of how applications work
  • The database and application services

The junior developers, in minor cases, will need to follow complex applications. In many cases, you may feel bored about why it isn’t working out. There’s a significant difference between the experience of junior and senior developers.

Senior Software Developer

The next step on the career path of a software engineer is becoming a senior software developer. A senior software developer is one who has a comprehensive idea of how the applications work. Almost similar to the junior developer, a senior software developer needs to work on becoming the best. To get a high software engineer salary, you will need to spend significant time as a senior software developer.

The basic requirements for becoming a senior software developer include the following

  • Several years of professional experience.
  • Writing and creating complex codes.
  • Understand the lifecycle development, database and application service.

Anyone who loves coding but isn’t much into management can essentially develop their career in a senior developer position. With this qualification, you can easily land a job in a startup as a CTO or lead developer.

Lead Developer

Lead Developer and Technical Architect is the next step towards the software engineer path. However, it’s a little more challenging. Nonetheless, you do not need to be into management. Lead Developers are more of a specialized senior developer that can do all the heavy tasks easily.

The lead developers need to coordinate and look into the crucial tasks while still managing the codes. The architects will need to write codes very occasionally, but they need to take care of the complex designing system that other developers usually develop.

To become a lead developer, you need to have significant experience in the programming sector while taking care of legal expertise. A lead developer may have the same skills as that of a senior developer. They should be able to plan and build complex coding systems accordingly.

The lead developers may often be kept in transitional roles to bring creativity. It is rather a mid-level managerial position. One of the most important things to note is that technical artists usually belong to the top of the ladder.

Software Development Manager

The next step is to become a manager. While you’re done with basic steps, it is necessary to understand the crucial aspects. It is more like the traditional software developer path. As a software development manager, you will need to manage developers and high-scale projects.

Since it is a mid-level managerial position, it will keep track of the workflow while maintaining productivity. It further allows the senior leader or manager to take charge. People becoming software development managers need to be extremely skilled. Anyone who becomes the mid-level manager will also need to be involved in firing people, which can be disappointing.

Chief Technology Officer

The Chief Technology Officer is usually the senior level manager. A senior-level manager will need to take care of a mid-level manager’s work while managing the strategy in the right corporate direction. The senior-level management position usually belongs to that of Vice President, Director and Chief Technology Officer.

As the senior level manager, they will need to take care of the working of executives and analyse their working and long-term strategy. Furthermore, they need to take responsibility for the entire account. The managers must come into the picture for executing and managing the basic functions of the measurable objectives. Much like the mid-level managers, the senior level managers need to fire and manage the executives and mid-level managers, if required. They are also responsible for the recruitment of the same.

Is management the only option?

While it may seem most likely, it is necessary to note that this isn’t the only option. Developing a career in software engineering will require you to possess the right set of skills, but you don’t need to be bound by any limits.

In this technology-driven world, there are several opportunities for developers. The career path is usually on the linear progression line and can eventually allow you to move up the ladder ranging from managerial to executive levels.

Management may not be the best option for all. Hence, it is advisable to check the career path of a software engineer and choose one that suits your needs the most. Many developers do not want to become managers. Well, it is necessary to note that management in itself is a challenging task that you will need to overcome in the long run.

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