Since I have been working as a software developer already for several years, I have an excellent overview of the different ways on how to become a software developer. If you are a computer and programming enthusiast and consider becoming a software developer, this article will give you a good overview of the path to becoming a software developer. I will discuss several points of view, which are essential to consider.
The first and most important part of this path is to educate yourself. Generally speaking, there are two separate ways which you can take to educate yourself.
The first and default one is to attend a public school or university, which offers any education like computer science, communication technology, software engineering, or anything similar. The second and more straightforward way is to educate yourself through private courses, whether online or any other programming school. In each of these two ways, there are benefits and drawbacks.
Studying in a technical school or university
The first and most obvious disadvantage of this education path is that an institution like a school or university has a fixed minimum needed time to get your degree. The second disadvantage is that you will learn a lot of stuff that is unnecessary and boring. However, there are also a lot of advantages to choosing this way. Even if you know a lot of things that you are never going to need, the idea of going through the challenge of learning that helps you get better in dealing with monotonous tasks. These challenges are good preparation for your job because even if you are going to like your job, there will be moments where you need to do very tedious tasks.
This way is also an option that you might consider in becoming a software developer, but you need to keep in mind its advantages and disadvantages. You will be free to choose what to learn, and you don’t have to go through all those boring and unnecessary stuff. However, on the other hand, you might be often confused about the right step to take in certain situations, such as deciding which programming language to learn and what kind of algorithms to develop for the industry’s particular fields. Furthermore, you can be easily distracted by some boring topics, and you might even want to quit continuing learning.
Choosing the field of development
On the other hand, learning programming languages is not the only challenge in software development. For example, if I can speak English very well, it doesn’t mean I can write perfect essays, or I am the best story teller. Learning a programing language means learning how to communicate with the technical environment for software development in a particular field. But making good software is art on itself. It is not involved only a programing language, but you also need to be good at math and logical understanding of your working problems. Different industries have very different scenarios and completely different problem solutions. For example, suppose you are a software developer for desktop applications. In that case, there is almost no difference if you make your application to start immediately or in 5 seconds after you click on the icon. But if you develop software for a car, there is a big difference if there is significant latency between pressing the brake pedal and the actual braking.
Find a job
After you finish your education, the next step is to find a job. You can find a job in a company or become a company. Eather way has advantages and limitations. However, finding a job in a company is the most common way of employment, even if you want at some later point to found your own company. The experience you gain from an already running company is the key to further development.
If you previously finished studies in an accredited school or university, you will have better chances to be hired because those institutions are trusted organizations by most companies. However, if you educated yourself privately, there are also chances to get hired. Still, you will need to prove your knowledge by showing your abilities, whether in the interview or maybe even an internship.
Once you found your first job, whether it is in a company or you have become a company, your education path doesn’t end there. You will educate yourself continuously since the technology changes very fast, and you will need to update your knowledge very often. Furthermore, there is not only the software developer position where you have to stay for your entire life, but there are higher positions that you can gain during your career. You can become a software architect, project manager, delivery manager, requirements engineer, a specialist for a specific field; you name it. Of course, the salary is not the same for every one of those positions.
By now, you should already have an overview of what it might take to become a software developer. You can read plenty of books on this topic, but my favorite one is “The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide” by John Sonmez. I encourage you to read that book since it will give you every piece of information you need to become a software developer.
I hope this article could help you in taking your first steps towards becoming a software developer. I will be glad to receive questions in the comment section below, and I will answer those as fast as possible.