Blog: Different Ways to Become a Developer
Different ways to become a developer
In the UK it has been reported that there is a major skills shortage within the tech industry, so much so that the government has introduced initiatives such as Skills Bootcamps to try and bridge this gap. The need for skilled, work-ready individuals is only growing as we become more of a technology focused society. So, what are the different ways of becoming a software developer?
Independent Learning - Start learning a coding language!
One of the first and most important steps when it comes to becoming a developer is to start learning a programming language. This will help you in many ways, including gaining a deeper understanding of the role of developers and if it is the right fit for you. There are a few online resources, which are free of charge, that allow you to learn specific languages up to a fairly proficient level - freecodecamp.com is a notable example of this.
Here are some good places to start:
CSS - Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for describing a document's presentation. It allows you to change things such as font, font colour and other elements of the page.
HTML - The HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser. HTML and CSS are generally used together in terms of building web pages.
PHP – A scripting language that is generally used for web development and was one of the first server side languages that could be used with HTML.
Sign up to an Online Bootcamp
Self learning can be tough, especially when you add to the equation trying to juggle work and family life. While some thrive in keeping busy, for others it may be a struggle to find the motivation to keep learning and progress their coding skills. This is where coding bootcamps come in handy. Not only do you get to learn from a well thought out, varied curriculum, you also get the benefit of classmates and an instructor. Most bootcamps also provide the opportunity to learn full time or part time which is great for those looking to retrain around their current job, for example. This distinction is a key difference and why many opt for coding bootcamps when starting their journey to becoming a software developer – you get structured learning and dedicated instructors to help you on your journey.
Another factor that makes coding bootcamps a suitable place to learn is the focus on other core skills outside of technical ability. Our software engineer bootcamp provides specific sessions based around being able to perform in a working environment and developing your core skills – an area that is undoubtedly lacking in graduates as highlighted by employers we have spoken to.
Apply for an Apprenticeship
As mentioned before, there is a large skills gap in the UK when it comes to tech and the government is putting in a lot of effort to rectify this. Therefore, there are an abundance of opportunities available. Apprenticeships are another great university alternative, and some also provide qualifications! Head to the government apprenticeships website and have a browse through the different options. If this is the route you decide to go down, ensure that you choose the best fit for you that caters to your goals.
Get a Degree
Getting a computer science degree (or similar) is another popular route you can take to get into programming or a software development role. If you prefer a more traditional form of learning, this could be the best fit for you. A degree gives you the structured learning that many need to progress while also adding some credibility to your CV through a qualification. If you can commit to a 3-year (minimum) course, it can be very beneficial.
It is important to remember, though, that having a degree is not your only option! It is a common misconception that you have to progress into higher education in order to have a chance at getting a job in programming. The main focus of your learning, regardless of how you do it, should be building your own portfolio - which brings us to our next point.
Build out your portfolio – Continue to learn!
You must continue learning. The world of technology, and subsequently software development, is constantly changing and evolving. This means that for you to stay on top of your game and be able to progress in your career, it is vital that you keep up with current trends/news. Whether you choose a coding bootcamp, degree or to learn independently, constantly adding to your portfolio is a fantastic way to keep up to date. Having a portfolio is also one of the key thing's employers will look at when considering candidates as it gives them a real sense of your abilities. You need to be able to demonstrate your varied skills and how you can adapt to the role.
A wonderful way to do this is to build your own website which not only has all your projects, information and contact details but is also a clear example of your skills!
While networking will not teach you the fundamentals of programming, it is vital for career growth. Having a good network is essential for several reasons and this is not just for aspiring developers, but for any career. It’s all about building long-term relationships, a good reputation and getting to know people who can potentially help you in return. Regularly networking is essential at any stage of your career but especially in the early stages as you start to grow in your abilities. We highly recommend setting up a personal LinkedIn account. This will allow you to highlight your abilities, stay up to date with industry news and most importantly, network with like-minded individuals.