How to Become a Software Developer: What Does it Take?
Succeeding in any career takes more than the right college degree or interview skills. There’s always a list of qualities that separates the people who succeed from those who get started but don’t finish the course.
Anyone can sign up for a certain college class or take a free online course to learn the skills they need. But there are some qualities that can’t be taught. Let’s take a look at what you need to have to become a successful software developer.
This isn’t a job that you can learn once and become an expert in. The field is always changing, and you’ll have to be dedicated to keeping up with the cutting edge.
New programming languages are always being created, and you’ll have to learn them as you go. If you’re not willing to be a student forever, this might not be the right job for you.
You might not be passionate about software development now, because you haven’t tried it yet. But as you start learning, it’s important to develop a real passion for the job. If you don’t have that, you won’t succeed.
You might be able to hold a job as a developer without passion. But it’s the people who are totally invested in the industry who really shine — and it makes the job much more enjoyable.
Software development isn’t a physically demanding job, but it does ask for a lot of mental stamina. You’ll need to be able to handle intense deadlines, long hours, and imperfect work environments. That’s where your passion comes in. If you feel strongly about what you do, the extra work won’t seem so hard.
You can get a software developer degree and learn what you need to know. But the intelligence required to succeed can’t be taught.
You’ll need to be a great analytical thinker who can make decisions on the fly. You need to be patient and willing to work hard to find the right answer to a problem. And you need to always be curious because constant learning is part of the job.
A lot of the learning you’ll be doing in this industry is self-taught. A step-by-step guide can teach you how to become a software developer, but you can’t stop there. Being a forever student means being self-sufficient enough to teach yourself what you need, when you need it.
Benefits of Software Developer Jobs
Now you can see what you need to succeed on the software developer career path, so let’s get to the fun stuff. If you have what it takes, there are a lot of benefits to this job! Here are some of our favorite advantages of becoming a software developer.
1. Receive Great Pay
Money isn’t everything, but it’s nice to know that you’re getting started on a lucrative career path. Even when you’re just starting out, the pay is often good, and there’s lots of room to grow!
2. Learn Transferable Skills
The language of software changes fast, but the good news is that it’s universal. You won’t need to learn to code all over again if you want to work at a different company, or even in a different country. No matter what coding system you use, the basic idea is always the same.
Since software development works the same no matter where you go, it’s easy to transfer to the company you really want to work for or the place where you really want to live.
3. Work From Anywhere
The skills are transferable, and the work can be done from anywhere. This gives you incredible flexibility when it comes to where you choose to live and work.
All you need to do software development is an internet connection and a computer. You can work from home, or from a cafe, or from the beach. You can take working vacations, or go visit family without taking a day off. Want to see the world? You don’t need to quit your job — just pack your laptop and go.
4. Learn Constantly
If you thrive on new information, this is the perfect field for you. You’ll never feel stagnant in your job if you work as a software developer. This is an exciting field that doesn’t get mundane or monotonous, since there’s always a new challenge around the corner.
5. Be Creative
Thought being an artist was the only way to have a creative job? Think again.
Software development allows you to have a lucrative, stable career while using your creativity to succeed. When you develop software, you’re taking things that people only dreamed of and making them a reality. You actually will have more in common with artists than you think. Just like them, you’re building something from nothing, based on a vision.