What to know if you want to become a software developer in 2021

The use of software programs or systems has become indispensable for many businesses and companies, no matter their size. The truth is that, nowadays, a business without software systems integrated into the company’s operations has a challenging time staying afloat and relevant. With so many consumers relying on the online environment and prioritizing convenience, it is crucial for businesses to have the proper systems in place to facilitate this.

For this reason, the job of a software developer has become incredibly relevant in 2021. And don’t worry if you feel slightly unprepared for it. You are one step closer to working as a software developer with proper training and valid certifications achieved. The area is significantly offering, and there are many job opportunities. More and more companies need to have a software developer to design and install systems that facilitate the productivity of a business.

So, if you consider becoming a software developer in 2021, there are certain things you need to take into consideration.

Think about your end goal

First and foremost, before starting to work towards becoming a software developer, you might want to take a moment to think about why you want to make this step and what it is you want to achieve. It is recommended you have an inclination and passion for computer sciences. This way, building your career as a software developer would be less challenging. Plus, thinking of your end goal can motivate you to work hard and accomplish what is needed to get there. So, as a software developer, you can work with an established IT company, be part of the IT department of a business, become a freelancer or start your own company.

A noteworthy mention would be that the average software developer hourly rates can differ depending on your expertise level and whether you are a freelancer or not. So, it is crucial you think about whether you want to work for a company or become a freelancer in the end. Setting an end goal is a healthy motivator on your journey. However, when you are at the beginning, you might want to focus on gaining experience so you can earn your way up.

Have an idea of all the essential programming languages

Regardless of the knowledge gathered so far when it comes to programming languages, in order to become a software developer, it is crucial you learn the most in-demand programming languages. Unfortunately, there aren’t only one or two types of programming languages that are used more. For this reason, it is recommended you have an idea of some of the most popular, which are as follows:

  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • Java
  • HTML
  • C++

It isn’t necessary – as it can be quite difficult – to acquire a deeper understanding of each of them. However, depending on your preferences, job opportunities and relevance, it is crucial you become an expert in a specific one. Doing this can help you decide on the direction in which you want your career to go. Plus, knowing your specialization can help you find the most suitable opportunities.

Obtain a degree and certification

Before acquiring any certification, it is of the utmost importance you obtain a degree in computer science or another related course that prepares you for taking this career path as a software developer. Given that the needed skills for this job include knowing some of the programming languages mentioned earlier, there is no doubt that a course in computer science or software engineering is a must.

A solid background in this area is crucial, as you will have a foundation on which to build and specialize further. For instance, some of the most sought-after certifications for software developers in 2021 include:

  • AWS Certified Developer – Associate
  • Oracle Application Express Developer Certified Expert
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer
  • Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals

There is an excellent variety of certifications that are applicable in 2021 for whoever wishes to become a software developer. The important aspect is getting the one that suits you best, is relevant to your area of focus and can help you drive your career path further. With a certification, you will be able to stand out from the crowd in an already highly competitive market.

Get out there: start getting experience

Once you have acquired a solid theoretical background and perhaps gained a particular certification, it is vital you start getting experience. Indeed, it is true that you might find internships and programs that aren’t incredibly well-paid at the beginning. However, these entry-level positions help beginners gain as much experience as possible in an environment that isn’t yet too demanding. Such roles offer you the opportunity to put theory to practice while giving you the space to make mistakes and learn from them.

What’s more, as an intern or entry-level employee, you have the chance to put together your portfolio and find the area on which you want to focus on. This way, you become better prepared and more confident to start applying to high-stakes jobs for a better position. When you are at the beginning, testing the waters with internships is recommended. This way, when it comes to finding the right job, you will be able to recognize it.

Stay up to date with the industry

Being a software developer means having the necessary skill set to create, design, install and test and improve various types of software programs or systems intended to facilitate specific actions. In a business, such a software program can support a seamless running of its operations, improving productivity. Therefore, as a software developer, it is crucial you stay updated with the industry, given that tech innovations and new software systems are constantly being emerged and enhanced.

For this reason, once you have managed to build a strong background and gain experience in the industry, it is of the utmost importance you keep learning new techniques and staying on top of any upgrades to programming. Another effective method to stay up to date with this industry is attending networking events, where you can meet like-minded and influential people with vast experience.

Dariia Herasymova is a Recruitment Team Lead at Devox Software. She hires software development teams for startups, small businesses, and enterprises. She carries out a full cycle of recruitment; creates job descriptions based on talks with clients, searches and interviews candidates, and onboards the newcomers. Dariia knows how to build HR and recruitment processes from scratch. She strives to find a person with appropriate technical and soft skills who will share the company’s values. When she has free time, she writes articles on various outsourcing models for our blog.