Want to become a Software Developer? Here’s how to get there.... By Uwam Righteous Gospel
“How do I become a developer?” — I’ve heard this question a lot, so I decided to write the best guide I can, using only free resources. If you’re an experienced software developer already, feel free to save yourself the time and do something else. Otherwise, read on :).
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” — Lao Tzu
Before you get started, I need to warn you: Unfortunately, programming is not for everyone, at least not if you want to stand out.
- It requires immense dedication. I mean, forever. I am a software developer for 11 years now and my “learning list” keeps getting bigger instead of the opposite. You are either willing to be a forever student, or you should be considering something else.
- It requires passion. Of course you don’t have to feel passionate right now, you’re just getting started, but it has to happen somewhere down the road. Otherwise you’re going to be mercilessly left behind by those who are.
- It’s challenging and a lot of people get burned out. Oftentimes you’ll be dealing with long hours of “mentally taxing” work, impossible deadlines, legacy unmaintainable code, inconsistent/ambiguous requirements and sub-optimal office environments.
- It requires analytical thinking, good decision making, patience and curiosity, lots of curiosity.
- It requires you to be self-taught. Yes, you can learn the theory from the books, but when your code breaks, nobody is going to hold your hand.
With that in mind, since you’re still reading this, I think you should really try it. Try it and see how it goes, and don’t feel frustrated if after some time you don’t feel like it’s for you. I, for one, really enjoy being a developer. I’m natural builder. Few things are more appealing to me than creating and automating stuff. I find it extremely beautiful and rewarding, and hopefully you will feel that way too :).
Also, the job market is definitely not bad and I don’t see it changing in the foreseeable future. Radio, cable TV, education, brick-and-mortar stores and the movie/music industries are examples of markets that will certainly be transformed, if not completely defaced, by software in the next 20 years. The future looks bright.
“You are either a software company, or being disrupted by one” — Scott Farquhar
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Uwam Righteous Gospel