Today, many people are looking for ways to start their journey or have a career change into the tech field – especially as a software developer. The reason is not far-fetched. Software development is currently one of the fastest-growing industries, and talents in this field are one of the most sought after in the global market. Due to the rapidly moving rate of digitalization, almost every company needs to delve into the tech world to create viable digital solutions for their target audience. Thus, the demand for professional software developers has soared high in the last few years.
According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, developer jobs will witness a massive growth of 22% between 2019 to 2029. That’s about 409,500 job opportunities added by that time – a feat deemed unachievable for other career lines. Since there is a high demand rate for software developers, the profession is easily one of the most lucrative ones – with a developer earning an average salary of $110,140 annually, according to US News. Beyond the attractive pay, software development is an ideal career choice on many other grounds such as creativity, self-development, dynamic learning opportunities, and enhanced work-life balance.
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Software development is divided into various career paths, which include:
- Frontend development
- Backend development
- Full-stack development
- Mobile App development and
- Web development
All of these require levels of skills and practice. However, the good news is that you don’t need to spend years in college for a computer science degree to become a developer. You can make a living off software development if you know what steps to follow and you are determined to put in the hard work. In this article, we will discuss the steps to becoming a developer and getting your first job even without owning a degree.
Learn the Required Technical Skills
You can start by learning these skills on interactive online platforms and further solidify them by attending coding boot camps. These boot camps are highly effective and involve in-depth training and practice sessions by experienced developers. A coding boot camp usually spans three months and can make you a certified developer within that space even with no prior experience.
Develop Essential Soft Skills
Beyond technical skills, another essential step towards becoming a developer and getting your first job is building crucial soft skills. Before you get hired for any programming role, hiring managers in any development will often look for communication skills, teamwork, the ability to learn fast and most importantly, problem-solving skills. According to top developing agencies, these skills are as critical as technical skills as they help foster productivity in the highly competitive development environment. Therefore, soft skills can make a significant difference among a group of equally qualified candidates for a developer role.
Create Relevant Projects and Build Your Portfolio
To become a skillful developer and convince potential hiring managers that you are suitable for a job, you must work on interesting projects and build your portfolio. Building a solid portfolio will not only help you hone your software developing skills it is also a primary key in getting your first job. Employers can only know so much by asking you interview questions; therefore, the most effective method is to show them what you have done to help them judge your capabilities. This is worth more than years of education and experience. GitHub and Gitlab are free platforms where you can upload your projects.
Take Freelance Projects
While it is great to get a standard job with a software development agency, an excellent way to start your journey and hone your skills better is to apply for freelance junior developer roles. This will enable you to gather more experience in the feed and even get recommendations for more prominent roles. In addition to these, taking up freelance projects is a great way to build your portfolio.
Freelance platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer offer opportunities to developers to showcase their talents and apply for jobs that fit their standards.
Software development is currently one of the best career options due to its high demand, high pay, flexibility, and endless opportunities. It doesn’t matter whether you have a degree; all you need is determination, hard work, consistency, and readiness to learn new things. The steps discussed above will help you become a job-ready developer and land your first job without wasting time.