Sep 2, 2020, Consulting, Mobile, Web

How to Become a Software Developer

Aleksandra Trachim Content Marketing Manager

For some people, coding seems extremely difficult, while others find it super easy. Give it a try – if it’s hard to understand for you, then maybe being a developer is not your destiny. But if you belong to the second group – becoming a programmer might be something for you. This way you can discover your new passion and career prospect.

IT specialists are one of the most wanted groups of employees. Digitalization of the world, businesses that want to expand their operations online, new startups that use technology to make our lives easier – they all need talented coders to make their visions come true. Working in a digital agency as a software developer can help you be a part of this exciting scene. Also, you can really impact the future by creating innovative apps and programs – like the next social media platform that will conquer the online world or the product that will actually save lives.

So how to become a dev? Let’s see!

There is more than one way

Ask a group of programmers in a digital agency what was their path to their profession – each one will have a different story.

Some have known they liked computers since kindergarten and they have been pursuing IT careers their whole lives. Others discovered the potential of this industry while in college and switched degrees to find out some more about technology. Some devs worked in a completely different place but got bored and decided they needed a change – so they learned how to code.

If you ask for their opinion, it will differ depending on the person. So we did just that. We asked iteo software developers how to become one of them. Here’s what we found out.

Do you need education?

There are three options when it comes to education in this field. One is to go to college and study computer sciences. There is no actual degree in programming but usually, when you pick IT-related studies, some coding lessons are included. Another way is to participate in a course. There are many schools dedicated only to teaching their students how to write code.

There’s also a third option – to be a self-thought kind of developer. It might seem risky because the only thing you have while learning a programming language is yourself and some kind of information found probably online (or maybe a book? is that still a thing?). But iteo developers agree that to become a good software-creator you need to repeatedly write code. Learning on your own mistakes and solving difficulties will help you gain experience and think like a seasoned dev.

So you don’t need to invest your time, money and energy in formal education but it might be helpful to sort out your knowledge. What’s most important is to practice – a lot. Some say that gaining most experience comes from commercial projects, teamwork and solving everyday problems.

Decide what kind of dev you want to be

There are many languages used to create software products. Also, there are different types of programming. We have a couple of divisions that describe developers, depending on what they do and for what purpose.

Two of the most basic groups are web and mobile devs. And the latter can also write code for either iOS or Android devices. So that’s that.

Then we have front-end and back-end developers. First one needs to have a high sense of aesthetics. The second one should be good in logical thinking. They work together to make the product visually usable while it is delivering its technical purpose. And if you feel like both of these areas are interesting for you – there’s always a path of being a full-stack developer. 

Picking a framework you will work in is more of a trial and error thing – especially at the beginning. Try different options and see what’s most suitable for you. No one said you can’t know more than one programming language. That’s why…

Learn… like all the time!

The tech industry is one of the most evolving ones. Sometimes changes appear within days or weeks. That’s why if you want to be a developer you need to constantly learn new things.

Not only to be better at what you do. But understanding different frameworks, being up-to-date with trends and finding connections between various parts of the software development process will make you more fulfilled and flexible in your work. We can’t imagine a dev that specializes only in one language without knowing at least the basics of some other ones. This job requires openness and willingness to always learn.

Free online courses, videos on YouTube, articles on industry portals – you name it. Keep yourself updated and if you find something useful – try it. This way you will learn new things and maybe even discover another IT field you want to explore in your professional maneuvers.

Communities online and offline

Sharing experience and knowledge with other developers can be one of the best methods to improve your coding skills. That’s why being on GitHub can be a big part of your journey. This hosting environment allows fellow devs to publish their software projects. Thanks to that they can provide code reviews for each other and discuss certain issues. It’s a community of programmers and for them.

Looking for answers? Try Stack Overflow which is a Q&A website that associates devs so they can help each other solve code mysteries. And if you want to talk with real faces consider visiting one of the meetups organized in your city or nearby. 

These meetings are organized by programmers for everyone interested in certain topics. Usually, they are focused around one specific technology – for example, Flutter or React Native. At iteo, we often participate in such events and sometimes we even do presentations. This is a great opportunity to network and learn new things. We recommend all beginners to come to meetups.

Just code!

Last but not least – a tip that will be a gamechanger. Do projects ALL THE TIME. Code as much as you can. Create stuff, even if it’s just for yourself – but share it with online communities that we mentioned above. Learn from others but also shape your unique style as a software developer. You can start with an easy thing like a calculator or a drawing program for Secret Santa (true story!). Then escalate your skills and knowledge and try something more complicated. Practice makes perfect.

We hope this short guide will help you to determine if being a programmer is for you. It’s a very satisfying but also demanding career path. If you even consider it – we recommend trying. You can gain a new passion and ability to create some extraordinary products – for example by working at a digital agency like iteo. For inspiration – check out our career page and see what are the prospects.