It’s not easy to become a software developer, but to work in a field that’s exciting, ever-changing and always in demand, it might be well worth the effort. And with a median salary that was right around $100,000 in 2015, a career as a software developer is definitely worth the efforts. And many companies are willing to pay that for developers to create programs, operating systems, and games. But it’s a field that’s always evolving so you’ll always be learning and honing your skills. Here are the steps to become a software developer.
Get an education
First, you need a high school diploma or GED. If you can, take some advanced placement and college-level math and science classes that you can get credit for when you go to college. Or some vocational schools offer a track that prepares you with career-specific education. After that, college is a good choice. Most employers look for a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, math, physics, electrical engineering or computer information systems. And some jobs might only look for a 2-year associate’s degree while others might want a master’s or doctoral degree.
Most employers want developers who already have experience and fortunately, there are many ways to do this. You can start with a summer internship or co-op while you’re still in school. There are also coding boot camps and tutorials you can do online. Most of those take 8 to 10 weeks and require 10 or 12-hour days. It’s not easy, but it’s cheaper than college and anyone can attempt it. So if you’re just trying to get your foot in the door and snag some experience, this is a good way to do it.
Commit to continuing education
As a developer, you have to want to learn more. You’re going to have to stay on the cutting edge of developments and trends in the industry. You can either take continuing education classes, participate in seminars, or attend workshops and conferences. Some online courses include CS50X, Hackerrank, CodinGame, OSSU, and FreeCodeCamp.
Find a mentor
It’s very possible to get stuck along the way, especially if you’re relying heavily on self-education. So find someone who can help guide you. They can help you expand your network of resources, hiring managers, and other developers who can lead you through the confusing world of software. It might be someone you work with, a former professor or teacher, or someone notable you meet at a workshop or seminar. The software world is always growing and changing and there are already so many online resources, that it’d be helpful to have a mentor to navigate.
For more tips on establishing a credible and promising career as a software developer, contact our team today.