How to Become a Software Developer?

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By Susith Nonis

Software developers are considered the most brilliant, shrewd, and coolest individuals on the planet. Technology is addressing a ton of issues. The emerging technological era demands more and more individuals who can program, develop and build innovative things in the technological space.

Due to these reasons, a lot of people want to turn into a programmer or engineer and help users by building something that can tackle their issues. Programming is one of the most generously compensated positions in the world, however, you truly need a great deal of tolerance, consistent learning, and steady improvement in this field.

For novices, it’s hard to discover where to begin and what might be the best way to become a software developer. That is why we will examine a step-by-step pathway that will assist you with entering the IT industry as a software developer.

Who is a Software Developer?

Software developers are individuals who go through the process of imagining, indicating, planning, programming, archiving, testing, and bug fixing for the development and/or maintenance of applications, software, frameworks, etc. Software development is a cycle of composing and managing the source code, however, in a more extensive sense, it incorporates all the processes included between the origination of any software till the appearance of the same.

Having a career as a software developer isn’t just about having a lucrative profession but also dealing with regular challenges, bugs, and a slew of other problems. In software development, the main qualities needed from an individual are energy and interest in learning distinctive programming languages and concerned technologies. A software developer is expected to learn and dominate different types of coding scripts. Other requirements are:

  • An individual should be well-versed with data structures and algorithms.
  • Should have a tight grip on at least one programming language.
  • Must have a creative brain for having various design approaches.
  • An individual must be keen to work on various software development operations and must be able to work on their evaluation and updates.
  • Developing solutions that meet all the industry standards.
  • Improving procedures by making a recommendation for inefficient operations.
  • Checking products and software, and approving them.
  • Considering various inputs and analyses and summarizing them for perfect results.

Associated Roles

1. Principal Software Engineer

Principal software engineers are responsible for taking care of all the technical aspects of any project. Their primary work includes working on advancements and scaling the solutions along with improving the performance of the products.

2. Lead Software Developer

Lead software developers create custom software focused on meeting the requirements of the organization itself. They are also often responsible for managing junior software engineers. They majorly handle big operations such as project management, working on complex and big projects and collaboration with SEO professionals and content writers.

Steps to Become a Software Developer

1. Education and Qualification

If you’re not from a computer science background, then you have to begin from scratch and grab the basics from various online resources and certifications. Also, they will help you to develop some of the most crucial skills that every software developer should have.

However, if you are an engineering graduate, then you must be aware of certain information regarding the same and can start with improving your skillset. Focus on learning widely-used and robust programming languages along with practising problem-solving and algorithms.

2. Learning the Basics

Every individual who wants to become a software developer should master at least one programming language, like Python, JAVA, Ruby, Perl, MATLAB, SQL, and PHP. Having a working knowledge of programming-related technologies, like Bootstrap, Node.js, cloud9, and GitHub is also a must.

It doesn’t end just here; there are a few other concepts that a software developer ought to know about. In the course of their professional life, a software developer or specialist shuffles through ideas like AI, machine learning, blockchain, and full-stack development. Subsequently, it’s of prime significance to keep oneself aware of these fields. A software developer must know about:

  • Full-stack development: It is the process of developing the client- and server-sides of websites and webapps. For developing the front-end and back-end, developers need to expand their horizons and learn about technologies used for both.
  • Front-end development: It is the development of a client-side interface focused on making things interactive for visitors and achieving higher retention rates. It is a crucial part of any web project and should be done carefully and tactically.
  • Back-end development: It comprises the process of developing the server-side infrastructure of the applications. It is achieved by writing codes, working with the scripts, APIs, etc.
  • Data science: It includes the processing of raw data and information curated from several reliable resources for building projects that meet expectations. They also help in making impactful modifications in various software applications.
  • MEAN stack: In this, developers have to work using JavaScript for developing websites and applications.
  • ReactJs: It is an open-source JavaScript library that helps developers to build interfaces and UI components with the help of JavaScript. It can also be used for building single-page mobile applications.
  • Mobile application development: Learning about mobile app development will make you stand out. Along with increasing your skill set, learning this will also help in increasing your salary and chances of getting selected in organizations.
  • Databases: Knowledge about databases and having hands-on experience with them is compulsory. They provide a centralized place for data storage. As such, knowing how they work is crucial.
  • AI and machine learning: Emerging at a very high pace, both of these technologies are proving to be extremely useful for both organizations and their customers. Nowadays, a lot of products are based on them and this makes it important for developers to have a knack for the same.

3. Go a Little Extra

Solely relying on what’s taught in colleges will not work in the ever-changing field of software development. With the regular advancement in technology and software, it becomes mandatory for an individual to make extra efforts and learn about advanced things and trendy concepts from various sources available online.

Also, your salary will be directly proportional to your skills in applying knowledge to build real-world software. And without going that extra mile to keep yourself updated, you won’t be able to succeed. Here are some ways to supplement your learning:

  • You can look for reliable questions for practice along with their answers from websites such as StackOverflow. Users can also filter queries based on technology, problem space, or specific languages as well.
  • Also, users can test their skills by solving various types of programming solutions as well online.

4. Non-technical Skills

Along with enhancing your technical skills, such as programming languages and problem-solving, an individual is also required to grow and groom non-technical skills as well. These skills will help you to stand out from the rest and make you more presentable:

  • Presenting insights with the help of data.
  • Having good communication with other employees and should be able to work cooperatively.
  • Organizing time and tasks and meeting the deadlines.
  • Should be well-versed with the audience and know the main motive behind developing applications.
  • Should be able to include creativity in their tasks.
  • Have a constant learning attitude and must be aware of the latest technology and updates made to the software tools.
  • To have better stability for the longer term, developing leadership skills would help a lot.

5. Get in Touch With a Community

One of the best ways for learning new things and resolving all the existing queries are getting connected to communities that are composed of industry experts for assisting you at any time of the day. This will also help you in networking with more people having similar interests.

It is extremely simple to get registered in these communities and ask questions regarding issues, such as domain, qualifications, job opportunities, salary, and future prospects. Some of the widely popular online community for software developers are:

  • StackOverflow
  • Toptal
  • GitHub
  • Mozilla Developer Network

6. Work on Real Projects

To get started and have hands-on experience, it is required to work on real-life projects that can be done as an intern or assisting any senior developer. You can start with any programming language you’re comfortable with and this may eventually help you to have your dream job. Else, it will work as work samples and a portfolio to increase the chances of your selection.

7. Prepare for the Job Interview

For this, you first need to have a perfect resume because it will help you create the first impact on your recruiter. Ensure to accomplish these things with perfection:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Online presence

The hiring teams usually review these before even shortlisting a candidate for the role. So, make sure to mention your skills, expertise, work experience, certificates, etc. properly.

Bursting Myths Associated With Software Developers

Despite this unquestionable truth that the role of a Software Developer is for everyone, society keeps on misconstruing software development to be an industry restrictive to a few personas: the nerd, the numerical master, and the prodigy!

Some perilous confusions frequently discourage individuals with adequate potential for progress seeking software development as a career. All things considered, it’s time to stop these deceptions, and by the end, we trust you can settle on a more informed choice about the future. Popular myths and misconceptions regarding software development are:

1. Learning to Code is Complex

Reality: Learning to start coding is easy but mastering gets complex.

One needs to figure out how to code to be a software developer. But it is a simple process that is often considered to be extremely complicated. Figuring out how to start coding isn’t just about as hard as a great many people think.

On a very basic level, to code is to converse with a PC, yet in a unique language, like PHP, JavaScript, or Ruby. As a programmer, your responsibility is to converse with the PC and give it tasks to perform.

However, if you want to master programming and development and keep up with all the dynamics, things will get complex. Also, having a knack for learning multiple programming languages and developing dynamic projects will take a lot of years of work experience and continuous learning.

2. A College Degree is Required for Becoming a Software Developer

Reality: There are a lot of software developers working in top companies without a college degree.

In all honesty, there’s a huge populace of software developers in the industry who are self-educated without any formal degree. However, one has to start from scratch to develop things and get a job in the same.

After landing on an internship or job, one can begin improving their portfolio and get higher success. Additionally, an individual can go through various documentaries and tutorials online to catalyze their learning process.

Moreover, the ascent of the coding Bootcamp industry in the U.S. demonstrates that a formal degree isn’t needed to be a software developer. Albeit a degree surely helps, this doesn’t degrade the coding Bootcamp experience; both of the ways are effective stepping stones to start the career.

3. You Need to be a Math Expert to Learn to Code

Reality: A basic knowledge about certain mathematics topics is enough for programming.

For being a software developer, you need not be a skilled mathematician. You don’t have to realize how to compute the incline of asymmetrical direction to realize how to code. To figure out how to be a software developer, you need to know essential algebra, matrix along with robust problem-solving skills.

However, the level of math you need to know is exceptionally subjected to the task you are handling. For instance, in case you’re planning UIs with a front–end structure like Twitter bootstrap, you’ll seldom utilize any math – at the very least, you should have the option pixels. Conversely, if the project involves data science, indeed, you will have to know some math.

4. Learning The ‘Best’ Programming Language Will Help You

Reality: There is nothing as the ‘best’ programming language.

The necessities of a project will decide the ‘best’ programming language to utilize, and surprisingly at that point, you should utilize different languages to meet the goals. This is because numerous programming languages cooperate instead of standing against one another.

Every programming language has a planned reason inside a given task. For instance, Javascript is generally a front–end language expected for UI advancement; then, PHP is a back–end language for back–end development.

As well as cooperating, some programming languages are tantamount and may provide similar usefulness: PHP is practically identical to other back–end dialects like Java, Perl, or Ruby. Notwithstanding, this key shared trait doesn’t accurately compare to PHP being effectively substitutable by Java, Perl, or Ruby.


Being a software developer requires an individual to work on and design, build, and test software and applications that can meet the requirements of the targeted audience. To become one, one needs to have clarity about the end goals to achieve.

To get started, learn a programming language and try solving various problems along with focusing on algorithms. Going with online courses for the same will help you enhance the process of learning and you’ll be able to learn things in a structured, streamlined way.

Join various online communities for meeting people with the same interests. This will help you learn more about software development and share ideas along with getting your queries resolved by experts.

  • After all this, you should go with working on projects to get some hands-on experience regarding the same. Also, focus on maintaining a relevant resume for showcasing your skills in the best way and leave a good first impression. All the best!

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