5 tips to kickstart your career in software development

Developers working together

Why software development?

At Integrify, we believe that now is the perfect time to become a software developer. Here are the main reasons why we think so:

  • Technical skills are in high demand: Be it a large corporation, non-profit organization, or startup - nothing happens nowadays without lines of code.
  • Salary range is desirable: Due to the massive demand for IT professionals worldwide, companies are willing to offer generous salaries to skilled talent.
  • Learning opportunities are limitless: Software development never gets out of style as the IT field evolves constantly; existing technologies are updated and new frameworks are invented over time.
  • Developers can shape the future: By adopting the latest technologies to solve existing problems, software developers not only help businesses with profitable growth but also better society as a whole.

Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?

How can YOU become a software developer?

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

“Getting an IT job is easier than ever since it only requires two ingredients: passion and hard work.” Yazan - Full Stack Instructor & TA Coach at Integrify

Below are five valuable tips we would like to share with anyone who considers software development as a potential career choice.

1. Clarify your ultimate career goal

First of all, try to figure out your end goal in the pursuit of your software development career. This is not an easy task, but try to 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? The format could be similar to these suggestions:

  • “I want to be able to build a website for my own business.”
  • “I want to be an expert in software development, help businesses grow, and mentor other aspiring developers.”
  • “I want to be a technical manager at a large IT corporation and get paid well.”
  • “I want to have a deeper understanding of programming and succeed as a product owner at a tech company.”

Whatever your goals would be, get them straight from the beginning and start building a concrete plan based on that.

2. Get acquainted with programming languages that are in high demand on the job market

When you have a clear goal, the next step is to understand the most basic concepts in programming. Try to figure out the key areas of interest to you, whether it is frontend development, backend development, cloud, DevOps engineering, or UI/UX, etc.

Software development is not just about coding, but it's important to have a solid background in programming. Learn at least one programming language and get familiar with libraries and frameworks. There are a variety of coding languages to choose from, including several popular languages like React, TypeScript, Redux, JavaScript, and Node.js which are all covered by the Full Stack curriculum.

Once you get the hang of programming basics, it’s time to implement the next tip.

3. Complete a degree or certification in software development

Although mastering one programming language is a good start for a beginner, acquiring full-stack development skills should be in 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-learn and join online training programs that are specifically meant to get you your first job. The unlimited amount of available materials and online courses to learn about programming enables you to invest in a training program that best suits your needs.

The good news is that as the IT industry constantly changes, 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.

At our Full Stack program you get a chance to learn from highly experienced industry experts, participate in practical real-life projects, and network at events that will surely bring value to your future career endeavors. Within five months, you will be able to decode such major buzzwords as JavaScript/TypeScript, React, Node.js, PostgreSQL/MongoDB, Docker, and AWS. Learning how to code at a virtual bootcamp is certainly a tempting alternative compared to university courses or self-studies since it’s super cost- and time-effective.

4. Complement your studies with side projects

Apart from studying at our intensive program, you should also practice and perfect your skills by getting involved in side projects of your own. 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. These might include contributing to GitHub projects or building tools of your own. Besides, it is also beneficial to engage in discussions about specialized topics on websites and groups specified for the coder community, e.g.: StackOverflow and Meetup, as well as testing your skills on CodinGame and CodeWars.

5. Land your first developer job

Getting your first job is always the trickiest part, but if you manage to tick off all the aforementioned areas, you are well on your way! Integrify Academy graduates have great job prospects because we are committed to supporting you in your job search process. In particular, the Integrify team will help all students with the necessary preparations for job interviews as well as connect graduates with interesting job opportunities in our network and the students’ local tech communities.

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