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Tips to kick-start an amazing career in software development

Do You want to be a software developer?

We’ve got essential tips to get you started on the road to success.

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What does a software developer do?

Software developers are the creative force behind computer programs of all kinds. They design and write the code used to build everything from operating systems to apps and video games. 

In this role, you have the chance to be involved with every stage of the software development process. From figuring out what users need and how they’ll use the software to deploying a completed application. You may sometimes work with computer programmers, although many developers complete the code themselves. 

Day-to-day tasks might include:

  • Analysing the needs of software users
  • Designing, testing, and building software programs to meet user needs
  • Creating models and diagrams that outline the code needed to create software and applications
  • Performing maintenance and testing to keep software functioning 
  • Documenting the process to provide the information needed for upgrades and maintenance

How can YOU become a software developer?

As easy as it sounds, to get started, all you need to have is a good computer along with lots of passion and determination. In fact, becoming a developer requires very little financial investment as most of the materials you need at the beginning are accessible to everyone online.

Below are the valuable tips that WWG would like to share with anyone considering software development as a potential career choice.

 1. Clarify your ultimate career goal

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First of all, define your end goal in pursuing your software development career. This is not an easy task, but be honest with yourself; what do you want to achieve in the next 5, 10, or even 20 years after having mastered the essential skills? 

Where do you want to work? What is your vision for your career? Software developers work in a variety of industries, including software publishers, finance companies, insurance, and computer systems design organisations. 

You might work in health care, engineering, manufacturing, or another work environment. Many software developers work in a traditional office, while others leverage opportunities to work for an agency or even work remotely. Having a good sense of what you want from your job can help you successfully navigate your path forward.

Whatever your goals may be, get it straight from the beginning and build a plan based on that.

For example, if you want to work in healthcare, you may need to build industry knowledge and skills around issues like data privacy laws and how patient records are stored and accessed.

2. Get acquainted with in-demand languages

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When you have a clear goal, the next step is to understand the most basic concepts in programming. Identify the key areas of interest to you, whether it is frontend development, backend development, cloud, DevOps engineering, UI/UX, etc. – your options are nearly limitless!

For a career in software development, you will need a solid foundation in programming languages. Learn at least one language and get familiar with libraries and frameworks. Choose from several popular languages like React, TypeScript, Redux, JavaScript, and Node.js. Once you get the hang of the basics of programming, you’re ready for the next stage.

3. Live, eat and breathe code

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Coding and programming will be your bread and butter if you choose to be a software developer.

Writers who don’t write every day or singers who don’t constantly sing, don’t get very far compared to those who are passionate about their work. It’s the same for coders. If being a successful software developer is your dream, you need to live your life that way.

Practise coding and learn everything you can about the programming languages you’re working with. Keep up to date with the latest trends in the programming world. Prove how much you want it with your actions.

4. Validate skills with a degree or certification

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Although mastering one programming language is a good start, acquiring full-stack developer skills should be your long-term plan. Fortunately, besides the traditional way of completing a university degree in computer science, aspiring professional coders can now choose to self-guided learning through online training programs aimed at making you hireable. The scope of available materials and online courses to learn about programming enables you to invest in a program that suits your needs best.

Certifications can help validate your skills and demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers, which can be helpful for entry-level or junior positions.

As the IT industry changes constantly, the good news is that software developers will never run out of things to learn. While this diversity is a blessing, it might also be a challenge since developers are required to consistently upgrade their skills.

5. Challenge yourself

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For a software developer, upskilling is largely based on one’s own initiative. Improving your coding skills is achieved through practice and exploring challenges to bring yourself to the next level.

Give yourself personal goals, whether they be developing a program from scratch, learning a new language or getting to grips with a whole other side of the business, such as UX or marketing. 

There is so much room for you to grow and progress when you’re a software developer. Take every opportunity you can and never stop learning. If you feel you’ve hit a wall, find something new to sink your teeth into.

6. Complement your studies with side projects to differentiate yourself from other job seekers

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In addition to professional training, hands-on experience in multiple projects would certainly level up your chances of landing job interviews in the future and showcase your technical skills. Having side projects or your own website is always solid advice, whether you’re currently looking for a job, in a job or freelancing. Remember what we said about living and breathing code? Your own development projects will show your true passion and help you upskill in your spare time.

These include contributing to GitHub projects or building your tools. It is also beneficial to engage in discussions on technical issues on websites and groups specifically for the coder community (e.g. StackOverflow or Meetup), as well as testing your skills on CodinGame and CodeWars.

As you gain more experience, curate your portfolio to show off your best work. Be sure to include projects where you’ve used technologies that align with the jobs you’re applying for. 

You can host your portfolio on your own domain (a way to present your web development skills) or on a free hosting site like GitHub or GitLab. 

7. Join online communities

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Executive assistant talking to business team on remote videocall, chatting on online teleconference call with colleagues. Using computer and webcam to attend videoconference telework meeting.

Software developers all around the world enjoy talking to other software developers. It’s a good idea to get to know them and find their online hangout spaces.

Online communities are a great way to upskill, network and develop friendships with like-minded people to bounce ideas off of or get help if you are stuck.

Platforms such as Stack Overflow, Coderwall and Hashnode are helpful with questions, discussions and advice for software developers at all levels.

8. Work on your soft skills

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Something that is often forgotten by people working in tech is soft skills. However, they are considered the most important part of landing your dream job.

As a software developer, you’re going to be tasked with giving others instructions while working on projects. You’ll also have to explain how things work and answer questions clients and supervisors may have. In addition to excellent communication skills, developers should be creative, detail-oriented, and have stellar problem-solving skills. 

You can practise your hard, technical skills and you can improve your programming knowledge, but if you can’t work as part of a team or think outside the box, you might not be any better than the 20 other coders a recruiter is looking at. Being a natural-born leader will also get you far in your career.

Spend time practising for your interviews. Identify weaknesses in your soft skills and work on them.

9. Land your first developer job

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Getting the first job is always the trickiest part, but if you manage to tick off all the aforementioned boxes, you are well on your way! ‍

Experience of any kind is important for a software developer early in their career, but if you have one of the bigger names on your CV or LinkedIn profile, it’s going to draw more interest. choose a company with interesting challenges and invest that will in your training. As we mentioned, it is essential for a developer to keep up to date. 

Start your career with WWG

Accelerate your career path in an open, informal and inspiring environment, where you can design the professional development plan that best suits you.

Work with us and help us improve the IT solutions we offer to our customers to enhance their business and their organisation, making the most of all the possibilities of the latest information technologies.

Your career at WWG includes a specific program of professional training, development, assessment and progression following our Value n.7 – Continuous learning:

  • A work placement program to make you feel part of the team from day one.
  • Program to support a specialisation path through job system and analysis of training needs.
  • Specific training aimed at continuous learning.
  • Coaching program with a tutor to be supported in career building.
  • Periodic feedback to make the most of your attitudes/ aspirations during your work experience.
  • Motivating remuneration policy for new employees.

Are you ready to start your career with WWG? Apply NOW!

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