Why you should be a software developer & how to get started

How to be a software developer

Without a question, becoming a software developer nowadays is one of the best career decisions that someone can make, not only because of the great job opportunities available but also because of the immense benefits in terms of personal fulfillment, self-development, and creative expression.

As someone who began to travel this career path not so long ago, I just felt that more people should know what a wonderful opportunity to work in this area is.

Everyone can acquire the necessary skills at any point in one’s life with the right amount of passion and perseverance.

Some of the benefits of taking this career path are here:

Free and accessible learning

While having a formal university education in computer science is certainly a good basis for achieving a professional level of software development, it is not the only way forward.

Nowadays, through self-education and training, it is possible to become a professional software developer.

The Internet is full of self-education resources: just some of them are online courses, boot camps, tech forums, or beginner-friendly groups. It is possible to teach yourself the basic skills required in this role with diligence and passion, and many companies are willing to give young junior developers a shot.

Lifelong learning

Being a developer of software means being an ongoing learner.

To have the best toolbox for every technical challenge, a software developer must always keep up with the latest innovations and developments.

In order to achieve the desired result, each new project will need to step out of the comfort zone and acquire/use new skills.

It ensures that as a software developer you will never be bored or lack motivation in a repetitive daily job.

Regular inspiration is required

Developing software is a highly creative job.

While it is important to adhere whenever possible to well-known and tested patterns, there are usually many possible approaches or tools that can be used while working on a task and are always a creative and personal expression to choose from.

As a software developer, in every new feature or fix you will constantly express your unique logical thinking and creative process.

Liberty

Becoming a developer of software could allow you to have flexible working times and locations, and all you need to do is have a computer and your skills.

Many developers go freelancing and have complete freedom to organize their time and working conditions while others become company employees, but they can still benefit from remote working.

It is usually easy to find English speaking IT jobs even in non-English speaking countries, allowing you to move to a foreign country and find a job even before you learn the local language.

Strong career route

In recent years, the demand for skilled programmers has skyrocketed and it shows no sign of slowing down.

There are already more job openings in jobs relating to IT than there are people with the right qualifications.

You’ll probably never have trouble finding a job by becoming a software developer.

The World Changes

Technology has changed humanity’s direction drastically.

Technology irreversibly affects the way we communicate, conduct daily tasks, consume entertainment and control our finances.

You will always be at the forefront of the transition through serving in IT and be able to contribute to the development of society.

How to get started

 

Here are some tips for making your first steps in becoming a developer of software:

Virtual education

The Internet is full of educational resources that are free and paid for. Begin with an online course that addresses the fundamentals of computer science (software design, algorithms, data structures, problem-solving, etc.). Finally, take up a course with a vocabulary of your preference that goes over the key concepts of programming.

Choose a Programming Language 

Choosing a specific language is always better to start and try to gain skills for it before switching to another word. It makes it easier to stop being lost, and you will gain skills that are helpful in the job market easily.

When you learn a programming language, it will be much easier to switch to others as you already have the key concepts and the right mindset.

You can decide which programming language to learn based on many factors, such as popularity, job demand or a specific field of application, but it is better to choose a language at the beginning of your career that is friendly to beginners and supported by a great community.

In this way, as a first language, Ruby is a great choice.

Ruby is a general-purpose, a language specifically designed for software developers to use with ease. The syntax is simple and easy to understand, and from the start, you won’t have to deal with complex topics like memory management, pointers, or compilers.

Ruby on Rails, a common Ruby architecture, allows fast and successful begin-ups to create scalable web applications. 

If your goal is to become a web developer, you must start with Ruby or Ruby on Rails.

Last but not least, the Ruby culture is fantastic, and in every big city you can get in contact with other developers there are plenty of local meetings and conferences.

Ruby developers usually have a huge presence in every forum and are very beginner-friendly. You’re never going to have trouble finding support for your questions and answers.

Know through doing; build your own ideas

Beginning to work on your own personal projects is never too early, and the best way to learn on the job is to test yourself with practical problems and real-world applications.

Talk about some software that you want to construct, then consider splitting it into tiny conceptual pieces to start working on them.

You are likely to face different challenges from the start, and this will require you to go through documents and forums in pursuit of assistance. Don’t be shy to ask for help from the community!

Furthermore, the best way to showcase your skills to potential employers is to build your own portfolio of pet projects.

Contribute to programs that are open source

The best way to start checking your expertise and getting input from other programmers is to commit to open source projects. 

First, you can focus on a quick bugfix or a slight upgrade, then you can build a pull request or wait for input.

This will give you the opportunity to develop your coding skills significantly, and encourage you to know how to concentrate on key elements of collaboration, such as readability, obedience to standards, documenting of your software, etc.

Search GitHub for “first-timers-only” or “good-first-contribution” issues with labels. Typically these are good places to start.

The Way is the Goal

Software development careers are a lifelong journey. It doesn’t matter when you start or how long you’re going to be successful. Every day, you will have the opportunity to learn amazing new things and bring value to society through innovation, and that is the most important reward.

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