Good question! So I would like to encourage women to join me on this exiting adventure of being a software engineer (and believe me, if I can, you can too!). So maybe if you are a woman, you might be interested in that? Or maybe even anyone else would be interested to read about a different point of view.
Or maybe because you are just bored and want to relax for 5 mins :-).
I think software engineering is the future. Believe it or not, more and more information is gonna be transformed into data and that will be (sooner or later) digitalised. To know a little bit about how to use and protect this data is not just fun, it is also crucial to your personal security.
On top of that software engineering jobs are well paid and usually have these perks like "work life balance", "options to travel", "investing in your education" etc.. I would count that already as a good reason, so not more to that.
There are way too little women in this field! Who cares? I do care! The world does, too! And talking about gender equality and gender pay gap, I think a lot of women do care!
So I often hear complaints that a lot of women raise. Two of it might be that they are not good in maths and that they are not smart enough to be an engineer. First of all, you don't need to be good in maths to be a good engineer. Engineering has so much more to do with problem solving. So are you able to solve a problem? I guess so! So now just be creative and try to write down your plan of problem solving, the coding comes later.
Second of all you are smart! That's a fact, because you have a brain and you are able to read what I am just typing. That should be enough. The rest you can find on www.stackoverflow.com.
I don't think so! Actually I am the proof that you don't need that. I studied geography. I have a bachelors degree. That's it. It's not rocket science. Just proof that you are eager to learn. Start with one of those million online courses that teaches how to code (for free!!!).
Not all engineers are nerds! In fact I don't think anyone is a nerd. You are just too judgemental if you think so. And if you don't want engineers to be nerds, then you (who apparently is not a nerd) should join the team. "Be the change you want see in the world", right (M. Gandhi)?
Motivation: I think motivation is the key to do ANYTHING. So first of all, check what you can build as a software engineer. Soon you will find out, you can do almost anything your mind can think of. That's the magic of software development!! I will give you some cool example, because this actually helped me to get into that field:
https://maps.openrouteservice.org/ It's a project that my university started. It is like google maps, just for free. Free means it is open source. The crowd helps to develop the data and the hard working engineers try to make the algorithm to calculate getting from A to B faster. It also has a lot more options than the google engine does. E.g. whenever you want to take a bike trip from A to B and you are curious about the steepness of the route... there you go, the ORS will display it to you. And various other use cases you cannot use google for.
So my thought process back then was (because I had an amazing colleague who was constantly pushing and empowering me):
Me: "Cooool I can put a marker on that map?"
Tim: "Yes, you can."
Me: "Coooool!! And I can color that marker with the color I want?"
Tim: "Yes, even that you can! You could actually even use an image (e.g. a heart for your favourite places) instead of a boring coloured circle."
Me [getting excited]: "Reaaaaally??? Wooow that is so amazing!!!"
And that is actually one of the easiest things you can do with a digital map (just google it, you will find code examples of how to do so with https://leafletjs.com/ for example).
So basically you could create your own map with your own favourite places and look at it. You could make an app out if and share it with your friends when they want to come and visit and ask you about what they should see in this city.
Skills: Do one or two online courses (any programming language that appeals to you)
So skills are important, because you write them on a CV, right? And they kind of also show what you can do and what you know. So skills are cool. If you don't have them that's also cool. That's why we are here. Just check out some fo these platforms and do an online course:
Actually this list exists already 1.00000000 times. Just google: "learn coding for free". You will find platforms.
Register on GitHub
If you haven't done this already, now is the time to do so! This is one of the mightiest platforms for version control of code. Remember the 90s or 00s when you forgot to save your word document and your computer got stuck and everything was lost? Yah, we've all been there. Never ever gonna happen again, when you will use git (the right way). Learn it!
Join a open source project
This one is optional. But it is a good starting point as you will have to do with real world problems, will get in contact with the community and just learn a lot.
Now you can apply for a job!
Good luck and have fun :)
PS: I love the fact that I don't have to cite anything because I use my brain. Muhahahaha take that university!!