For many women, a software engineering career can seem daunting. This is a field where women have traditionally been underrepresented, so many women shun it due to perceived barriers to entry and the underrepresentation of women in the space. But, as there is a strong need for software engineers due to Australia’s tech skills shortage, now is the time for women to take a closer look at what a career in software engineering will bring them – and what is expected of them to work in this field.
The Holberton School Australia is a new school that inspires women – and men – who wouldn’t normally consider a job in IT to consider these sorts of roles. Holberton School is a dedicated computer science school originally founded in Silicon Valley in 2016 to bridge the gap in the education system for software engineers. With branches in a number of countries now, the Australian branch started operating early this year, offering the basic software engineering course.
How is Holberton School different? Well, it takes a new approach to software engineering and in fact, the school makes it possible to become a fully-fledged software engineer in about nine months. There is a lot of hands-on training and group work with other students, and the end result is that students are able to work as software engineers. All in all, it’s an attractive proposition for many young people because it’s an interesting job and one of the advantages is that software engineers are paid well.
As Chiara – a student currently studying at Holberton School Australia in Melbourne – puts it:
“I was looking for a career change – a job that would allow me to learn something new every day and feel challenged. Software Engineering ticks those boxes”
Farah is also a student at Holberton School in Melbourne and she says:
“I was a dental nurse for 12 years before I started. I had some knowledge. I used to create my own websites when I was around 13 years old. It was a very long time ago, but I had no knowledge of programming or engineering.
“I describe it as a crash course in social engineering. So basically you would learn everything you would learn in college, but in a shorter amount of time I think my mind works more like an engineer,” Farah adds.
What exactly does a software engineer do?
Software engineers are essentially creative problem solvers, designing and developing software solutions to meet a client’s requirements. Concretely, they use programming languages and other technologies to turn an idea into a final product, such as web applications, mobile games and operating systems.
We often think of a software engineer as someone who sits at a computer and writes code for eight hours every day, that’s not how the job really translates. In reality, a software engineering career involves a lot of collaboration with colleagues and collective problem solving. This means that much of the work involves ongoing discussions with designers, data scientists, and project managers to determine the best way to achieve the desired result.
One of the satisfying aspects of the role is having a software engineer work on a project from start to finish, knowing they are responsible for the end result. This can make a software engineering career very satisfying and inherently rewarding.
Here are three more reasons we’ve rounded up why women should consider a career in software engineering:
- You do not need a university degree: With alternative educational paths such as Holberton School Australia, software engineering is now more accessible. The school was founded in Silicon Valley and trains job-ready software engineers in nine months through a hands-on, project-based curriculum. Students on the course have been offered entry-level positions despite having no prerequisite software engineering skills. This reflects the huge demand for skilled tech talent in Australia, as well as the Australian tech industry’s commitment to employing people from a wider range of backgrounds and backgrounds, according to the Tech Council of Australia.
- It’s a flexible career path: Every business needs software, which means a software engineer can work in almost any industry, in any size company, in any type of organization. Software engineers can also work remotely, from anywhere. As long as there is an internet connection, they can generate income (a good one on top of that). Skills are also highly transferable between countries and cultures, allowing software engineers to travel and work for innovative companies around the world.
- It is very well paid: According to talent.com, the average Australian software engineer earns around $120,000 per year, which is 30% more than the average Australian earner of around $90,000 per year.
As we continue to rely on technology for innovation and business growth in the future, this
the gap will only grow – making a career in software engineering more attractive
All in all, it seems like a career in software engineering is worth considering. Contrary to many people’s preconceptions, it’s rewarding, flexible, and very well paid. And now, with new pathways through schools like Holberton School Australia – it’s more accessible than before.
The Holberton course is not officially accredited, but in the IT industry, many courses are not accredited and instead depend on industry acceptance. The University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology says it has reviewed the Holberton course and accepts its program as meeting the programming prerequisites for entry into its master’s degree in information technology.
Here has women love technologywe chatted with other Holberton School students and asked them why they chose software engineering and how they enjoy their studies?
Jacqueline says: “Well, I was a kindergarten teacher before, but I wasn’t very happy with my previous job. And I’ve always wanted to change my career and I have so many friends who work in software engineering and they suggested I give it a try, so I decided to give it a shot.
Cienna describes Holberton School as: “In software engineering, every day is different. You must constantly explore, learn and adapt.
Yuan, a 36-year-old student at Holberton School says: “It’s difficult, it’s really difficult. But I’m happy because I learned a lot. What I like about Holberton is that everyone is there to help – there is no competition at all.
Karoline, a 40-year-old student at the school says: “I don’t think I actually thought I could become a software engineer – it didn’t really seem possible to me. And even though I signed up and signed up, I only recently accepted that, Oh, okay – maybe being a software engineer is possible.
“I’m simply blown away by the depth of knowledge I’m gaining,” adds Karoline.
Jacqueline, 27 year old student says: ” It was great. I learned a lot. It is a very intensive course. I wouldn’t deny it, but I learned a lot, like in a very short time. I love the atmosphere we have created. We help each other and there is no competition. I love it. It’s a very affectionate environment, I would say. And you’re doing well, learning a lot, not only from, you know, the project, but also from your peers.
If you want to see if software engineering could be a possible career for you, you can try the Holberton School admissions process. They offer you a free challenge where you have to build a website from scratch. For many people, this is their first exposure to programming, but it’s a great way to see if working in this field would be right for you.
For more information about Holberton School and this challenge, visit here.
Read more about Women Love Tech about Holberton School here.