How to Get Started as a
Software Engineering Manager
Refine Your Skills and Remain Relevant
A software engineering manager, also known as a software development manager or software applications development manager, acts as a supervisor to direct other software engineers in their team. This is one of the highest-paying software development jobs, so it is a great choice for any tech expert.
If you want to get a job as a software engineering manager in a technology company, you need to start from a software developer role. This guide will highlight how to become a software engineering manager and include details such as salary expectations, job outlook, and descriptions of daily tasks people in this role carry out.
What Is a Software Engineering Manager?
A software engineering manager is an administrative expert who leads a team of software engineers. The primary responsibility of these professionals is to supervise engineering projects undertaken by other team members while communicating with higher management. They direct projects including the development and design of apps, programs, and other applications.
A software development manager is responsible for establishing detailed plans, timelines, and budgets for projects while solving any problems that arise during the process. Software engineering managers may also take part in the software programming process and mentor new employees. They also liaise with the management and potential customers.
How Does Software Engineering Management Relate to Data Science?
Software engineering as a field relates to data science because it creates the apps that data scientists work with. Software engineering also comes in handy to increase the speed of different machine learning algorithms. Without software engineering, data scientists would not be able to learn SQL and other important analytical tools.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Software Engineering Manager?
It can take a few years to become a software engineering manager, regardless of the path you choose to enter the field with. For instance, most employers prefer senior software engineers or people who have already served in a managerial role. You will need to have extensive technical skills and familiarity with software engineering culture.
If you take the path of earning an advanced degree, it could take up to five years or more for you to be ready to start a professional career in larger companies. With a coding bootcamp, you can become a software engineer within a few months and be ready to gain enough experience to advance to a software engineering management role.
Where to Study Software Engineering Management
The best educational path for you to become a software engineering manager will depend on your specific career goals and growth opportunities. You have to become a software engineer first, and to do that, you may need to attend a university or college to get a degree in computer science and learn on a larger scale.
Another option is to attend a coding bootcamp, where you can pick up the skills you need to get started in the tech industry within a few weeks. These bootcamps offer project-based training so you can build your portfolio as you learn. Read below for more potential learning paths you can take to set you on the right career track.
Software Engineering Management Community Colleges
Community colleges offer associate degrees for people who want to pursue a career in software engineering management. Their students get practical knowledge as they master the processes, methodologies, and integration techniques used in the industry. Generally, students can earn an associate degree in computer science or a related field.
Software Engineering Management Universities
To break into software engineering management, you might want to start with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. This program often allows a concentration on the essential skills to direct development teams through the process of creating new products. You will gain engineering leadership skills, active listening skills, communication skills, and more.
Software Engineering Management Coding Bootcamps
If you don’t want to earn a degree, you can also get the required tech skills from a coding bootcamp. Coding bootcamps are short and intensive tech career accelerators. They offer both software engineering and project management programs to help you land a job. This is the fastest way to become a software engineering manager.
Software Engineering Management Online Courses
Software engineering management can also be learned from online courses. These allow you to learn on your schedule because they lack the structured curriculum of a coding bootcamp. Students can learn how to apply management techniques, interact with clients, share experiences with the software management community, and manage a group of developers.
How to Become a Software Engineering Manager: A Step-by-Step Guide
Get a bachelor's degree
Get a master's degree
Consider software engineering roles
Apply for jobs
Entry-Level Software Engineering Manager Job Requirements
Software engineering management jobs are not considered entry-level because they often require at least one year of experience. It’s important to have industry connections and experience before you jump from software engineer to a more advanced role. Employers will expect proficiency in web application development technologies and leadership.
Software Engineering Manager Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), experts in the software engineering field earn a median salary of $110,140 per year. The BLS also reports that job opportunities for these professionals will grow by 22 percent between 2020 and 2030. As more industries utilize computer software, the demand for software developers will grow as well.
Example Software Engineering Manager Job Interview Questions
- What do you consider while reviewing a code your team members developed?
- What is the difference between white box and black box testing?
- Is unit testing essential? Why do you think so?
- What are some of the best project management tools used in software engineering projects?
What Does a Software Engineering Manager Do?
Software engineering managers lead software engineers on different projects, but they can also play several other roles in an organization depending on their employer. Some common job responsibilities are acting as the link between the company and other software engineers, introducing automation tools, and overseeing the design process.
Introduces New Tools
An important part of a software development manager’s job is ensuring the smooth automation of development processes. This means that more jobs can become automated and employees can be more productive. The head of engineering should explore uncharted territory and verify which tools will be useful.
These professionals are responsible for introducing new tools to ensure a smooth web development process. Software engineering managers at tech companies have the people skills to listen to team members as they suggest solutions or new tools. They then weigh the cost to implement them and make recommendations to higher management.
Connects Employees to the Company
In several companies, software development managers collaborate with human resources to ensure that software engineers in their team have a harmonious work environment. This helps promote productivity and job satisfaction and ensure quality engineering. People managers should also be familiar with workplace politics.
Excellent engineering managers also submit proposals as well as progress reports to members of upper management. This will create and maintain a safe environment for team members and ensure project success.
Oversees the Design Process
Software engineering managers also oversee the design process as they create the broader strategy for application and software designs. They monitor the entire software engineering process and set goals for members of the software engineering team to ensure they create a high-quality product. Senior engineers may also conduct performance reviews.
These experts also oversee budgeting for new software projects by researching the potential costs of the projects and following up with the expenditure during the software development process. This can have a huge impact on the business and a positive impact on the overall software engineering lifecycle.
Essential Software Engineering Manager Skills and Certifications
As a good software engineering manager, there are some important hard and soft skills you must have. To perform the duties of your job role effectively, you’ll need strong communication skills, interpersonal skills, analytical skills, and leadership skills. Certifications can help prove these skills to potential employers.
Software Engineering Manager Skills
As a software engineering manager, you need strong communication skills and emotional intelligence to keep up your team’s productivity. You’ll need clear and specific communication with members of the product team for your product to be a huge success. You’ll also need to share progress reports with company executives and request resources or budgets.
Software engineering managers are also responsible for training new employees in a tech company, and they need to be strong communicators to do this. They also need to be able to communicate with customers and inform them about how their software works and other specific instructions for use.
The software engineering manager oversees a development team. They are responsible for analyzing the team’s success and need to foresee any potential issues that could affect the development.
Analytical skills make it easier for the experts to review computer code, determine the main purpose of software and its appropriate demographic, and identify any software problems and find real-time solutions. They also identify the best tools for software design and interpret the results of debugging.
Software engineer managers are leaders. They must have engineering skills so they can offer practical advice to other engineers and developers who are part of the team. They also do this to ensure that the development process moves as smoothly as possible.
These experts also need to be able to inspire members of their team. Effective managers promote the goals of the organization while highlighting the value of each employee’s work. Software engineering managers set goals that are achievable and also offer guidance to help the team find success.
Software Engineering Manager Certifications
Certifications are powerful tools that can help showcase your knowledge of software engineering management and climb the career ladder. There are quite a few in this field that you can consider based on your specific goals.
This certification is quite popular, and it shows your prospective employer that you have the strong leadership and management skills required in the knowledge of a software engineering manager. Eligible candidates for this certification need to meet educational requirements and have management experience.
This certification requires candidates to complete certificates of proficiency in 12 knowledge areas. The professionals are also required to write an exam and renew the certification once every three years. This is a great option for any software engineering job.
Reasons to Become a Software Engineering Manager in 2021
Software engineering management is a fulfilling career path for people who have a flair for management and software development. It is an excellent job because the responsibilities are broad and cover different roles relating to computer systems and applications, and there are countless leadership opportunities.
The field also has an impressive job outlook, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at 22 percent. You will always be able to find a good job in software engineering management as the demand rises. The average salary for software development is also quite high for both entry-level and more advanced professionals.
Software Engineering Manager FAQ
What does a software engineering manager do?
A software engineering manager oversees an engineering department and manages the development of software and programs. They also direct engineers working in their team to make sure that projects run smoothly.
How do I become a software engineering manager?
To become a software engineering manager, you may need a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or Computer Science as well as experience as a software engineer. Some employers may also require proficiency in different types of coding languages.
How much do software engineering managers make?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for software engineering managers is $144,093. The salary is far higher than the average for all occupations. The demand for software developers and the employment of software developers is also high.
How long does it take to become a software engineering manager?
The duration of preparation will depend on your chosen method of entry. For instance, with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, you may spend four years in the university and also spend some time getting experience as a software engineer. With a coding bootcamp, you can learn what you need to get started within a few weeks.