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Steps For Getting a Job as Junior Software Engineer

Steps For Getting a Job as Junior Software Engineer

What Does a Junior Software Engineer do?

Junior software developers are entry-level professionals who have just entered the world of professional software development. As newbies, they are usually tasked with assisting the team in writing and maintaining code for computer applications, while adhering to the company’s internal coding standard. You will have to become familiar with the codebase before you will be tasked with fixing small bugs, collecting user data regarding program functionality, participating in paired programming with mid-level and senior developers, conducting development tests and writing error reports, and responding to requests from the development team. Companies look for detail-oriented individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree in computer science, have at least a working knowledge of basic programming languages such as Java, PHP, Ruby, Python, C#, C++, Perl, know their way around databases and operating systems, and display the ability to learn new technology quickly and work well within a team. If you play your cards right, soon you will be able to build complete independent components that are of acceptable quality.

Junior Software Engineer Salary

Junior Software Developers earn around $66,624 per year or $32 per hour on average in the United States. According to surveys, top 10 percent makes over $82,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $53,000 per year.

Top Ranking Skills for A Junior Software Developer

As with any other field, the more specialized skills you acquire, the stronger your CV becomes. According to a survey, most junior software developers kick-start their careers with technical skills, in addition to soft skills such as analytical and communication skills. Among technical skills, proficiency on C++, JavaScript, Java, PHP, JQuery, ASP.NET, AJAX, Ruby, web services, HTML, CSS and python were most commonly found in junior software developer CVs. Other services that can add to your profile include:

  • SQL
  • Pl/SQL
  • T-SQL
  • SDLC
  • Json
  • Test Scripts
  • Database
  • Jenkins
  • QA
  • Github
  • J2Ee
  • Linux
  • Scrum
  • API
  • Jira
  • XML
  • Front End
  • User Interface
  • Unix
  • Entity Framework
  • Android

Steps to Getting a Job as a Junior Software Engineer:

Get A Degree

Research has shown that 75.6% of junior software developers have a bachelor’s degree, while 14.5% actually have a master’s degrees, however, some junior developers become one after a high school degree. If you wish to pursue a career as a junior software developer, here are your options:

Associate Degree (Two Years): Although a four-year degree is more sought-after by employers than a two-year one, an associate degree can be your window of opportunity to gain entry-level jobs in the field. An associate degree focuses on the core principles of software engineering, programming languages, and modern approaches to software development, but you can major in your field of choice. If there is any specific industry you’d like to work in, consider earning a minor in that field to start building industry expertise.

Bachelor’s Degree (Four Years):

Most employers prefer to hire employees who possess a bachelor’s degree in computer science. The benefit of a four-year degree is that it exposes students to a vast array of knowledge and skills required to excel in this field. In addition to giving students a deep comprehension of programming, software architecture, and software testing, students can also choose to specialize in areas of their choice, such as networking or machine Learning.

Coding Bootcamp (8-12 weeks):

A third option for newbies who wish to enter into the field of software development without getting a degree is to enroll in coding Bootcamp, hosted by a university or a ‘coding school’. These programs are often less expensive, shorter in length, and more flexible than pursuing a traditional degree, and give students a chance to learn coding fast in a hands-on, immersive learning environment. Even though a coding bootcamp does not replicate the depth or scope of a computer science degree, it does prepare an individual for a specific skill quickly.

Take Courses


Wish to hone your skills or learn new ones at your own pace? Since Software development is an ever-advancing field, developers need to be proficient in a wide range of emerging technical skills, and as such, online courses are the best way to stay abreast of the latest technology. Here are some of the best platforms for beginner software engineers courses to boost their knowledge:

  • Udemy
  • Coursera
  • Git Immersion

Seek an internship

Getting a bachelor’s or associate degree or even a professional training doesn’t give you any real-world experience. This is why you should take up a position as a software development intern to get some professional experience and test your skills in actual situations. If you are actually looking to expand your knowledge and skills in areas of your interest, such as Java, XML or SQL, the prudent way is to get a few months of relevant experience before searching for a junior developer job. During your internship, you will get a chance to work on real projects or products related to their skills.

Understand different roles of junior software Developer

You need to decide whether you want to be a front-end developer, a back-end developer, or the hybrid: the full-stack developer? Knowing where your skills and interests lie help you choose the right career path. Here’s a breakdown of all three.

Front-end Developer

A front-end developer is responsible for a website’s user-facing code and the user experience architecture; in short everything you see when you open a website. Everything from the selection of fonts, colors, lists, dropdown menus, and sliders are the responsibility of a front-end developer. If you are proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript programming, as well as possess a knowhow of frameworks such as Bootstrap, Vue.JS, Meteor.JS, Angular.JS, React.Js and Ember.JS, and some basic knowledge of event-based interaction, security, and performance, you should pursue a career as a front-end developer.

Back-end Developer

These are the developers who mine, create, and code on the server. They are responsible for building and maintaining the website, making sure that it stays functional and searchable. As a back-end developer, you need to garner a deep understanding of frameworks, software architecture, design patterns, databases, APIs, interconnectivity, and DevOps, as well as become proficient in servers and databases (Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL), API layer, and program languages like Java, python, PHP, C#, go and scala.

Full-Stack Developer

You can think of full-stack developers as the jack of all trades. They possess a deep know-how of both front-end languages as well as server side of web programming, making them capable of performing cross-discipline tasks. To get an idea of the full-spectrum of tasks that a full-stack developer can perform, imagine a full-stack developer configuring Linux servers, writing server-side APIs, diving into the client-side JavaScript powering an application, and even designing a beautiful-looking interface. However, if you are thinking of pursuing a career as a full-stack junior software engineer, we recommend trying both front-end and back-end first, before trying out full-stack.

Get Certified

A lot of people believe that certifications are just nice-to-have on job specs, the truth is that they can give you an edge over other candidates and increase your earning potential. The field of Software engineering is precise and technical, and getting certified helps you demonstrate your proficiency and expertise in one specialized area, or using one specific program or tool. Getting certified gives you experience in specialized areas and improve your marketability in technology vendors. A lot of junior software engineer get certified in data security, cloud computing, or data management and other areas of interest. If you are confused about which certifications to pursue, you can always check job listings for positions you’d like to apply for to see what certifications they have requested. Here are a few junior developer certification programs that are sure to help boost your career:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Microsoft Technology Associate Developer
  • Cloudera 
  • Oracle
  • Red Hat
  • Salesforce
  • Scrum
  • CompTIA Security+
  • MySQL 5.6 Developer
  • Puppet Labs Puppet Developer

Oscar B. Cook

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