Software development is one of the top-ranking career paths when it comes to the field of IT. Whether you come from a computer science background or one related to maths, this specialty can be super-attractive. If you’re wondering how to become a software developer, you will need to know the main aspects that make up a great developer, in the first place. And that is exactly what we’ll be talking about in this tutorial.
To begin with, we’ll talk about the software developer career path itself. You’ll have the opportunity to find out what is a software developer, and distinguish software developers from software engineers. After that’s done, we’ll move on to the actual tutorials and cover three huge aspects that make up a software dev that every employer will want to hire. Finally, at the very end, we’ll check out some of the main reasons why people want to become software devs in the first place.
Table of Contents
Introducing Software Developers
What is a software developer and what do these people do? Surely, if you’re trying to find out how to become a software developer, you’re probably aware of the main features that are associated with the profession in question. However, just to make sure that we’re both on the same page here, let’s briefly go over the main points of this specialty.
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Software developers are mainly concerned with just that - software development. However, what you might not know is that there are a few different types of software developers out there. These devs might work with desktop programs, web platform development, and so on. Furthermore, if we’re talking about web development, you can either specialize in front-end, back-end or full-stack development… That is a lot of different types of developers!
With that said, all of these software devs work with their specific platforms and tend to focus on two big tasks - preservation and updating of the current versions of these platforms. As a software developer, you’ll have to work together with designers, engineers, marketing specialists and a lot of other people to establish a clear path of progression and to find an agreed-upon path of work.
So, to recap, if you want to learn how to become a software developer, the very first thing that you need to do is to establish just what exactly it is that you want to develop (web platforms, desktop apps, etc.). All of the specifics of the job will be determined based on the decision that you make.
Now you know what is a software developer. However, a lot of people still tend to mix software developers and software engineers up. Not to go into too much detail, just keep in mind that software developers work with the software itself, while software engineers are concerned with the core of the software. In other words, software engineers build the foundation on which the actual software is then being developed.
Becoming a Software Developer
Now, it’s probably pretty obvious that there are a lot of little things that make up a good and reliable software developer. In this “How to Become a Software Developer” tutorial, we’ll focus on three of the most commonly-referenced aspects: formal education, e-learning, and gaining experience. If you have all of these points covered, you can be sure that you’re on the right path of becoming a software developer.
Education is the key cornerstone of a successful software developer career. Proper education will most commonly be the deciding factor of you getting the job, especially if you’re trying to get hired in a huge corporation.
After you finish high-school, your best bet is to try and get higher education in the field of Maths or Computer Science. Some colleges and universities offer the specific specialty of software development, but it still isn’t all that common.
While you’re studying how to become a software developer, you should focus on two things - learning as much information as possible and participating in as many events related to software development as you can.
In addition to that, if you participate in various events related to software development (seminars, workshops, clubs, etc.), you will increase the chance of being noticed by potential employers earlier.
Once you finish university or college and receive your bachelor’s degree, it is strongly advised to continue your studies and go for a master’s. The higher the degree of education you have, the more likely you will be taken seriously by a potential employer that comes across your CV. And you don’t need to focus explicitly on your studies, either - a lot of people who go for a master’s degree already work or start working in a particular company. It is very important to start working in the field of your specialty as soon as possible to receive priceless work knowledge.
When it comes to proper education, formal learning isn’t your only option. There’s an increasing amount of people who are interested in how to become a software developer and who turn towards individual, independent learning.
The so-called “e-learning” method is a great example of this. People try to gain and grow their software developer skills by enrolling in online courses and special programs (boot camp) that offer to teach software development at the same level (or even better) as formal education facilities do.
Beginning an alternative learning method to formal education should begin by deciding what is the end-goal of the learning process. It can vary, some people wish to become software developers and work in a single company for many years, others wish to freelance and work independently.
Another important thing is to choose a programming language you will begin with. It is no secret that most of them can be overwhelming at first, and you will not be able to learn most of them at once. On the other hand, when you master one programming language - it is not that hard to make a transition to another one. In the end, the goal on how to become a software developer is to completely master the programming languages that you are working with.
For many people - Python is the developing language to go. It is considered to be one of the most universal programmings languages and it is quite is easy to transition from it. Also, it is used in a lot of software development processes so you can find success. BitDegree offers plenty of courses that take on Python at different levels. Moreover, if you find a course that you can't afford, you can try to apply for a scholarship for online classes on BitDegree.
Having said that, however, it is worth mentioning that a lack of formal education can make it more difficult for you to gain a job in the industry. Even though a lot of employers are a lot more flexible these days than they were, let’s say, 10 years ago, most of them still prefer their employees to have taken a “traditional” education path. This is mostly because a lot of people who want to learn how to become a software developer underestimate just how difficult the profession is. Furthermore, if you’re learning individually, it’s going to be much harder for you to find and participate in specific events and internships.
- Simplistic design (no unnecessary information)
- High-quality courses (even the free ones)
- Variety of features
- Nanodegree programs
- Suitable for enterprises
- Paid certificates of completion
You do not need to have “previous work experience” to be able to get an entry-level software developer job. You probably won’t be able to work in a dream company and earn an obscene amount of money straight from the get-go, but a beginner’s position won’t be too difficult to acquire. At BitDegree, you can find scholarships for courses that will be paid by a potential employer that might offer a job possibility at the end of it. That being said, there will probably be many people that are trying to get hired for that same position, so why should the company pick you? Well, this is where experience comes in.
In this aspect, the experience is closely related to motivation. All of the above-mentioned conferences, seminars, and individual projects add up. You can enrich your CV with all of these things. Even if you don’t have any past work experience, your potential employers will see that you are an active member of the software developer community, and this will increase your chances of being hired by a whole lot.
Furthermore, if you’re trying to learn how to become a software developer, keep in mind that you’ll have to show the maximum amount of motivation as soon as you get hired. It’s not enough to “be motivated” before and during the job interview - the more passionate you are about the subject of software development, the better your work will be, and the sooner you can expect to climb the career ladder!
Why Become a Software Developer?
Now that we’ve covered all of the main aspects that will help you understand the path of software development, let’s take a bit of a turn and talk about why someone would want to become a software developer, in the first place.
One of the very first things that come to most people’s minds who wonder about how to become a software developer is the salary. There’s no secret that experts in the field of IT (namely - in the area of Computer Science) make some of the best salaries in the world. Software development is no different - it’s a career path that is not only highly sought-after but also dominates the IT job market. Furthermore, it’s a really difficult craft to truly master - it would only make sense that the rewards would match the work that needs to be put in.
According to Glassdoor.com, a typical annual software developer salary should be a bit over $73,000. This would come out to be around $6140 per month. That’s a great salary, and it’s only the average! If you work hard and put in the effort, you’ll be able to climb well over the average in no time!
Another thing that attracts people to the software developer career path is the career opportunities that it provides. You can almost be sure that ten years from now, software developers are going to be needed even more than they are now. This guarantees job security and shows you that there are no limits to how far you can go with your software developer skills.
All in all, these and many smaller details add up to create a huge interest in the specialty of software development.
Should You Become a Software Developer?
If you’re a creative person who loves programming and finds him or herself constantly questioning how to become a software developer, you should spend some time looking into this career option. It’s not an easy path to take, but as you’ve probably understood by now, the rewards are surely worth it.
In this tutorial, we have not only covered the main aspects required to be a successful software dev but also talked about the profession itself. Furthermore, you should now know why it’s such a popular career path, and that it’s not going away any time soon.
So if you are thinking about choosing the software developer career path and you haven't started yet, the best time to start is now. Choose a course and start learning!