How to Become a Software Developer

Software developers will use their programming skills to design and update software or applications. This career is suitable for people who have a creative mind and love to solve problems.

Software indeed plays an essential role in almost every industry. So you can become a developer in whatever field you like.

If you want to learn more about this rapidly growing career, you can check out this article to start your journey to becoming a developer in this field.

1. Clearly Define Your End Goal

Being successful in this field is not easy. Yet, once you’ve identified your end goal, you’ll be able to identify obstacles in your path to work through them.

You should set specific goals such as:

  • You want to pursue your career as a skilled engineer.
  • I want to work at an established IT company as an engineer.
  • You want to work at organizations that are willing to pay you a high salary for the position.

2. Learn a Proper Language

Software development is not only about coding. Therefore, it is essential to know a few languages and understand how they work.

There is no universal rule about the best language. So we recommend that you learn about the following languages:

  • Java: This popular language currently works on different platforms. It is commonly used in developing server-side apps.
  • Python: It is one of the easiest to learn. Therefore, it is the perfect starting point for beginners. In addition, it is very versatile and can be used in the development, data analysis, and scripting.
  • C/C++: These two languages are popular in-system programming. Plus, C++ is a preferred choice of game developers. So they are pretty similar, and it is okay to learn both.
  • Scala: This high-level language was developed to address some of the shortcomings of Java.

Many other languages are worth paying attention to, such as JavaScriptthon, JavaScript, and Ruby.

3. Take Courses or Pursue a Degree

According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, more than 65 percent of developers have a bachelor’s degree (or higher). So it is proof of how significant a degree is.

The fact is that not all employers require their candidates to have a degree. However, they will appreciate those with a degree.

By having a degree, you will stand out from other potential candidates. As a result, your job opportunities will also be more open.

Therefore, when choosing a university, you should prioritize schools that offer related majors that allow you to have relevant development skills opportunities, such as computer science, information technology, or software engineering.

4. Begin to Practice in Your Niche

This step is about applying your knowledge and skills to real-world projects.

This field covers many different niches. As a result, you will need to focus on development practice and skill development in your niche.

For example, if you pursue app design, it is possible to enhance your skills by building apps for mobile devices.

Alternatively, if you are passionate about working with computer and server infrastructure, you can focus on developing DevOps engineer skills.

Many fields allow you to apply your skills as a potential software developer.

5. Find a Community

By joining such communities, you will have the opportunity to reach out to like-minded people.

So, you will learn a lot of helpful knowledge that you cannot get in school.

6. Create a Portfolio

After applying your knowledge and skills to real projects, include them in a portfolio.

An excellent job portfolio will help you showcase to employers that you can apply the knowledge and skills included in your resume to specific projects.

Your portfolio should at least contain the following:

  • Short biography
  • Contact information
  • Relevant skills
  • Link to the resume
  • Awards or accolades
  • Personal and professional projects

The most crucial element is to include projects that you have done using technology related to the work you pursue.

Then we recommend hosting this portfolio on your domain to showcase your web development skill.

7. Develop Technical Skills

Besides mastering programming languages, you should also be familiar with other tools that developers in this field often utilize, such as:

  • SQL
  • Git
  • Mercurial SCM

8. Build Non-technical Skills

As a developer in this field, you may also need to work with other developers to complete projects efficiently. That’s when teamwork skills come in handy.

You will also likely have to explain the entire project process and answer questions that supervisors and clients ask. Therefore, you also need to have good communication skills.

You will likely have to work on multiple projects concurrently. Therefore, the ability to organize work is also necessary.

Problem-solving skills are also a must-have skill of a software developer.

9. Certify Your Skills

Having a relevant certification can help you demonstrate your skills and qualifications to potential employers.

Having a certificate is also very useful for those who do not have much work experience.

10. Apply For Your Job

It’s time to create the perfect resume before applying.

Your resume should clearly show your development experience that aligns with the role you’re pursuing.

You should customize it to highlight projects that best match what your potential employers are looking for.

Re-read it several times to make sure it’s free of typos.

11. Join an Interview

Now, it’s time to face the recruiter’s interview.

Most companies or organizations will begin with a screening interview. After passing this round of interviews, you will face a phone interview.

If you pass both of these interviews, you will advance to the on-site interview.

Is Software Development Hard?

coding on laptop
This area is not easy to master.

The answer is yes. This field is quite complicated, especially for those with no proficiency in programming, coding, or any information technology knowledge.

Fortunately, there are many courses, tools, and many other resources that will make it easier for you to become a developer in the field.

These are some primary reasons why many people have difficulty in this area.

This Area is Continually Developing

This area has developed rapidly, especially in recent times. The fact is that new programming techniques or the latest updates are constantly coming out.

As a result, if you need to pursue a career in this field, you must always absorb the latest software trends.

Error Rectification

Avoiding all mistakes is impossible in creating and developing your application or software.

Sometimes, fixing errors can take you a whole day. Therefore, you need to perform the test with the highest efficiency for this situation to improve.

For example, you will have to test every line of code with possible test cases across various infrastructures.

Working With Many Teams Is Difficult

All IT-related teams, such as database, security, and networking, have to work together daily.

So, teamwork is essential in creating and delivering a quality end product to the customer or the end-user.

Yet, teamwork is not easy, while team management is even more difficult.

It can cost you a lot of time to schedule calls, manage network failures, manage related tools, etc.

Handle Security Breaches

Viruses and malware are rapidly becoming more dangerous and sophisticated, and they are becoming a top concern for programmers when it comes to data protection.

That’s not all. Flaws or holes in the code may make applications and software more vulnerable to attacks that cause security breaches.

Therefore, developers will have to keep updated with the newest security practices to reduce the risk of damage.

Last but not least, you will need to regularly conduct manual checks to detect security vulnerabilities and weaknesses that automated checks fail to detect.

Time Management is Difficult

Software developers have to manage the following aspects:

As we can see, developers in this field will handle multiple jobs concurrently. So, the slow working speed will prevent you from completing the work in time.

If you proceed with the work carelessly, countless errors will occur. Hence, time management is one of the essential skills for you if you want to pursue this field.

Developers Are Expected to Understand Everything

Many ignorant people would expect that developers in this field must know everything.

However, the fact is that it is an extended area. Therefore, you can’t master every skill and know everything.

On the other hand, you will periodically have to handle tasks you do not have experience with. In this case, it is wise to seek help from professionals.

What Soft Skills That a Software Dev Needs to Have?

skilled developer
You will need soft skills for your job.

Many hard and soft skills will be necessary for you to succeed in this area. Besides hard skills, soft skills will help you complete projects more efficiently.

Following are soft skills that you should have if you pursue a career in this field.

Teamwork Skill

As a software developer, you will likely need to collaborate or work with designers, developers, customers, partners, and other members of your team.

So you’ll need to have good teamwork skills to get the most out of your projects.

Communication Skill

Communication skills are an essential skill for any developer in this field.

It is essential that you communicate well in writing and verbally to effectively provide your partners or other team members with guidance.

On the other hand, you also need to have good listening skills.

Time Management Skill

you should be working
Time management skills are essential.

As a developer in this area, you must often work on multiple projects simultaneously.

So you will need to allocate and manage time properly and know which tasks to prioritize to complete all projects on time with good results.

Problems Solving Skill

Problems that arise in the work of a software developer are inevitable.

There is no denying that how you address issues will significantly affect your job and promotion at your company.

Employers also value problem-solving skills as it will show that you’re always trying to discover a way to handle an issue and that you’re someone who does not give up quickly.


1. How Much Can I Expect to Earn as a Software Developer?‎

According to our research, a software developer in the US will have an average salary of $139,576 per year.

Many factors can affect your salary, including your level of experience, where you work, and more.

2. Are Software Developers in Demand?

The job outlook in this area is wide open.

According to BLS estimates, demand for developers in this sector will grow by 22 percent between 2020 and 2030.

That’s a speedy increase. As a result, you can look forward to a wide range of career opportunities in the future!

3. Is The Software Developer Career a Good Fit for Me?

As a developer in this field, you will be tasked with utilizing code to handle issues in creative ways.

Moreover, you will be working on various projects, cooperating across teams, and constantly learning the newest programming languages and technology.

If it sounds suitable for you, this career will be a great fit!

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, after reading this article, you have received all the information you need to pursue your software developer career.

Getting this job isn’t easy, but you will soon be successful if you’re persistent and follow the correct route.

Thank you for reading! Please share this article if you found it helpful!