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The Software Engineer Career Path
Software engineer Career Path

In addition to being a well-paid and highly sought-after position, a job in software engineering also offers multiple career paths, especially when tech companies in Singapore and the US are actively seeking to hire software engineers in Vietnam. These paths become available as software engineers gain new skills and abilities, allowing them to choose their career paths and directions.

While having a say in your career’s trajectory is unquestionably beneficial, having many options can make choosing the right path more difficult. To help you make that decision, we’ve compiled some of software engineers’ most common career paths.

Understanding your career path will allow you to easily shape your future and focus your energy on what you’ve chosen.

Fresher/Junior Developer

A Junior Developer is a basic-level software developer or programmer who works in a development team. They are in charge of helping the team with all the coding and software design tasks.

  • 0-1 year of experience (usually students who are interns/fresh graduates).
  • Basic knowledge of software programming, database, application life cycle, application services, etc.
  • Can write basic scripts.

At this point, you are an “apprentice”. You must practice almost every skill required to work independently, including programming experience, problem-solving ability, workflow, teamwork skills, etc. Because companies frequently retrain freshers/juniors due to inexperience, so when interviewing freshers, companies usually only consider your logical thinking ability, programming ability, and programming potential.

But this startling beginning is often crucial to your future career path. You should:

  • Take advantage of the opportunity to learn the necessary skills (as mentioned above).
  • Choose a good environment and leader to learn from.

Developer

After 1-3 years of coding, you will be referred to as a Developer (many people go straight to Team Leader or Senior Developer, depending on the company). You’ve completed several projects and are well-versed in some technologies.

  • 1-3 years experience.
  • Participated in several projects, well-versed in some technologies.
  • Coded more complex modules.

Interviews for this position are frequently more challenging. The interviewer will ask about the projects you’ve completed, the challenges you’ve faced, and how you overcame them. In addition, the interview will focus on the tech stacks you listed on your resume.

At this stage, you are no longer an “apprentice” who needs to work hand-in-hand. You already have the fundamental abilities to work independently and in groups (meetings, code reviews, etc.). You’ve been working on more complex modules, attending meetings, performing code reviews, talking with customers, and so on. This is the stage where you will gain knowledge, experience, and a reputation in order to move up the career ladder. You should:

  • Accumulate working knowledge/experience and hone soft skills to create momentum for the subsequent development step.
  • Learn about career paths and the differences between a product company and an outsourcing company to help you choose the right working environment.
  • Expand your network and personal brand (blog, join tech groups, tech events, etc.).

Management Roles or Technical Roles?

Choosing the right path from the start will save you a lot of time, effort, help you achieve more and succeed faster.

ManagementTechnical
Team Leader
– Take charge of a small team (3-6 members).
– In addition to technical work, you will be responsible for managing and training other team members.
– At this stage, you will gradually learn some leadership, management, and other skills.

Senior Developer
– Have 3 to 5+ years of experience.
– Capable of building complex applications at scale.
– In-depth understanding of the entire application lifecycle, databases, application services, etc.
– In-depth understanding of many technologies and processes.
Project Manager
– Responsible for internal monitoring, ensuring that the project execution from the beginning to the end is smooth, on schedule, and according to the original requirements.
– Responsible for budgeting, implementation, resources, and problem-solving.
– Developers who want to advance to the position of Project Manager must practice time management, project management, and, most importantly, communication skills.
Technical Lead
– Has a deep understanding of technology and is strong in programming and system design.
– The one who decides what technology to use, how to design the system, etc.
– In charge of the team’s technical aspects.
– Nice to have good soft skills, especially the ability to guide, explain, present, etc. to lead other members.

Manager/Director
– Require a high level of interpersonal skills for recruiting, managing, training, leading and inspiring.
– Ability to negotiate, resolve conflicts, and make decisions is required.
– Directors need to have strategic vision and leadership ability to lead the whole company in the same direction.
Software Architect
– At least 10-20 years of experience.
– Find solutions and design complex systems (preference for programming patterns and anti-patterns) that the junior and senior developer teams can implement.


Based on your purpose, clarify what could be your deepest contribution. After gaining experience and seniority, take the time to do the analysis and validation before you make a move to your choice.

If you’re looking for new challenges to help you grow, check out our job postings to find the perfect role for you!