Yes! Software developers are made and not born.
While you ponder over that thought, let me start with ‘anyone can become a software developer’. Now repeat after me, ‘I can become a software developer’.
Yes there is a degree for it, yes it is technical, and yes it is hard work but it absolutely does not mean that you cannot become a software developer unless you have a degree or are a geek or some math wizard. You will be surprised by the number of programmers who do not have a degree but are very successful.
So here is a step by step guide on how to become a software developer without a degree or any knowledge of the industry.
What is a software engineer?
A software engineer is someone who is employed to write codes for software products like operating systems, video games, robots, features, and so on. There is no difference between a software engineer, devs, programming architects, and a software developer. They are all interchangeable terms, so make sure you search for all these terms when looking for a job.
How to choose a good software engineering language?
· There is no best language
· Most devs learn several software languages and technologies with time
The idea is to start with any language you prefer, do not get stuck deciding which programming language you should learn first. The truth of the matter is once you know a particular language; you can learn another without much effort at all. In the beginning, your focus should be to understand programming fundamentals. With a solid foundation other languages, frameworks, and technologies would come easily.
Should you practice software development?
A big YES. Even though learning to code is easy, mastering it takes time and hard work. While you may not need to be a genius before you land your first job, you do need to dedicate time to learning how to code. Your computer speaks a language and your aim to give it the right instructions in the language that it understands in order to reach your target. Spend time coding each day, make it a part of your routine with resources like Udemy, Coursera, Podcasts, YouTube videos, Books, School, Workshops, etc. These resources will assist you to get accustomed to coding like devs in the real world.
Another way you can achieve this is by starting a side project. Learn as you go and then take those learnings and put them into practice. Version Control with Git is an online course by Coursera that touches on tools and processes like Git/GitHub, The command-line interface, and Bitbucket used by engineers every day.
Should you read other engineer’s code?
Most experts would recommend this. Reading good quality source code not only equips you with better-debugging skills but it also compels you to think how would you do it. One way to do this is by browsing through GitHub repositories and looking through the documentation. Dive deep into them, look at it from different angles, and map out the functionality. Feeling ambitious? You can even try to recreate it.
Where can you find support?
It is paramount to have the support of like-minded people when you get stuck. You can join an in-person or online community and they can help you get back on track. You can find the areas you can improve, new skills you can develop if you get your code reviewed. You can even find a mentor through attending events, personal connections, or online platforms that can further enhance your skills.
Finally do not forget to network. A professional network can make your job hunting process seem like a breeze. You can go to meet-ups, maintain a blog, look for volunteering opportunities, and even talk to people connected to companies you would like to work for.
I hope the article has given you some clarity and a boost of confidence to pursue a career in computer programming. It does not matter if you are going to be a self-taught dev or attend a college, what matters is that it can be done and you can definitely find success.