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Academy Xi Blog

FAQs: Software Engineering

By Academy Xi

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We’ve compiled this list of questions that are often asked about Software Engineering. We hope that it will give you the answers you are looking for. 

Overview of Software Engineering

Physical computing devices, such as mobile phones or laptops are referred to as ‘hardware’ and the set of instructions that tells the device what to do are known as ‘software’. 

Software engineering is the process of analysing user needs and then designing, developing and maintaining systems that instruct anything from small applications to large online platforms that will satisfy these needs through the use of software programming languages.

Software engineers design, develop and maintain systems and software for businesses and organisations. This software could be desktop programs like Spotify, or a mobile and web application such as Gmail or Facebook. They also build network control systems and operating systems. Their job is to meet the requirements of the users’ specifications as best as possible.

Both of these roles can build software from scratch, but ultimately software engineers work on a larger scale. 

 

Developers are responsible for creating programs, working with programmers to design and test them and their project scope is generally a lot more limited in comparison to an engineer. Software engineers focus on structural design and often collaborate with IT, operations and development staff to design and maintain programs, architecture, large scale data stores and cloud-based systems.

These two roles describe similar areas of expertise, but they’re not the same.

Web developers build websites from the ground up using programming languages such as JavaScript or Java. In contrast, software engineers are responsible for creating more complex applications and programs for computers and devices, which are used as critical systems for organisations. They create, conceptualise, program, document, test and upgrade software and their components.

Specific software is needed in almost every industry. It can provide a wide range of functions including automation of tasks to improve any organisation’s efficiency and reduce the workload of teams.

With over 5 billion mobile users in the world, all of these devices function via operating systems – software with multiple functions.

The scope of work that software engineers can be involved with is endless. With almost every industry using software in some form or another, an engineer could be involved in developing anything from a trading platform for investment bankers to creating systems that track energy production and consumption around the world. 

Software engineers are needed across all industries, including healthcare, education, retail, government agencies, human resources, space exploration – you name it, there’s a need for software engineers.

A technology stack is a list of all the technology services used to build and run one single application. Tech stacks communicate a lot of information about how the application is built and are divided between the back-end (server side) and front-end (client side). Website development tends to be separated into three focus areas: front-end, back-end and full-stack.

Also known as ‘client side’ development, this is where the focus is on what a user visually sees in their browser or app. Front-end programming or development is the ‘look and feel’ of a site and languages used include HTML, CSS, Javascript, JQuery. 

Front-end programming jobs:

  • Front end developer
  • Front end Designer 
  • Web Designer
  • UX UI Designer

Referred to as back-end development or ‘server side’, it usually consists of three parts: a server, an application and a database. Users can’t see the back-end work, but this code is what communicates the database information to the browser. Back-end languages include: Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python, .Net

Back-end programming jobs:

  • Back-end developer
  • Java developer
  • Software developer
  • Full-stack developer

Working on the server-side of web programming, full-stack developers can also fluently speak the front-end languages that control how content looks on a site’s user-facing side. They’re the jack of all trades.

Software engineering skills and tools

On the tech side, software engineers need the following skills:

  • Coding (the most common language being JavaScript) and being able to code for mobile devices. Python, Java and Ruby are also popular languages
  • Problem solving skills to debug and fix errors in code that cause unexpected behaviour
  • Testing skills (handling untested or broken code)
  • Ability to learn new languages and concepts quickly
  • Familiarity with database technologies such as SQL
  • Familiarity with programming frameworks
  • Understanding of modern software architecture and patterns

It’s not all about tech in this role. Soft skills are also important and include:

  • Collaboration 
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Leadership 

Software Engineering career

It is indeed. With an acute shortage of IT talent, many HR professionals are finding it difficult to fill software engineering roles and the demand is only going to continue to increase, with software jobs in Australia predicted to grow by 23.4% to 2024. (Labour Market Information Portal) and by 30% in the next five years:

In Australia, the most common salary is $100,000-$120,000 for software engineers, with income varying between the states and territories. Visit this page on Seek.com.au to view the differences depending on your location, but also keep in mind that many software engineering roles can be performed remotely. 

Learning Software Engineering

If you are looking for a quick fix career change with no need for motivation and commitment, software engineering is not for you. For that matter, not many career changes are going to suit you if you aren’t willing to apply yourself to learning new skills.

At a base level, you will need to learn how to code, which is essentially a language. Most programming languages have fewer than fifty keywords and will be in comparison to learning a foreign language, easier to pick up. 

Software Engineering will be easier for some than others, but if you enjoy a challenge and take to coding, it would well be for you! 

Chat to our experienced Course Advisors to see if Software Engineering is for you

There is a massive industry demand and an acute shortage of IT Talent globally. Software engineers are highly sought after in Australia, with full-stack developers in particular being cited as one of the most in-demand and well paid IT roles. If you are after career opportunities across a range of industries with solid income and future job security, software engineering is the way to go.

There are many options to get qualified as a software engineer. Traditional universities offer Computer Science and Software Engineering degrees, which often take 3-4 years to complete. 

There is increasingly less expectation for software engineers to be university qualified, with many employers, including the likes of Google, looking more to skills and experience than a degree in computer science. 

As a result, more people are engaging in shorter, condensed bootcamp-style courses to get skilled in a much shorter period of time, with the added bonus of these courses being extremely laser focused on job readiness and practical skills. 

Academy Xi offers intensive, job-focussed training in software engineering and front-end web development

This industry-vetted, bootcamp-style training delivered by Academy Xi is designed to completely transform your career, teaching in-demand practical skills that will get you job-ready. 

While some are keen to teach themselves the art of software engineering, many benefit greatly from having the structure of a training program, particularly one that is highly practical and hands-on. 

A computer science degree could take a minimum of 3 years to complete, whereas training at a private college could see you graduating job ready in software engineering in a much shorter period of time.

At Academy Xi we offer our Software Engineering (Transform) training in the following formats:

Academy Xi offers job-focused software development courses designed to take you from beginner to employed, within months, with plenty of hands-on coding practice.

Academy Xi has leveraged curriculum from New York based tech education provider, Flatiron School, to bring you the Software Engineering: Transform course. 

Flatiron School has an impressive track record of delivering quality education for 8+ years. They have successfully graduated over 2,500 students and have won multiple awards for their proprietary tech education programs. 

With curriculum built by Flatiron School, the Software Engineering: Transform course from Academy Xi is designed to completely transform your career, teaching in-demand practical skills that will get you job-ready.

Some form of training is a must to enter the industry. Today’s career changers are increasingly looking to get skilled via intensive programming short courses or bootcamps, as opposed to traditional 4-year degrees.

By training in Software Engineering at Academy Xi, you will graduate job-ready and have access to Career Support at the completion of your training. With a 90% placement rate of graduates we are confident that we can work with you to land your first role as a Software Engineer. 

There is plenty of information available online to learn any programming language and to begin building and testing your own software. A few good resources include:

Many people, however, prefer the structure of a software engineering course that has been designed by industry professionals to ensure that you gain the skills and experience that will enable you to graduate ready to seek employment.

Academy Xi offers training in Software Engineering  as both part-time and full-time options. You can access course details below.

If you would like to discuss training options, please feel free to get in touch with our experienced Course Advisors. 

All of Academy Xi training is now offered online. We teach job focused software development courses designed to take you from beginner to employed within months, with plenty of hands-on coding practice.

Academy Xi has campuses in Sydney and Melbourne, but in light of the COVID pandemic all training has moved online. We pride ourselves on offering students a socially engaged learning experience

Academy Xi has campuses in Sydney and Melbourne, but in light of the COVID pandemic all training has moved online. We pride ourselves on offering students a socially engaged learning experience

Software Engineering course with Academy Xi

We teach two programming languages, one for each front-end and back-end plus a host of frameworks and tools, which, used together, can help to build a web application.

Front-end:

  • Languages: JavaScript, HTML and CSS
  • Frameworks: React and Redux

Back-end:

  • Language: Ruby (programming language) supported by Rails (framework), also called Ruby on Rails
  • Database tool: SQL 
  • Version control with Git

Both Ruby and Python are object oriented languages, so you can achieve the same results with both, however there are a few reasons we teach Ruby over Python:

  • Ruby is a language recommended for beginners because it reads remarkably like English
  • Ruby  is readable and efficient, making it much easier to get comfortable with than some other languages. 
  • It’s also open-source, so you’ll have access to plenty of tools and a community of other developers, all for free. The Ruby community is extremely supportive and an amazing resource for beginners.
  • And perhaps most importantly, it’s flexible: the language is used by plenty of companies (Airbnb, GitHub, Hulu, Kickstarter, etc.) and gives you a solid foundation to branch out into other languages later.

Once you are well versed with Ruby, learning other languages including Python will come more easily to you. 

Ruby is a programming language and is supported by Rails, which is the framework. Together they are known as ‘Ruby on Rails’.

Ruby on Rails is a web application framework. It is a collection of shortcuts written in Ruby that lets you build websites really quickly.

Yes. The Academy Xi Software Engineering Transform training is approximately 1000 hours of learning, to ensure that you are really well trained. Students spend over half their time coding and we developed the course with New York based Flatiron School, who have won multiple awards from Career Karma and Course Report.

We want you to understand that this is an intensive course that will train you to take on software engineering as a career, so you will need to put in some hard work. There will be an element of self study, however, you’ll get loads of support from your industry-trained mentors who have years of experience in software engineering. Your online experience will also include multiple weekly online classes with your mentor and classmates and unlimited 1:1 sessions with your mentor.

  • This course is built to really teach you how to code. 
  • You’ll spend over 50% of your time on coding, practical activities
  • From hundreds of labs (coding exercises) to 5 projects of varying complexity, you’ll be constantly coding
  • Not only will you build code, but you’ll also learn how to debug errors 
  • Real client project work: Once you graduate, you also have the option to work on a JavaScript project for a real client’s website, in a safe local environment.
  • Reading is a crucial part of learning to be a developer, so that has been built into the design of the course. You can expect to spend 50% of your time reading, and 50% practicing. 
  • There are certainly plenty of free resources online and lots of people teach themselves, BUT what we offer is feedback and support while you are doing it – which makes the process more efficient, and effective.
  1. There will be multiple Live Sessions with your mentor which will be a little lecturing, but mostly live practice and discussing practical activities
  2. You can get unlimited mentor support when you need it (within office hours)
  • It’s an easier way to learn a complex topic – start small and keep building in complexity: Another difference is that the activities, projects and assessment are built to start small, adding specific skills along the way, increasing a complex range of capability all at once. You could try to do that by yourself online, but it would be hard to do.
  • Importantly, the course has been refined over 8 years of delivery – so you’re essentially paying for something that works and has been proven to be successful. The way this course is taught has been optimised over and over and over again to ensure student success. 

So you get all these benefits if you choose to sign up, instead of trying to tackle a complex subject by yourself.

  • One thing employers are looking for is your GitHub profile – it’s basically a Software Engineer’s version of a portfolio.
  • Any person around the world can consult your code and see how you work without having to carry a laptop, a hard drive, or any other device. 
  • It is the best way to showcase your coding projects in a fast and professional way.
  • As this course consists of 50% of the time spent coding, each line of code you write is published to your GitHub profile – which you can share with employers to showcase your coding skills. 
  • In fact, your final capstone project is designed specifically to demonstrate the breadth of your skills to potential employers.
  • Git is a version control system which is distributed for free. It’s open-source, fast, and efficient.
  • GitHub is the web platform for hosting your code using Git’s system.
  • We have an entire Career Support Team that will work with you to help you secure a job offer after graduation. 
  • You’ll get personalised support to refine your CV and LinkedIn profile, help in preparing for interviews and access to our network of employers. 
  • It’s a collaborative process – you have to look for opportunities, put in the effort and engage with your Career Coach. 
  • We’re really proud of our graduate employment rate – over 90% of our graduates have secured a job offer within 180 days of graduation, in their chosen field.
  • The full time course can be completed in 5 months, and the part-time in 10 months. 
  • The course content across full time and part time is identical. 
  • The difference is the time commitment – whether you can commit to studying full time (around 45-50 hours a week) or part time (20-25 hours a week). 
  • If you’re studying the full-time course, we’ll assume you’re available between 9 to 5 and can attend live video sessions and 1:1 on demand sessions with your mentor during that time. 
  • That’s why if you’re currently working full time, we recommend that you study the 10 month time course – it spreads learning out over a longer period and does not have any scheduled activities during work hours.

The course is delivered 100% online via our best-in-class learning platform. You’ll learn through a combination of: 

  • Self study (pre-readings, videos, etc.) 
  • Mentor-led weekly online classes (4 per week for full time students, 2 per week for part time) 
  • Individual project work
  • Individual coding practice labs and final project 
  • Group client project (optional)
  • No prior coding experience is required, you can enter this course as a beginner and graduate ready for a Software Development job. 
  • As this course is designed for beginners, you’ll learn everything from the fundamentals of computer science to actually writing code. 
  • Any coding experience you bring will be a bonus – but it’s definitely not required.
  • It’s a 2 step process, but entirely non-technical. 

Step 1: Admissions Interview: This is a chance for us to get to know you, your motivations for studying this course and whether the course is the right fit for you. 

Step 2: As per the course advisor’s discretion, you may be asked to perform a short logic test in your own time. Don’t worry, there’s no coding experience required. This simple assessment will help us understand your thought process, to ensure you are well-placed to succeed in the course.

  • Allow 1-4 hours for this test.
  • This course is spread over 5 core modules. 
  • At the end of each module, you’ll work on an assessment project. 
  • You’ll work solo on all your course project work- that’s 5 individual projects to add to your Github portfolio!  
    • Students aren’t grouped in these projects, but they could discuss their ideas with each other and the mentor but at the end it’s their own work they would have to submit.
    • In the client project phase, will be grouping students and would be a collaborative project – teaching important concepts like peer programming.
  • You’ll need to complete each module project to a satisfactory level before you progress to the next module. 
  • You may be required to do some re-work if your mentor determines that you’re not ready to progress to the next module yet. 
  • Operating systems: Laptop running the latest version of either Mac OSX or Windows 10
  • Memory: 8GB+ of RAM
  • Hard drive: 10GB+ of free hard drive space (to install and set up programs and applications needed to study)
  • Hardware: Working keyboard, trackpad/mouse and display
  • Admin access: Yes – to install and configure programs
  • Internet access: Yes
  • Webcam: Yes – to participate in mandatory live sessions
  • Chromebooks, tablets, and smartphones will not work.
  • Laptops should have the latest version of its operating system and be no more than 4-5 years old 

Our Tech and Data courses range from $4,500 – $14,500 RRP. Speak to a course advisor to know more about the cost of specific courses. 

Why study Software Engineering at Academy Xi?

Industry vetted curriculum

Software Engineering training at Academy Xi was created by experienced learning designers, in partnership with industry practitioners. The curriculum is open source, with students able to suggest changes quickly and easily from the GitHub repository. We update the curriculum regularly based on this feedback and real world changes, ensuring content stays relevant in a fast- changing industry.

Become a full-stack engineer

Increase your employment prospects by gaining the full breadth of skills across the tech stack. You’ll master programming fundamentals with JavaScript and Ruby, and build applications quickly with Ruby on Rails (favoured by popular tech companies like Airbnb, MyFitnessPal, SoundCloud and others).

Hands-on coding practice

Implement technical learning from the get go, with hundreds of practical labs (coding exercises), and over 50% of your time spent coding. You’ll collaborate with peers to work on group projects of increasing complexity and deliver your own solo web development project at the end of the course.

Build your GitHub profile

Display your newly acquired Software Engineering skills through 5 assessment projects and your personal Github profile, created as you progress through the course, demonstrating your practical skills and approach to future employers.

Bonus client project

After you graduate from the course, you’ll have the opportunity to work with JavaScript using a real client brand. Get a feel for what it’s like to use your coding skills on a real-world website or app, solving problems Front-end Developers face on a daily basis.

Supported by leading industry experts

Your course Mentor is a seasoned practitioner with extensive experience in the tech field, as well as teaching. You’ll meet your Mentor regularly through live video sessions for group discussions and Q&A.

Unlimited 1:1 mentor support

Get access to 1:1 sessions with your Mentor to receive personalised feedback and specific guidance as you progress through the course.

Robust learning platform

Study on a comprehensive learning platform using real developer tools. You’ll set up a real development environment on day 1 and use a professional command line and Git-based workflow, so you truly learn by doing.

Tailored career support

Get job-ready and land your dream role, like 90% of our graduates to date. Over 24 weeks, our Career Support team will work with you to strengthen your CV and online brand, prepare for mock interviews, search for job opportunities and much more.

Network of hiring managers

Lots of fantastic brands are looking to hire graduates just like you… And we’ve got the community to connect you with them, helping you land your dream job.

Cohort based learning

Never feel like you’re studying alone. Start and progress through the course at the same pace as all other students. Regularly interact with your Mentor and classmates via Zoom, Slack and Q&A forums to discuss current topics and work in groups on projects, replicating the collaborative approach required in the workplace.

Earn an industry-recognised certificate

Receive a Certificate of Completion as official recognition of your competencies, theoretical knowledge and practical skills in Software Engineering. As our courses are trusted by organisations and recruiters across Australia, adding this digital credential to your CV and LinkedIn profile can greatly boost your employment prospects.