Stringing Together Ones and Zeros: What Does It Take to Be a Software Developer?

According to a report by the US news, software developers bag home an average salary of $95,510 yearly. In addition, being that it has the lowest unemployment rate, it’s considered as one of the best careers. Sadly, with the positive outlook, only 2.4 percent of college students are pursuing computer and information science – which is worrying.

Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that between the year 2014 and 2024, the growth rate of these jobs will shoot to up to 17 percent. So, there’s going to be 186,600 job openings in total – inclusive of the average growth for all occupations which is 7 percent. Below are what it take to be a software developer.

1) Find a Community

Finding a community of software developers to learn with can either make or break your journey to becoming a software developer.

Sharing with people of similar interest is important because you get support anytime you need their help. You can always reach out to your group members when you feel stuck so that they can help you out.

Honestly, in-groups are not very helpful and can be hard to connect with others. But, there are tons of online communities that are waiting for you to join, especially on Facebook.

You can also opt to learn with Learn-Verified where you can get access to a slack group. A slack group will enable you to come together with your colleague students and work through various topics on video chats.

Additionally, if you still don’t find interest in the above, you can as well set up or e-join already existing online study groups. The advantage with this is that it’s lively – 40 percent of of the total questions asked are answered by another student.

2) Select a Language to Learn

When you are just starting out, you may get stuck on which language to begin with. The beautiful thing is that there are lots of them you can select, starting from Ruby all the way to Django. It’s your prerequisite – choose what’s best for you.

The good news is that once you know a stack well, transitioning to another language won’t be as hard as when you were just starting out with the first language.

So, that’s to say, when you want to become a software developer, your focus should be primarily on understanding succinctly the programming cardinals.

Once you’ve got the grasp, you can effortlessly transition and learn other stacks and technologies well. You can try ITProTV’s online IT training courses; they could be your perfect match.

As co-founder of Flatiron School Avi Flombaum says, “The most important aspect of it is that you’re learning how to think like a developer.”

3) Practice Every Day

You can only boast for what you do not what you know. Therefore, the stacks you learn won’t matter a lot, what will matter is what you’re able to do. That means, you need to have some time to perfect on what you learn.

So, the best way to do that is by having some time at least every day, or every week to recap on what you have learned.

Being a software developer isn’t a quick rich scheme – you can’t learn today and become a guru the following day. Never!

Some will claim that being developer takes 10,000 hours. Let’s get honest here; you don’t need literally 10,000 hours to land a software developer job, but you need to have some dedicated time to learn it.

Bottom Line

In as much as people say lots of things out there, the reality is that you just need to dedicate some time to revisit what you learn on your new skill. Remember, it’s what you do that gets you paid and not what you know.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who teaches women entrepreneurs how to monetize their message so they can make more money from their expertise. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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