Six (6) Steps to becoming a Software Developer

Zero to Hero Guide.

atinuke oluwabamikemi kayode
·Feb 2, 2022·

7 min read

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Outline

Greeting

Introduction

What is Software Development

  • Who is a Software Developer

Becoming a Software Developer

  • Learning

  • Chose a path

  • Practice what you've learnt

  • Build your Portfolio

  • Apply for Junior roles and Internships.

Hello Readers!

Compliment of the season, need I say it's a glorious year already because it is. Welcome 2022, the year we make things happen, remember?

I'm so pumped about this year. This is the first article of the year so I will just get to it.

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PS: This is my first article on the Series: TechGist with Bami and I'd really love your thought on/about it.

Introduction

Following the recent tweet thread from HackSultan, I've had it in mind to write about getting started in the tech space. In between, I have done something like this before but focused more on the Non-technical careers in the Tech space. Trust we all know that, being in tech doesn't have to be all about coding. The previous article can be found Here. He later tweeted another insightful thread you might want to read.

When you hear the word "Software Development/Developer" what comes to your mind? Hold that thought. Let me give you a quick gist. Sometimes last December I met someone and he asked me

"What do you do?"

I replied and said, "I am a Software Developer."

He then looked at me and said "Software Development is a lot of things what do you really do?"

I wondered if he thinks I can't be a software developer though now that I'm thinking about it (LOL) but then I realized, of the truth Software development encompasses a lot of technical careers. As much as it is safe to call oneself a software developer even as a frontend developer it is also safe to know that there is more to software development than that, but does that also makes one less of a software developer? I believe not. In this article, I will be giving you guides to becoming a software developer.

Let's dive in

What is Software Development?

According to Wikipedia

Software development is the process of conceiving, specifying, designing, programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applications, frameworks, or other software components. Software development involves writing and maintaining the source code, but in a broader sense, it includes all processes from the conception of the desired software through to the final manifestation of the software, typically in a planned and structured process. Software development also includes research, new development, prototyping, modification, reuse, re-engineering, maintenance, or any other activities that result in software products.

Looking at the definition Wikipedia gave, Software development ranges from being a product designer to UI/UX designer to a developer(frontend and backend) to a documenter to a database administrator to a tester to a maintainer, etc. Now you might want to know if one can be all of these? Yes! you can. However, you don't want to be the proverbial "Jack of all trades and master of none." so it is important you understand what you are really passionate about. When you are a master of this and you can develop a software product then, you are a Software Developer. A Software Developer can be otherwise known as a Full-stack developer.

Who is a Software Developer?

A Software Developer is an individual who can conveniently specify, design, program, document, test, fix bugs, and maintain a software product. Easy right or Scary? Either way, it is achievable. I recently saw a tweet where an individual was celebrating becoming a full-stack developer.

What does it take to become a Software Developer?

Apart from all the technical skills needed, there are other personal development tools needed to be a Software Developer, which are:

  • Dedication

  • Self-discipline

  • Consistency

  • Determination

  • Good Communication skill

  • Team Work Skills

  • Creativity

  • Details-oriented

  • Problem Solving Skills

  • Patience

It is not limited to these. You can always add yours too.

Becoming a Software Developer

Moving from a complete novice to a great software developer comes in with a lot of work and yes, it won't be as simple as you imagined but it will be fun and rewarding because it will be you doing what you love to do.

Let's talk about some things you have to do to get started as a Software Developer. Shall we?

1. Learn

Taking up Software Development as a career, you will agree solid learning foundation is just the right thing to do, yeah? Intensive learning is needed. You need to learn all the necessary Technologies. However, you have to be intentional about learning and growing.

Languages like;

  • Java
  • Python
  • PHP
  • C++
  • C#
  • JavaScript and so many more.

2. Choose a Path: Create your Niche.

Whether you learning through EdTech or you want to take a self-taught track, you need to dedicate time to working with programming languages and trying your hand at development. It's the key to gaining a thorough understanding of the architectural process, which will help you become a more productive, efficient, and accurate professional.

If you have a passion for app design, you could choose to develop your skills by building mobile apps. If you'd rather work on the infrastructure of computers and servers, you might specialize as a DevOps engineer instead. There are many areas in which you can use your skills as a software developer.

In as much as you want to become a full-stack developer, you can also take up any of these Software Development stacks and be very successful with it.

  • A designer

  • A frontend developer

  • A Backend developer

  • A Software Tester

  • DevOps

  • Mobile Developer

  • A Technical Writer

  • A User Experience Writer/Documenter and other

PS: Being a backend developer only doesn't make you less of a Software Developer.

3. Work on your Technical skills

It's important to stay updated on technical skills. The world keeps revolving and as an individual in the technical space, you want to keep learning, relearning and unlearning. Technical skills like;

  • Database management Example: MySQL SQLite, Microsoft SQL, MongoDB, to mention a few.

  • Cloud Computing. Understanding the basics of Cloud Computing, Amazon Web Service (AWS)

  • Source Control System like Git and GitHub, GitLab,

  • Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime etc.

  • Designing and others.

4. Work on your Non-technical skills

Developing non-technical skills is the same as building your technical skills. A lot of developers pay less attention to this. Non-technical skills like excellent communication skills, creativity, detail-oriented, and amazing problem-solving skills should be part of the skills you develop while building your career as a software developer.

A lot of developers fade these personal skills as they think all they need to do is technical but this is wrong because it's important to fit personal skills and technical skills together in other to be the top-notch developer you want to be.

5. Practice what you've learnt.

Practising what you've helps you understand it better. How do you practice?

  • Work on projects: Lay your hands on as many projects as possible. Get your hands dirty with amazing projects that best suit your stack

  • Join Communities: Keep what you are learning alive. The community has a way of making you grow without knowing(lol). It gives you opportunities and connections.

PS: You can join as many communities as you want just make sure you are not choked with it, and you are actively involved in the communities you belong to.

6. Apply for Jobs

While you are at the stage of learning, getting your hand on a lot of projects, and joining communities. Build your portfolio alongside and start applying for jobs(junior roles, interviews and even intermediate roles)

Note: Do not wait until you finish learning before you start applying for jobs because you will never stop learning. There is always something to learn, relearn and relearn again.

Conclusion

Perhaps you’re considering a career in tech as a software developer, there are different ways you can get started with it. You can take courses on Coursedrive, YouTube, Pluralsight, Udemy, Coursera etc. Develop in-demand skills at your own pace through degree programs, online courses, and Professional Certificates in a range of software development topics.

You just have to know that you can be anything you want to be as long as you set your mind to it. Start with a little step and you are going to get to where you are going. It will not always be easy but you are going to get there. I'm rooting for you all.

Cheers to making more things happen.

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