Part 3: Rocket Academy’s Guide on How to Learn Software Engineering

It's never too late to learn how to code. It can be daunting to think about learning a new skillset that you're not familiar with, but there are many ways to get started. If you know where to look, there are plenty of resources available. We're sure you'll find one that'll suit your learning style.

Part 3: Rocket Academy’s Guide on How to Learn Software Engineering
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Last updated
Thursday, November 17, 2022

1. How would one learn and become a software engineer after tertiary education in Singapore?

3 common ways people become software engineers after tertiary education in Singapore are:

  • Self-learning
  • Bootcamps
  • Post-graduate programmes such as diplomas and master's degrees

2. How different are outcomes of CS grads, master’s/diploma grads, bootcamp grads, and self-learners in Singapore?

CS grads have the longest duration of learning (typically 4 years), and this often includes 2-3 software-related internships that further boost their candidacy. This means that CS grads are typically the most in-demand for entry-level roles. CS grads also tend to perform well long-term because they have the theoretical computer science foundation to help them solve more complex problems as more senior software engineers.

Post-graduate programme graduates often do well if they have relevant prior experience, such as work as a data analyst or at a tech company. While such graduates typically spend 1-2 years learning computer science, they may not have as much practical experience through internships as CS undergraduates. Thus post-graduate programme graduates typically need to spend more time building practical skills through projects outside of the course.

Bootcamp grads typically learn for 3 months and start applying for software engineering jobs after. Due to the short duration of bootcamps, many practical skills but relatively little computer science knowledge are covered during the course. This allows bootcamp grads to typically get roles at non-tech companies, software agencies, and smaller tech companies. Bootcamp grads less commonly get roles at larger tech companies with more competitive applicant pools, for whom software engineering is a core competency, and some computer science foundation is helpful in working on more mature products.

Self-learners have the widest variance in outcomes, but often their success is determined by their network: whether they have mentors with experience in software engineering that can guide them on their learning journey. Self-learner outcomes tend to be closest to bootcamp outcomes because they often focus on practical skills and less on theory in a short amount of time.

There is variance in the above. For example, someone graduating in Computer Science from a less reputable university may not perform as well as a bootcamp grad from a top university that studied something other than Computer Science. Outcomes across all ways of learning software engineering are closely correlated with past performance, though as always there are outliers.

3. What are pros and cons of self-learning software engineering?

  • Pros: Self-learning is the cheapest, and allows one the most flexibility in learning. One can learn at one's own pace, and focus on specific areas that one is weakest in.
  • Cons: Self-learning is the hardest, because there tends to be less structure around the learning curriculum, fewer mentors to provide guidance, and fewer peers to motivate continued engagement.

4. What resources can I use to self-learn SWE in Singapore?

5. For more structured learning, should I do a bootcamp or a post-graduate programme in SG?

Bootcamps tend to be cheaper (~S$5K) and faster (3-6 months), though outcomes tend to be less strong than post-graduate programmes because of the reduced exposure to computer science foundations.

Post-graduate programmes are more expensive (~S$10K+) and longer (1-2 years), but outcomes can be stronger if graduates put in the effort to pick up more practical skills during or after the course.

6. Where can I learn more about bootcamps in Singapore?

Most reputable bootcamps in Singapore are partners with IMDA's Tech Immersion and Training Programme (TIPP). Rocket Academy is in the process of becoming a partner.

7. How does Rocket Academy compare to other coding bootcamps in Singapore?

Rocket Academy's teaching and job support are led by software engineers, allowing Rocket Academy to be most in touch with needs of the software engineering community in Singapore and update our courses accordingly.

8. What are the best post-graduate SWE programmes in SG?

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