10 Steps To Becoming A Developer
How to become a developer in 2022.
Find A Company You Wish To Work For
Why is this important? Because you need a point of reference. When you have a goal to achieve, it becomes much simpler to put things into perspective.
Finding a company you would be happy working for will allow you to investigate how they conduct business. What type of Developers are they hiring? What programming languages do they use? Could you do the same job?
Identify Which Programming Languages They Use
Once you've identified the company, you can start doing research into the kind of technology they use. Which programming languages, which frameworks, what extra skillsets are they looking for.
You use this information to start building a map of your future.
Identify Whether Those Technologies Will Still Be Relevant In The Future
Before you start diving into a specific technology, make sure you do your due diligence and research who are the competitors. Will those technologies still be relevant in the near future?
If companies are moving towards React and Angular, you don't want to be stuck with some old framework that would make it difficult for you to find a job.
Figure Out Your Stack
Every Developer has a stack. It encompasses the many technologies that you know how to use, and this is one of the main things companies look for when hiring.
This GitHub by Kamran Ahmed has a great roadmap indicating the different stacks (Frontend, Backend, Devops) available for different types of Developers.
Here is an example below:
College? Bootcamp? Self-taught?
So you finally have an idea of what skills you want to incorporate under your belt. Great!
Next step is to find a place to learn these skills. Here I will be listing some options and their pros and cons.
Pros: Excellent for networking, and excellent for support. You can always reach out to your peers and professors if you are ever stuck.
Cons: This is the most expensive, and slow option. It will take at least 3-4 years before you get a degree. And believe it or not, a degree in this field does not automatically mean a guaranteed job. Computer Programming more than any other field requires that you can actually demonstrate that you know how to code. Which is why self-taught is a very real option.
Pros: Not as expensive as college, and doesn't last as long. You still get the perk of networking with your peers and professors, with good support. Overall a well-balanced middle ground.
Cons: Because it is so fleeting you must put extra effort to stay on top of the material. No degree.
Pros: Extremely fast. Free if you know where to look.
Cons: Zero support. You need to be extremely committed to succeed. No degree.
Obviously if you choose to go with the college option it will take longer. But the other two are very doable if you are extremely committed. You will face fierce competition, but that exists everywhere. What you must do to distinguish yourself is make sure your skills are better than the next person, and that you are able to demonstrate it.
Find A Place To Learn
If you chose not the college or the bootcamp option, then you will need to find a place to learn and practice these new skills.
Here is a personal recommendation of 4 websites I recommend:
- Google (It has everything, you just need to know how to find it. Period.)
- Udemy (Has a broad database of complete courses on almost every topic. Make sure you're waiting for one of their big sales to buy. It happens pretty frequently.)
- Treehouse (Treehouse focuses on Developers and Designers, so it's made for you! Not super expensive, and because it is popular you can easily find help when you get stuck.)
- YouTube (Did you know that YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, surpassing Facebook? There is no shortage of video tutorials on YouTube that can help you learn. And it's free!)
Create A Schedule, Stick To It
Before actually starting on your knowledge journey, make sure you devise a schedule. This will be a long, challenging process. You might feel like you are stuck at times, but we all felt the same.
The internet is a big place, for 99.9% of the questions you have, someone has already gone through the same process and asked that question. The answer is definitely out there.
Create a schedule with some small goals, and make sure to try and meet them. This will help you keep yourself on track.
Probably the single most important piece on this list if you want to succeed. Programming is like Mathematics, and I mean in the sense that it requires a lot of practice for the information to finally sink in.
The more you code, the better you get at it, the more you learn. The less you code, the more you tend to forget.
Make sure you are constantly challenging yourself with new projects, and new technologies. Honestly, computer programming is a very fun field where you can exercise your creativity to solve a variety of problems. It's fun to challenge yourself and try to put out a product on the market that other people will interact with.
This also brings me to my next topic,
Host Your Projects Online
A very important part of succeeding in your journey to become employed as a Developer, is to host your projects online. Websites like https://github.com/ make it simple for you to host both your code, and a functional live version of your app online.
Besides, learning how to use the Git interface is one of the bread and butter tools for a Developer. When you finally join a company, your team members will expect that you know how to use it.
After you've completed all the previous step, it is finally time for you to start applying. Here are some tips.
- Apply to any company job post that is remotely a match to your skillset.
- DO NOT be discouraged if you don't meet the "100 years of experience in programming language X" they're asking for. 90% of the people in the workforce don't. Some job posts are more like a "wish-list" rather than a realistic job post, if I'm being honest.
- Organize your resume, if you went to College then put your degree/education near the top. If you didn't, then do not bother including it. Simply include your projects at the top. (Both should include projects in their resume)
- Be confident. If 2 people apply to the same position with roughly the same skillset and knowledge, chances are the confident one will take the job.
- If you don't receive a call or email back within a month, try reapplying. If you really want that job, find a way to get their attention. Maybe contact a recruiter. It is important that you distinguish yourself from the crowd.
And remember, apply as much and to as many places as you can. The more you apply, the higher are your chances that someone out there might need your skills.