A Guide To Becoming
An Automotive Software Engineer

The automotive software industry has recently emerged as one of the burgeoning global markets.


Expert predictions from 2021 project the industry will be valued at USD 107.15 billion — a staggering USD 81.85 billion increase from the last projected market value of USD 25.3 in 2021.


Advancements in automotive technology are rapidly progressing. Many companies are hoping to gain a first-mover advantage by developing software solutions through the help of automotive software engineers.


As more automotive software technologies emerge — autonomous driving, vehicle connectivity, digital cockpits, advanced diagnostics — so will the demand for automotive software engineers and developers rise.


If the idea of making an impact on a project lifecycle sounds appealing - from its inception down to testing and deployment - a career in automotive software development is worth considering.



What Is An Automotive Software Engineer?


Automotive software engineering refers to the trade of designing and developing software solutions and systems to be implemented in car technology.


Such automotive software solutions can be utilized in controlling various vehicle systems, such as wheels (automotive parking), dashboards (vehicle diagnostics), and many more. .


An automotive software engineer's job description could include (but is not limited to) troubleshooting issues, designing, testing, and debugging prototypes, developing software, programming, etc.


Automotive software engineers mainly work with clients and businesses by developing innovative solutions designed to improve the driving experience for the everyday consumer. etc.


How To Be An Automotive Software Engineer?


Virtually anyone can become an automotive software engineer if they put in the time and effort.


For instance, software developers with a strong background in programming languages and software systems can quickly transfer their skills towards automotive software engineering.


If you have an inclination towards understanding the how and why of how vehicle systems work, then you can put automotive software engineering in your cards.


As long as you have the drive and determination to work with automotive systems and understand the complexity of the software you'll be working with, there's no reason why you can't become an automotive software developer or engineer.


Nevertheless, it pays to have an understanding of what the role entails. Below, we outline more about how you can kickstart a career as an automotive software engineer and even get a chance to work with Fortune 500 companies.


Define Your Ideal Career Path

Many software engineering, coding, and programming skills are transferrable between roles.


However, if you're aspiring as an automotive software engineer, being able to define your ideal career path early on certainly helps.


This is because the terms "software engineering" and "software development" can entail a variety of roles and positions.


Distinguishing between automotive software engineering and broader roles is critical when planning your career path.


As we've established, automotive software engineering refers to creating and implementing software-driven products and solutions for different kinds of vehicles.


An automotive software engineer has to understand vehicle systems and how they work, popular industry standards and trends, vehicle components, and what type of data transmission and storage exist.


Carmakers will value engineers who can comfortably test, develop, and debug software for ECUs (Electric Control Units), microcontrollers, microprocessors, etc.


Once you figure out your intended career path, you can equip yourself with the skills necessary to succeed professionally.


But, as with any software development and engineering role, certification is essential. Below, we'll go over the next steps in becoming an automotive software developer/engineer.


Take Automotive Software Development Courses

The automotive industry is heavily reliant on project work. Professional staff must manage new projects for new vehicles, modules, software, or components.


The age of digitization has significantly transformed vehicles as a product. They're no longer just a means of transport but must also solve pressing challenges in the automotive industry.


This is where taking up automotive software engineering courses is valuable. There are tons of courses available online where aspiring professionals can gain interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise in the following: (not exhaustive)


  • Electrical and electronic (E/E) systems
  • Requirement specifications for automotive software projects
  • Evaluation of software quality
  • Agile project management
  • Automotive embedded systems
  • Agile project management
  • Software architecture design
  • Software quality
  • Software validation methods
  • Functionality and safety
  • Embedded systems


Automotive trends and best practices are ever-changing, so you must take the time to learn and hone your automotive software engineering skills whenever possible.


Receive Certification

Certification is crucial in automotive software development, as it guarantees software products' quality and functional safety.


ASPICE, or Automotive Software Process Improvement Capability Determination in the automotive industry, is a set of industry standards and guidelines evaluating software development processes.


ASPICE auto software developer certifications benefit the customers by ensuring the developer's products work according to specifications. It also tells whether the developer can offer support for the products and measures their operational efficiency.


ASPICE is for the automobile industry as a whole. But individual software developers can also get certified for their software testing expertise, for example.


As of yet, certifications are mainly awarded on a business standard basis. There are various online boot camps available if you wish to get certified in software development or software engineering.


Depending on your cumulative knowledge and skills, design courses can last over 800+ hours.


You can also take exams spread out over several days, where you might need to show proficiency in software technology, database administration, creation and deployment of cloud-based applications, etc.


Apply For An Internship

Understanding fundamental and complex concepts in software engineering isn't enough. To make it into a professional setting, you must have hands-on experience working with systems. This is where applying for an internship will be handy.


An internship makes you more employable as you familiarise yourself with a fast-paced work environment. Here, you'll be using your understanding of automotive software development/engineering, programming languages, and other software systems on a daily basis.


Another crucial benefit of internships is the professional connections you'll make. Use this opportunity to meet like-minded software developers, engineers, project managers, and other positions already working in their industry.


Learn from their experience and build a good rapport with your peers and seniors. With a good reputation, who knows? They might recommend you for future career opportunities.


Connect With Like-Minded Luxofters On LinkedIn

As one of the world's biggest digital solutions providers, Luxoft is empowered by a team of digital specialists.


We aim to drive modern businesses towards a digital future through end-to-end technology solutions and other mission-critical products and services. This is why we value aspiring professionals who want to kickstart their careers.


Being a part of the Luxoft fold means more than just working a job. It's the opportunity of a lifetime to develop your skills and work with a diverse and talented team of software specialists in different industries.


If you want to broaden your professional connections, this is the perfect time to start with Luxoft.


Connect with like-minded Luxofters on our LinkedIn page. Learn from their experiences and get front-row seats on think tank sessions, summits, and other career growth opportunities you wouldn't want to miss out on.


Automotive Software Engineer Career Opportunities


Ready to begin a career in automotive software development? Get a chance to work on projects with some of the world's most respected and well-known automotive companies.


Luxoft is currently hiring for the following positions:



Click here for a complete list of our available Luxoft job openings in the SEA region.


Calling All Aspiring Automotive Software Developers: Luxoft Is Hiring!


The automotive sector is facing increasing pressure to meet the challenges specific to the digital age.


As the widening gap between scalable, agile automotive software solutions and a functional driving experience for everyone persists, the world needs professional and highly-skilled digital specialists now more than ever.


Start your career with Luxoft now and become part of the digital transformation! Take on projects specific to the automotive industry and become part of a new generation of innovative engineers, testers, developers, and consultants.


Connect with us for more information. The Luxoft experience begins now.


Frequently Asked Questions About What Is Automotive Software Developer


How Much Does An Automotive Software Developer Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, automotive software developers make a median annual salary of over $98,000. This figure could go as high as $160,000 or as low as $27,000, depending on experience, location, benefits, seniority, etc.


Can Software Engineers Work In The Automotive Industry?

Yes. Many automobile companies are in high demand of automotive software engineers. They will be responsible for creating software solutions intended for digital vehicle systems.


Do Automotive Engineers Need To Know How To Program?

Yes. Automotive engineering requires a clear understanding of programming languages like C++ and C.


This is because these languages are deeply embedded into various microcontrollers in car technology. Engineers must know how to handle, organize, and manage these circuits and understand how automation impacts vehicles.


Is CAD Used In Automotive Software Engineering?

Yes. CAD or computer-aided design is crucial in automotive development. CAD models provide invaluable geometric information and also serve as the fundamentals for modules and systems configuration. Advancements in VR (Virtual Reality) have also made it possible to view simulations and verification processes through CAD.