Career Paths in Software Development

There are multiple software development career paths and they are the masterminds behind many technologies you now could not imagine living without it. Whether you’re searching for a new career path or perhaps you think that your current job is not a good fit, this article will be featuring various career paths available to software developers to help you discover a career that fits your skill set.


Various applications engineers develop software products or internal enterprise apps. As you may have known most application architecture schema divides apps into various “layers” and various types of application engineers work with different layers. To sum up the layers, you have the following:

Front-End Engineers working on the section that people interact with. Works on selecting, installing and testing the user interface elements of a website:

1.Web: Technologies such as HTML,CSS,JV,React,Angular,etc.

2.Native: Mobile, Desktop, Tablet, SmartTV, Car Infotainment, Wearables, etc.

Backend Engineers are responsible for managing the structure of server-side information. Their primary responsibilities include working on:

1.The glue or middleware, for example, the design and build APIs.

2.The services, for example, business logic, data processing, etc.

3.The platform, example handling communication with the server, containers, or with external cloud solutions.

4.The data storage, example designing and implementing data storage solutions for the app data.

5.All the applications above, also known as Back-End Generalist.

Full-Stack Engineers are complete applications generalists that work on both the front and back ends of a website or application. They are capable of managing projects that involve building user-facing websites, databases, or even work closely with clients during the development phase of projects.

Infrastructure and Operations

Outside of the applications engineer field, you have infrastructure and ops engineers that specialize in:

  • manage and automate the operational aspects of machine learning, for example, MLOps Engineers.
  • manage to automate network operations work, for example, Network Automation Engineers or Network Reliability Engineers.
  • manage security monitoring, testing, and on-going improvement, examples include Application Security Engineer or Security Engineers.
  • manage the build and release components of deploying to production, examples include Build and/or Release Engineers.
  • generalists across all of the deployment, security, infra, monitoring, etc. Examples include DevOps or Site Reliability Engineers or DevSecOps Engineers.


Engineers that work closer to the hardware than application engineers building things such as:

  • Programming Languages and Toolchains
  • Digital Signal Processing Systems
  • Operating Systems
  • Embedded Systems
  • High-Performance Computing Systems

Other career paths

Data: Data Engineers, Quantitative Developer, Scientific Programmer, Data Visualization Engineer, Machine Learning Engineer.

Productivity: developing dev tools, utilities and infra for other engineers, automating processes with RPA(Robotics Process Automation Engineer).

Graphics: rendering, 3D modelling etc.

VFX/CGI/Animation: Pipeline TD, etc.

Game Development: UI, gameplay, AI, game engine, audio, etc.

Test: conducting test automation, examples Software Development Engineer in Test(SDET), QA Engineer.

Emerging Tech: Computer Vision, Speech Processing, Natural Language Processing, Deep Learning, AR/VR, Autonomous Vehicles, Robotics, Blockchain, Quantum Computing, etc.

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You Jing is a content writer who writes career and lifestyle contents to inspire job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.

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