Software development is currently a popular and alluring career path, no doubt. Knowing how to become a great software developer becomes really necessary.
One sometimes get the impression that because software development is popular or that because it is the rave of the moment, then it must somehow be interesting and easy. At any rate, it is interesting. But seldom is it easy.
When it comes to getting started with software development training, there are several stacks that one can follow. These include:
Regardless of whatever stack you choose to follow, coding is serious business, especially when you want to advance further than the thrill and excitement of printing out your first “Hello World” program.
At the very heart of it, you will find out that it will take more than passion or excitement or being “interested” to build real-life applications.
You have to be willing to put in the time and effort, which doesn’t always come easy. You have to be willing and prepared to spend long hours on weekends, festooned in mind-boggling errors and semi-colon oversights.
Here are 4 things to consider before becoming a software developer:
1. Passion is not Enough
It is curious how people take it for granted that just because they are passionate about acquiring a certain skill then they will somehow, maybe automatically, become good at it. More often than not, this is usually false.
It’s like learning how to play a musical instrument. At first you are thrilled at the notes of a skilled professional, and you aspire to become nearly as good. Nothing wrong with that. But beneath that layer of expertise lies many hours of rigorous finger work.
This is no different from learning how to code. You will need to spend long hours figuring things out, which can sometimes be frustrating. But if you keep at it, you will definitely see improvement in your coding abilities.
2. Have Great Research Skills
In a field as vast and at the same time as peculiar as software development, having good research skills is paramount to success.
Someone said that there are 2 sides to knowledge: either we know a subject ourselves or we know where to get information on that subject. Having a mentor is great. But at any rate you will not become a great software developer if you do not know how to debug your own errors.
To tell you the truth, you should first have the patience and capacity to look up your own error before even asking a mentor for help, because if you are not patient enough to cross-check what you wrote, why should someone else put in the effort?
There are great coding communities like Github and Stack Overflow. But being a great programmer is more than just typing “Why is my program not working in the search bar?” You have to be willing enough to grab the said error statement and be ready to be redirected through layers upon layers of threads and discussions.
3. Become Part of a Coding Community
Becoming part of a coding community will help you in many ways.
First, you are able to meet great minds and establish good rapport, and secondly, you get access to useful threads and feedbacks. Chances are that the error you are battling with has already been resolved by someone who encountered it five years before you ran into it.
4. Have a Mentor
Having someone who not only patiently corrects but also holds you accountable is great. You learn really fast and you are able to see real-life code applications.
Finally, there is a saying that if someone wants to build a house, he should first sit down and count the cost. This saying applies to software development as well. You should be willing to go all way to become what your heart yearns for, what you have always wanted to be. Don’t let anything hold you back, you can do this.