The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts a 22% growth in employment rate for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers from 2019 to 2029 — which exceeds, by the 4% average for all employers.
Software development as a skill is lucrative, regardless of if you have a software development degree or not.
In this article, we will discuss how to become a software developer fast. Though it’s better to have time and patience while learning any skill, you can use these tips to fast track your knowledge in the field.
1. Leafing Through The Basics First
To jump start your journey to become a software developer, you should first have answers to the following questions:
- What is software development?
- Why do you want to be a software developer?
- What languages do you want to learn?
- What are the different ways to become a software developer and what time does it take to become one?
- What is the employability rate?
- Do you want to work as an employee or start a business?
- Are you someone with a technical mindset who enjoys the task of coding?
2. The Fastest Languages To Learn
Here are some of the easiest and quickest languages to learn:
Since Ruby is a language built from scratch for full stack web development, it has a wide range of uses. Another advantage of the language is its simple and easy-to-understand syntax, many developers find that it comes very close to simple English language.
It is one of those rare programming languages which was invented by prioritizing readability in mind. As you learn Python, you will discover that not only is everything supposed to be simple, but complex coding is avoided and frowned upon.
Learning Java is especially easy because its syntax is similar to simple English language just like Python. Plus, since it’s a commonly used language, there is also a large community of developers to provide guidance and answer your questions as you learn Java.
They are the first languages for all software developers because they are easy to learn. Both are pure concept-based languages. The syntax is simple, which makes it easy to write or develop and spot errors. Learning C++ first, makes using all other languages easy. However, many developers stick with C++ throughout due to its wide versatility and compatibility with multiple platforms and software.
3. Educating Yourself
There are various ways you can learn programming — you can either self-learn or take a traditional route and get a degree.
a) Books: The classic most effective way to begin learning any new skill. You can find books recommended online or you can look at the textbooks recommended by college software development courses and choose to self-study. Find recommended software development books here and here.
b) YouTube videos: YouTube is a good virtual classroom, available to anyone with an Internet connection. We all learn differently so you may prefer watching educational videos to reading text, which is where YouTube shines. Here are some useful videos worth checking out:
- Entire Software Developer Lifecycle
- Guide to Becoming a Self Taught Developer
- Introduction to Programming: Full Course
c) Online courses: They are a bridge between traditional classroom learning and self-taught learning since here you have control over your time. They’re also generally a fraction of the cost of a college education and are often, more condensed so you walk away with practical knowledge in a shorter period of study. Some of the best places to take online classes are Coursera, Edx, Zenva, and more.
d) Degree in Software Development: this is the most common way to become a software developer. Though it may be more time-consuming and not very cost-effective, it has some pros to it like:
- Structured learning
- Alumni and faculty interaction
- Placement assistance
- Easier time management
A more cost-effective way to get a software development degree would be to look for online degree programs. Post-COVID, many universities have started online and hybrid models of teaching so that you don’t have to visit the campus frequently. This also promotes international studies. For instance, an Indian citizen with a degree in Software development can get an online master’s degree in software development from the US sans any travel, visa, and living expenses.
When it comes to software development, employers will not look at which University you’ve graduated from and what your GPA was. In the IT sector, skills are prioritized.
Having said that, software development certificate programs can accelerate your career by increasing your job prospects. They act as proof of your knowledge, yet they’re a fraction of the cost and time than a traditional education.
With global digitization, jobs for software developers will only increase. Whether you have a degree in software development, or you’ve learned coding from YouTube tutorials, software development as a skill will reward you generously, considering you’re good at it. We hope this article helps you fast-track your software developer career so you can get your foot in the door.