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How to Become a Software Developer in 2022 With No CS Degree.

Janet is a tech enthusiast and a software developer with a key interest in emerging technologies. She takes great joy in writing & travel.

What is so buzzing about the tech world?

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Technology is slowly taking over and by slowly I don't actually mean slow, it is pretty fast if you ask me and the demand for software developers is growing faster than ever before. With startups being founded left right and centre, there can only be as many developers to meet that demand. I know you are probably asking yourself how can you can be part of this? If so, then you are in the right place.

As a beginner in the tech industry, you will find that there is so much information on the internet ranging from where to start, how to start, why not to start and all this can really boggle your mind and leave you even more confused than you were. I promise I am not signing you up for that. I will give you my point of view and juice that up with how I started on my path as a software developer.

Where do I really start?

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To avoid being bombarded by so much information you need to start by writing down or just noting what you really like about coding. More like what would you really like to do with it. Would you fancy building systems, websites, chatbots, apps, data science or just writing some scripts to automate daily life recursions. Take time to decide what you will enjoy doing.

Next, you need to note down any trend you have heard of that you think is in demand. You do not really need to be one hundred percent correct, but that will get you thinking and moving in the right direction. Such trends could be in fields such as data science, blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence or even on the actual programming languages like flutter. Then decide on what really steals you away. What you are really passionate about.

Your first programming language.

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Assuming you have already figured what you really like about programming it is time to actually get the ball rolling. Based on your preference say if you want to create websites, this is the time to do a specific search on the internet on that. The programming languages you need to learn, the tools you will require and the learning resources needed. Look at the emerging trends in that space and compare with the ones you had noted down. Always remember to take notes along the way because it will ultimately help you keep things organized.

This is where we get a little bit technical. As you select a path you need to take note of the types of developers that are there in the industry. You could be a full stack developer who is proficient in both the front end and the back end development, a back end developer or a front end developer. All of these have their own perks and depending on the demand in your area or country it is good to pick a path on one of these. In my country, most companies actually prefer full-stack developers.

Brief overview of technologies.

PATHS.Technologies.

Front End.

Html, CSS, Javascript, React, Bootstrap, Angular, Vue JS.

Back End.

Python, Java, Php, Ruby, Django, Laravel.

Database.

MySQL, Mongo DB, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Firebase.

Tools.

VS Code, Git, Github.

Top 3 Resources you will require.

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1. A laptop or a computer desktop.

First of all, you need a fully functional laptop with at least 8GB of RAM. You could get by with 4GB RAM but that will slow you down at some point. If you are planning on venturing into game development then you need at least 16GB of RAM. Your laptop should also have preferably an Intel Core i5 processor or Intel Core i6 for game development. Although an Intel Core i3 or an AMD A8/A10 would be sufficient enough, it is advisable to actually get what you need first so that you do not need to replace anything later on.

2. Steady Internet connection.

All the resources you will require will be on the internet and everything you will need to do will require either downloading an IDE or a dependency or tutorials. Make sure to have steady internet connections.

3. An office set up.

Well, I do not really mean a real office per se, just get yourself a comfortable desk and chair to sit on because you'll probably spend more time here than anywhere else.

Software development key take aways.

  • Select a tutorial to begin learning. Look for reviews on the tutorials first before starting out.
  • Check out your programming language documentation and always use this for reference.
  • Practice every single piece of code you learn and avoid learning passively.
  • Research more on concepts that you do not understand.
  • While you code you will definitely encounter bugs(errors), make Stack Overflow your best friend as this will help you get solutions to bugs easily.
  • Join a community of developers around you to help you peer-learn and even get opportunities for jobs easily.
  • Practice! Practice! and Practice!

Avoiding burnout and frustrations.

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While you cannot fully avoid these, you can find ways to ensure it does not happen that frequently. Here are my quick tips on these:

  • Get a mentor to help guide you on your learning journey.
  • Ask a lot of questions especially in communities.
  • Take one day at a time and build on consistency. Learning is progressive.
  • Understand that you cannot know everything in one day or month, learning how to code is non-linear.

The only way to learn a new programming language is by writing programs in it

— Dennis Ritchie

I sincerely hope that after going through my article you will begin your journey. As we are headed to a new year next year, there will be more opportunities in this industry and the best thing is to get started now. You do not have to wait to make it a new year's resolution but rather grab opportunities while you can.

© 2021 Janet Mutua

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