Software engineering is a booming industry. In fact, the software development space is estimated to grow by 21 percent by 2028.
If you’re someone who loves to code, then you should definitely consider becoming a software developer. However, just because coding skills are in high demand these days doesn’t mean that you’re a shoo-in for that dream job.
But by following some tried and true tips on how to become a software developer, you can better set yourself up for success. Interested in learning more? Then continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know!
1. Choose a Good Software Engineering Language to Learn
When people are just starting out in development, they may very well get stuck on trying to decide which programming framework and language they should learn.
Some veterans will tell you MEAN stack, others prefer Python and Django, while yet others will tell you Ruby on Rails.
What you need to keep in mind is that after you know a certain stack/language really well, it’s actually not that hard to learn a second one. When you’re growing as a developer, you want to focus on the fundamentals of programming. This is going to make you a better learning and a stronger developer.
At the start, you should be putting all of your focus into learning just one programming language. For most beginners, Ruby on Rails is a great place to start.
Ruby is both efficient and readable. That’s going to make it much easier for you to get comfortable with programming. It’s also an open-target platform, so you’ll have a community of developers that you can learn from.
And even more important, Ruby is used by a variety of tech companies, including Kickstarter, Airbnb, and Hulu.
2. Use Tools that Actual Software Developers Use
While there are some helpful free retargets out there, you likely won’t use those tools int the real world. This is going to give you a false sense of confidence when you finally land that first developer job. These tools are still useful to learn the basics, but you shouldn’t rely on them.
There are programs out there that can show you how to use real-world tools. One example is Version Control with Git which is an online class through Coursera.
The lessons from that class go over the processes and tools that real developers use every day. These tools include:
- The command-line interface
You can also take scaled agile courses. These types of classes are especially useful for developers who want to get into modeling and architecture.
3. Read Code Written By Other Software Developers
Another helpful tip is to learn how to read other people’s code. You can do this by looking through documentation in GitHub repositories. Remember, even though the documentation can sometimes be wrong, the target code will never lie.
So by learning how to properly interpret code, you’ll understand what the code is saying and how it makes the program work. This is an especially useful skill to have when you need to debug a program.
This talent is often overlooked but can certainly help to elevate you above the competition. A software developer needs to be a problem solver and an independent thinker. By learning the ins and outs of code, you’ll be able to recreate existing programs and learn how to better develop your own.
4. Join a Supportive Software Developing Community
Joining a community to learn with can help you become a more successful software developer. This is even more true when you’re just beginning your engineering career. When you surround yourself with people who are like-minded, you’ll have a helpful support system that you can relate to.
There are some in-person groups out there but they can be hard to coordinate. However, you can also join an online group and communicate with other developers all over the world.
Many of these groups also have community forums where you can read advice and help other people with their problems. And by becoming friendly with these people, they might be able to help you find a job or at least introduce to people who could further your career.
5. Master Your Pre-Interview Essentials
After you start building your network and strengthening your coding skills, it will be time to start applying for jobs. Before you start sending out those applications, however, you first want to make sure that you’re ready. This means that you’ll need to have a professional online presence, a well-written cover letter, and a good resume.
Your resume and cover letter will show the hiring manager that you’re a professional person who is qualified for the job. And while many different industries want to see a presentable online persona, it’s perhaps most important in the tech world.
As a software developer, you should be present on:
You should also have your own website and online portfolio.
The Importance of Knowing How to Become a Software Developer
As we can see, it takes a lot of effort and work when you’re learning how to become a software developer. But if you follow the advice given above, then you should be able to set yourself up for success and have a long and fruitful coding career ahead of you. Just remember to be patient and use the coding community to your advantage.
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