How to Build a Career As a Software Engineer In 2023


Programmers are a special group of people. No other field of activity in the world requires a mathematical mindset, logical thinking, and creative abilities from a person all at the same time.

The era of recluses who are not interested in anything other than coding has passed. Today, a programmer engineer builds their CTO career path at their discretion. Let’s consider what career development options are possible in 2023.

3 Stages of Developing a Programmer Career In 2023

Programmers, like other professionals, move up the career ladder from position to position. Much depends on their level at the initial stage, as well as the direction in which the developer works.

The entry-level of any career in IT starts with a junior degree. To help them move forward, more senior mentors work with novice specialists.

After 3-5 years of work, juniors move to the middle level. Specialists at this stage work independently, but they are not yet entrusted with particularly important tasks. The middle-level developer is already interested not only in coding but also in the overall architecture.

The next step is the senior level. Senior developers not only see the architecture as a whole but can also come up with technological ideas for the implementation of the project. As a rule, at this stage, programmers have to choose the type of career: vertical or horizontal.

Vertical career as a programmer

In 2023, a vertical software engineer career path will be preferable, as it is assumed that at the next step, the senior will move into management. This specialist is no longer so much a programmer as a project and team manager.

To work in such a position, you need to have not only a huge amount of knowledge, but also certain flexible skills: such as communication skills, the ability to conduct business negotiations with customers, distribute tasks among team members, and so on.

Project managers are in high demand even now, and in 2023 the demand for them will only grow. But the problem is that not every senior can become a good manager. For these people, a horizontal type of career is more preferable.

Horizontal programmer career

This type of career assumes that the development specialist develops and grows in their competence within the same career track. That is, the do not go into management per se but keep writing code and leading solution design decisions. But even here career growth is possible.

As a rule, such specialists become experts. These are people with a unique set of rare knowledge and skills that few possess. Experts in cybersecurity, AI, and machine learning will be especially valued in 2023.


This is a special branch of the career of software engineers. Recent trends show that even after successful careers in large companies, many professionals go freelance and control what and when they do.

Do not think that a freelancer cannot make a career. They can, and even a very impressive one. It all depends on self-organization, efficiency, and the desire to grow as a specialist.

The reverse transition is also often encountered. People leave freelancing for in-house positions, looking for jobs in IT (remote), because they want stability, but are not ready for office restrictions. Whichever career direction you choose — vertical, horizontal, or independent — 2023 is the best time to start building and strengthening it.


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