If you’ve always had a loved for the intricacies of software and the internet in terms of the cogs which provide functionality to these things, then it was always destined that you would go down the path of coding. Of course, whether you prefer to code in terms of web development, games or programming, the potential for your skillset has perhaps even more scope than you currently imagine.
You don’t have to head down the same route as your peers if you’re still studying at college or university, and you don’t simply have the choose the safe career path if it isn’t what excites you with the realm of computer science. There are so many unique opportunities out there, and there are so many ways to get those opportunities. If you want some advice with regards to not only finding the perfect career in coding but how to make an impression on people in the industry, then here are some tips to give you some ideas.
Before you get too excited, there are careers available in legal hacking, but the kind of hacking that you see in films would get you a hefty jail sentence. If you’ve ever heard of ethical hacking, then you may or may not know that there’s a business surrounding this popular social trend amongst those who are savvy in the world of computer science. Companies are more than willing to pay those with talent in hacking to test out their computer systems in order to check for weaknesses and suggest ways to better protect their software.
Security in the digital world is becoming a minefield as criminals become smarter and smarter, so you could really help businesses out by using your knowledge to show them the ways in which “real” hackers might try to infiltrate their system to steal precious information. Believe it or not, hacking doesn’t always have to be a seedy or criminal activity.
Research the unexpected
Whatever specific line of coding you choose, you need to expand your knowledge in preparation for any potential interviews or simply to get ahead in your career. For example, if you’re interested in the intricacies of web communication, you could look into the SOAP vs. REST comparison so as to ‘swot up’ on benefits and differences between these huge communication protocols. You can’t be two-dimensional and come out with the same lines as everyone else. You need to be taking the initiative and bringing up your own topics of interest in interviews or simply when meeting new people within your industry.
You need to be taking people by surprise whilst networking or applying for a job so as to get your foot up onto the next rung of the coding career ladder; or the first rung if you’re a recent computer science graduate with no contacts and struggling to make any impact on the industry. It can be hard to stand out in your early days, given that there’s a vast sea of other potential computer science graduates vying for the same career paths as you, so you have to be unexpected and intriguing.
Look at the world outside of computers
If you want to know how your coding talents can truly make a mark on different businesses or industries and choose a career which suits you, you need to think about the ways in which technology fix non-technological problems out there in the real world. Rich Hickey, founder of Clojure, suggests that a unique programmer who makes a real impression in the industry is one who thinks not in terms of formulas or technicalities, but how that language can solve existing problems. Whether you’re applying for a job or trying to build a business for yourself on a freelance basis, you need to be thinking about the ways in which your skills can help other people, as that’s the key to creating a career out of your skillset rather than simply showing off your talents.
You don’t need to know every language
Read up on as much code as possible, but don’t try to learn every language in its entirety. If you try to cram too much knowledge into your head, you’ll confuse yourself. In any job role, you’ll likely only be working with a couple of languages, and even if you’ve never learned the specifics of Ruby or Python before, an employer will trust that you have the capacity to learn these if you demonstrate your understanding of coding languages on a widespread basis.