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Career Development, Coding

What Are the Different Types of Software Engineers?

General Assembly
April 17, 2023

Software engineering is one of the fastest growing fields in the world. Code powers our favorite digital products and services. A hot topic across all industries from consumer retail and healthcare to B2B tech and government. 

Did you know that there are different types of software engineers? As the demand for this field increases, companies need specialized skills to make their digital ideas a reality. The good news? General Assembly’s bootcamps offer a solid foundation for any career in software engineering. The choice is yours, depending on your interests.  

So let’s explore 5 types of software engineers that are hot on the coding job boards right now.

1. Front-End Engineer 

If you’ve got empathy and live to create, then a front-end engineer may be an ideal fit.

What is a front-end engineer?

A front-end engineer, also called a front-end developer, creates attractive experiences for website and mobile users. They focus on the visual aspects of websites and apps. You’ll need to develop skills in CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. These languages are easy to learn and provide flexibility at work.

What does a front-end engineer do?

Front-end developers work with back-end developers, UI designers, and UX designers in IT, product, or software development teams. They report to senior front-end developers or web development managers. In a front-end engineer job, you create webpage structures with HTML, style elements with CSS, and add interactivity with JavaScript.

Other projects involve building features for apps, content management systems, clone websites, QR code readers, calculators, or online quizzes.

Where does a front-end engineer work?

Any company that has a website or an app will need one or more front-end developers on staff. You might end up working in the government, building systems for smart organizations. Alternatively, you could work at a marketing agency, creating websites for clients. You could create software for a medical lab or improve a website for trendy eyeglasses.

2. Back-End Developer

Consider the back-end developer bootcamp if you love systems, structures, and blueprints.

What is a back-end engineer?

A back-end engineer, also known as a back-end developer, builds the technical foundation of websites and applications, working behind the scenes. You’ll learn popular programming languages such as .Net, Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby. You’ll also learn the frameworks that these languages run on. This knowledge will make web development easier for you.

What does a back-end engineer do?

Back-end developers collaborate with front-end developers, product managers, principal architects, and website testers to create the framework for a website or application. They use code to make browsers communicate with databases. This allows them to store, delete, and understand data. Back-end development projects aim to create fast and reliable systems. These projects involve building various components like APIs, landing pages, user authentication systems, search engines, e-commerce apps, and proxy servers.

Where does a back-end developer work?

In 2022, back-end developers are highly sought after by tech recruiters worldwide. If you’re considering joining a specific industry, now is the time to act. You could work as a back-end developer at various companies such as an electronic vehicle software company, a corporate investment banking firm, a life science company, or an augmented reality mobile app developer.

3. Full Stack Developer 

Keen on problem-solving and curious for new experiences? Learn about full stack developers.

What is a full stack developer?

A full stack developer handles both the front-end code and the back-end databases of a web application. These engineers design user experiences, fix glitches, and work with data, among other tasks. The most popular languages for full stack developers right now are ASP.NET, C#, JavaScript, PHP, and Python. However, AngularJS, CSS, HTML, and Node might become the most common languages in the future.

What does a full stack developer do?

Full stack developers work on both the back-end and front-end of an application. They often work alone. However, they can also work with other developers, designers, and project managers. A full stack developer job may require you to design a food delivery app, fix an online store, or add features to a video meeting app.

Where does a full stack developer work?

Full stack developer jobs in various industries offer you the opportunity to contribute to the creation of digital tools that enhance people’s lives, empowering them to live meaningfully and productively. You could assist a talent recruitment agency in expanding their data analysis capabilities, develop a website for clients to book charter bus transportation, or tailor the content management system for a national newspaper.

4. DevOps Engineer

Find rewarding work through collaboration and product development as a DevOps engineer.

What is a DevOps Engineer?

DevOps combines development and operations. A DevOps engineer helps improve an organization’s software and servers by bringing people, processes, and technology together. Many DevOps employees start as front-end software developers and then take on expanded responsibilities. This expanded scope of duty is one of the key differences between a DevOps engineer and other roles. software engineer. DevOps engineers use various programming languages such as Go, Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby. They also use specialized tools like Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, and others.

What does a DevOps Engineer do?

DevOps engineer jobs need team players. They help operations and development teams work together. If you like efficiency, this role is perfect for you. You will introduce processes and tools to improve product development, create workplace automations, and increase productivity. In DevOps, you could find yourself monitoring software post-deployment and fixing UX issues. You’ll not only work on the software code but also explore systems and processes to improve the business.

DevOps projects can involve various tasks like setting up a software delivery process, automating tasks in software development, managing code easily, creating chatbots for customer support, adding security and monitoring features to an app, moving an app to the cloud, or implementing continuous testing.

Where does a DevOps engineer work?

There are many places where you can find job openings for DevOps engineers. Some notable examples include Amazon, Netflix, Target, Nordstrom, and Facebook. DevOps is making a difference in various industries like banking, insurance, healthcare, and hospitality. It helps speed up the development of digital products, breaks down organizational barriers, and brings changes to business practices.

5. Quality Assurance Engineer

A quality assurance engineer contributes organization, attention to detail, and sound judgment. 

What is a Quality Assurance Engineer?

A QA engineer, also known as a quality assurance engineer, tests software, applications, and tech tools to ensure they work well. QA engineers need to know common programming languages such as C, C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Unix scripting.

What does a Quality Assurance Engineer do?

Quality assurance engineers maintain high standards across a software’s lifecycle. They work with software developers, product managers, scrum teams, and project managers alike. You are the “gate” before software goes to a customer, ensuring that every piece of code serves the end user. Ensure a robust QA process that adapts to team changes, shifting objectives, project scope, and new technologies. Your tasks include running front-end and back-end tests, addressing design flaws, automating scripts, analyzing metrics, documenting bugs, and developing improvement strategies.

Where does a quality assurance engineer work?

Every industry is a tech industry these days. QA engineers work in various industries such as technology, manufacturing, e-commerce, and pharmaceuticals. QA engineer jobs in particular are quite varied. You might work at a company that develops MRI software, photography, employment agency, or audio tech. You could work for a mobile app developer, insurance company, food distributor, or media conglomerate. With an open mind, you might be surprised where your skills could take you. 

How To Become a Software Engineer

Software engineering is a popular career choice. It offers high pay, remote work options, job security, and meaningful work.

If you want to become a software engineer, start by deciding what kind of software engineer you want to be. Then, enroll in coding bootcamp courses to learn the necessary hard skills. Don’t be intimidated by a new endeavor. Coding is for everyone, even celebrities like Serena Williams and Jimmy Fallon have learned to code.

The best online coding programs not only provide a strong technical foundation. Participating in activities like this not only builds important social skills, but also helps with communication, organizing projects, staying patient, thinking critically, and being adaptable. These skills are crucial for success in your day-to-day work.

You probably already possess many of these transferable skills. Our coding program will show you how they fit into the software engineering field. We’ll help you create a portfolio and attend networking events. This will dispel myths about career changes and boost your confidence, improving your chances of getting hired.

Thinking About Breaking Into a Career in Coding?

In just 12 weeks, you can prepare for a career path as a software engineer. At General Assembly, we take a consultative approach. The first step includes an admissions process where we explore your background, interests, personality, goals, and how you define success.

Ultimately, we want to give you all the knowledge, skills, and resources to land a career you love. Wondering which type of software engineer suits your personality? Take our quiz. 

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