What do I have to do to become a software developer?

To become a software developer, first two sentences so that you know what it is about:

  1. There are several ways to become a programmer.
  2. No, studying is not the only way to become a programmer.
  3. You don’t have to be a math genius to work as a software developer.

You can acquire all technical areas yourself without problems and learn to program from home.

However, if you want to work as a programmer and work for other companies, you have to at least be able to prove that you can really program.

On the Internet, when it comes to this question, “studying” is often referred to as a panacea. There are many other and easier ways to do this. I would like to introduce these possible ways here so that you can orient yourself well how to become a programmer.

The activities of the software developer

Working as a software developer can be done in a variety of ways. This depends on the order and the company that awards these orders.

A distinction has to be made between developers who really do everything during software development and those who only carry out partial areas such as:

  • talk to customers
  • Create designs
  • Program
  • test together with the customer and Troubleshooting
  • even customer support.

Permanent position vs. Freelancer

Then there is another difference in the type of employment:

Software developers can be permanently employed by a company or work as freelancers or so-called freelancers.

As freelancers, the developers are self-employed and have to look for customers and then write software for them. Which step you take here is a question of risk.

One would prefer to enjoy security as an employee in a company and the other programmer prefers the freedom with the associated risk.

The focus of the programmer

Another important point is the thematic focus of the programmer. So what can he program?

Is he a web developer or can he program apps?

Does he only write small scripts or is he able to realize entire games?

This allows you to quickly recognize the level of a developer and also to assess whether he can familiarize himself with another topic.

The possible ways to become a developer

Regardless of whether you work as an employee or as a freelancer, you have to somehow make your client credible that you really have mastered software programming.

And this can be done in a variety of ways. It is an advantage if you are personally interested in it and deal with the topic at home. Every entrepreneur (employer or client) will immediately notice that they are working with a personal interest in the matter.

That gives plus points. If you can then also present on finished work that the entrepreneur can view freely on the Internet, the entrepreneur at least sees that you can definitely develop programs.

Nevertheless, it is an advantage if you can also prove your theoretical knowledge by means of references or certificates. Thus the entrepreneur sees: I’ve seen the practice, the candidate also understands the theory. We can already invite him for a conversation.

But how do you get such evidence?

There are 3 different ways that come into question.

The third possibility comes very close to the previous way.

On the one hand, you can open the really big and scientific barrel and go to university.

There are many different courses on the subject of computer science. If you want to get more into IT, i.e. into the information technology of companies, you can choose the path of training.

If you have already completed an apprenticeship or just want to get started in an uncomplicated way, there are courses on the Internet that will issue you with a certificate.

Regardless of which path you choose, there are a few basic requirements to be able to take a path at all.

The condition

To get started as a developer, the first thing you have to do is learn to program.

The developer profession is not always just about programming. However, this knowledge is the first cornerstone that should be laid.

The conditions to learn the programming are also manageable:

  1. First of all, you should be able to calculate, write and read.
  2. Working with a computer shouldn’t be unfamiliar either.
  3. If you know how to install programs and open files with a text editor, you’ve already met the greatest requirements.

If you still manage to write down directions for a buddy (e.g. from you home to the next bus stop), then you are already right in the middle. The requirements for university or training are of course higher. In order to get an apprenticeship or study place, you definitely have to get the right school leaving certificate.

Training as an IT specialist

Training as a software developer is called: IT specialist for application development.

This is a commercial profession that has the necessary IT skills. The nice thing about the training is that it has a dual structure. This means that half of the time is spent at work and the other half in vocational school. So you already earn some money and still learn the important theory.

After 3 years of training (depending on performance, you can even shorten it) you have an IHK degree in your pocket.

The 3 years are not officially counted as work experience, but you can prove that you have already gained a lot of experience after completing your training through work samples. If you ask me, this is the path of least resistance.

Studied at a university

If you don’t want to work yet and prefer to work on your own projects, a degree in computer science is a good option.

There are already many areas here that you can specialize in in later semesters, e.g. Business informatics, bioinformatics, media informatics or embedded systems.

The following is important here:

You must have the will to pursue intensive learning for at least 3 years (up to the Bachelor’s degree).

Depending on the university, programming will either be just an exercise (1 week) or it can also be carried out with project work.

In any case, one thing is certain: In addition to the theory of computer science, you have to teach yourself the practice of programming yourself.

If you have the right fellow students, it can certainly be a lot of fun. In addition, new projects can arise as a result, so that you may have set up your own software company after graduating or are currently developing.

Self-taught learning from home

Depending on your stamina and ability to teach yourself things, this can be the easiest way.

On the Internet (and of course also on webcodes.net) there are countless opportunities to acquire the necessary specialist knowledge.

If you take this path and want to become professional with it, the following must be observed:

It takes a lot of practice, so do as many small projects and present them on the internet as possible. Then you should definitely consider the path as a freelancer, but this does not have to remain a permanent state. As a freelancer, you can quickly find out whether you already have enough specialist knowledge and projects to show that a client gives you an order.

You can also get involved in open source projects.

Let’s take WordPress as an example: You have learned web development and are looking at the WordPress program code. If you know the code so well that you can write themes or plugins for it, then you can present these results and you are a WordPress developer.

I can only repeat: what counts here is practice and a lot of stamina.

Conclusion: This is how you become the next programmer

You see, there are different paths, and all of them are interesting in a different way.

I started the training path myself and have been working as a developer since 2007.

As a final decision criterion, I would like to say something about income. Many claim that you can only earn real money with a degree.

Do not let this prejudice fool you. How much income you receive depends solely on your performance and commitment.

In general, however, you can say that if you work as a software developer today, you can make a living from it. Regardless of what qualification you have achieved.

In order to get started as a software developer, one thing is ultimately important:

Start programming now and without any detours! Everything else is a waste of time.

The best thing to do is sit down and start with an online course or tutorial. This is an investment in your future!

If you have any questions, know other possibilities to become a programmer or maybe you have already gone through a path that I have not described here, then just comment below.

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