How does pursuing a career with a median annual wage of $107,000 feel? How about a career with a 22 percent annual growth rate?
When you choose a career in software development, you’ll have the best of both worlds. Software developers are not only well-compensated (the salary is much higher than the average for all occupations) but they’re also some of the most sought-after professionals.
However, you don’t just wake up one day and become a software developer. There’s a path you must follow; otherwise, your dream will remain just that, a dream.
Continue reading to learn how to become a software developer.
Get the Right Professional Education
Software development isn’t one of those tech careers that you can enter without having any professional training. You’ve probably heard stories of people who became software developers by learning to code online, but that’s rarely the complete story. If you want to give yourself the best preparation for a career in software development, it’s best to go to college and pursue the right course.
Most software developers get started by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in software engineering or computer science. An increasing number of universities are also starting to offer baccalaureate programs in software development.
Regardless of the specific program you choose, expect to take classes in programming, database development, web development, DevOps, and other closely-related areas.
Most programs will also typically require you to complete an internship program. Take this opportunity to set your foot in the industry. Try to find an internship position in a well-established software development firm.
While in college, it’s also important to choose a software development specialization that suits you. For example, you could specialize in frontend development, where you’ll work with a wide range of digital experience tools and platforms. Read more on SitecoreDevOps to learn about the intersection of software development and IT operations.
Other areas of specialization include backend, data pipelines, embedded systems, project management, gaming, and graphics.
Nurture the Right Occupational Skills
While the right professional training will give you good preparation for a career in software development, on its own, it isn’t enough. You need to combine it with the right occupational skills.
For example, you need strong analytical skills to become a competent software developer. The job largely involves analyzing the needs of a user (client) and coming up with software solutions that meet those needs. This also means you need great problem-solving skills.
Excellent communication skills are a must-have since the job involves communicating with clients and collaborating with other professionals on a software development team. To excel in this role, you also need strong interpersonal skills.
You’ve probably seen videos of coders who have sleepless nights simply because they made a small mistake when writing a line of code and they can’t seem to pick out the mistake. This is what happens when you aren’t detail-oriented.
As a software developer, you need great attention to small details; otherwise, writing code with ease will become a major challenge.
Now that you’ve got the professional education and the occupational skills, the next step is to get started in the job market.
How do you find employment? Considering that there’s a high demand for software developers across the United States, finding a job shouldn’t be a tall task. However, you still need to know where to look for a job. It isn’t going to come knocking your way.
Ideally, you want to start working at an established software development agency. However, positions in these agencies are limited. As such, you might need to make do with starting out at a small agency.
Alternatively, you can find work in the IT department of a big company in another industry. For example, banks and other financial institutions are always hiring software developers to help create custom banking or financial systems.
There’s also the option of self-employment. Here, you’ll become a freelancer, finding clients on your own. This path can turn out to be extremely profitable, especially if you’ve got excellent business skills.
Take Your Career to the Next Level
Like every other career person, you want to advance in your career. So, what’s next for a software developer?
There are a handful of career progression options, depending on where you start out. If you start out as a junior developer, you’ll gradually advance and become a senior developer as you gain more experience. Eventually, you could become a team lead or even department head.
If you want to improve your career progression prospects, don’t just rely on experience. Go back to college and pursue a master’s degree in software development. You could also pursue a graduate program in IT project management if you’re interested in taking on management positions in the future.
How to Become a Software Developer Made Easy!
You’ve made a smart career decision to become a software developer. The salary is attractive and you won’t worry about spending several weeks or months finding a job. There’s great demand.
However, you still need to know how to become a software developer. With this guide, you have all the information you need to get started and break into the industry. Plus, you also know what a software developer does on the job.
What’s remaining? Take action now, and don’t forget to keep reading our blog for more career tips and insights.