As a profession, software engineering is experiencing a massive transformation. Coding is increasingly less about lines of code and more about problem-solving with data.

The rise of AI and IoT has changed the way we build software. There are other significant shifts, too, in terms of how we work as teams, the tools we use, and the skills needed to be an excellent engineer.

In this article, I will cover some advice that I think will help you stand out as a software engineer in 2021.

The ability to code is not enough

To become a software engineer in 2021, you have to communicate your ideas and solutions. This means being a good communicator, both in person and on the written page.

To make sure you can do this, it’s essential to learn how to create clean, readable code that you can explain easily. You also need to practice writing documentation for both yourself and others if you want people to use your work!

You should also have some experience with pair programming. If you’re in a team, it will allow you to talk through problems with others quickly so that you can learn from each other and deliver great code.

Be a good team player but don’t shy away from challenging problems

Although working as part of a team is essential, it’s also important not to shy away from challenging problems. Identifying and solving problems is vital if you want your work at a company like Google or Facebook in five years.

However, it’s also crucial that you are self-motivated and capable of getting things done without supervision. It’s great if you’re comfortable working with other people, but make sure that this doesn’t stop you from doing what needs to be done.

Be creative and inventive

It’s also worth being as creative and inventive as possible. If you can come up with new solutions to problems, this means you’ll have the edge over your peers.

And while it’s great to come up with new ideas that are different from what other people have done in the past, don’t be afraid to take inspiration from others either.

The best way to stand out is by adding your own spin on whatever it is that you’re doing.

Be a product person

Try to be a “product person”. If you can look at the bigger picture and think creatively about making an application appealing, you’re going to be far more valuable than someone who just writes code from day to day.

It would be best to look at your work from a user's perspective, which is what being a product person entails.

Think about how people will use your code and try to incorporate their needs into your work.

Learn new programming languages and frameworks

As a software engineer in 2021, you’ll need to learn how to pick up new languages and frameworks quickly. Your ability to learn new things will be one of the key differentiators between you and your peers.

To develop this ability, you must continually stay up-to-date with what is going on in your industry.

The best way to do this is by reading books and blogs about new technologies and learning from others who have experience. If you get stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help from other people — there are plenty of online communities where you can seek advice.

Explore different areas of technology development

Make sure you don’t focus too much on just one technology development area, such as server-side technologies like Java or C++, or client-side technologies like JavaScript or React.

You should learn about all these areas and explore deeper into areas like machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) as well.

As a software engineer in 2021, AI will be everywhere and has become increasingly important in software engineering jobs over the past couple of years. It will undoubtedly be even more prevalent in future job roles.

This means that learning how AI works will benefit you greatly in your career. It’s also a beneficial skill outside of just engineering if you want to get involved with startups or invent new products using this technology.


To become a software engineer in 2021, you need to be a good team player who can communicate well and gets things done without supervision.

Be prepared to learn new languages and frameworks, and don’t restrict yourself to just one area of technology development.

By doing this, you’ll give yourself the best chance of working as a tech professional by the end of this year!

And if you want to start standing out as a software engineer in 2021, get involved in the broader engineering community. You should be actively seeking out conferences, meetups, and other events that will allow you to speak about your work or learn from others.

Conferences are critical because this is where you’ll find the most relevant work being presented. At these events, you can connect with like-minded people who can help you develop your career opportunities.

I recommend attending Meetups regularly, too, because there are often great networking opportunities with companies at these events.