First thing’s first: this article is not about Frozen or my fascination with Disney movies. This article is about building Software, not Olaf. I’ll write that one later…
Why Software Development?
You might have noticed WithYouWithMe has focussed a lot on Software Development lately. There’s good reasons for it too! If you want a job 10 years from now, I highly suggest you look into up-skilling in digital skills to avoid becoming irrelevant. Harsh? Maybe. Fair? Yes.
Here are some other reasons you might want to start looking into Software Development:
- Career Security – granted, nothing in life is certain, except death and taxes; but I’d be hard-pressed to find and unemployed software developer in 2020. It is one of the most in-demand careers, and companies are scavenging for talent. There will always be new companies popping up offering a new platform or application that needs to be built or maintained. This is your golden ticket, Charlie.
- You get to build – No, not Olaf (not yet). But you will create, design, build and deploy software that will be used by companies and individuals.
- You will learn – You’ll be presented with new challenges every day. You need to stay on top of new technology and best-practise security to ensure your software is as shiny and functional as possible to beat the competition.
- Potential for remote work – I can’t promise every company will cater for this, however with the right management framework and team collaboration, development can be done remotely. How about buying a house on the coast for pennies instead of living in a Sydney shoebox for $$$?
- Pay – Speaking of money, good developers can make some pretty decent dosh once they’re proficient.
- Be Creative – Software Development is a highly creative job. Once you understand the tools you have to work with, you will be able to apply your own unique perspective to solve problems and build new software.
Ok it sounds good, but what is it?
Put simply, a Software Developers are the masterminds behind computer programs of all sorts. Think about your Spotify app, Netflix, Microsoft Word, Angry Birds, and even the web page you’re reading this article on. A team of developers built all of it, and continue to work on each program to continuously improve it and ensure each system keeps up with the times.
Put even more simply, developing or programming is instructing computers to perform various tasks.
What do developers do all day?
Software developers will generally work in Agile teams to Identify Requirements (needs analysis), Design (come up with a solution), Develop (code to build) and Test (make sure the thing actually works).
The responsibility and tasks of developers will vary depending on competency, however it is likely that most tasks of a developer will be based around designing, coding and testing to meet the requirements of a customer. You will also be a part of internal meetings to discuss the direction or “Product Roadmap” (longer term vision of what you’re building) and be involved in launches (think Apple’s big launch events).
What skills and experience do I need?
Believe it or not, because development skills are in such high demand, you don’t need an awful lot to get your foot in the door. You don’t need a degree in Computer Science, but you will need to know computer systems, IT and at least one programming language (I suggest Python or Java to start off with).
What are programming languages?
Remember my definition earlier “developing or programming is instructing computers to perform various tasks”. Well, the computer needs to understand the instructions are and what you want it to do. Just like humans can understand multiple languages, computers understand instructions written in a specific syntax. When these instructions are written in syntax, they are called programming languages. The reason there are so many (700 actually) programming languages is because certain languages are better to apply in certain circumstances (i.e building websites, running a spreadsheet query, building the T-800 etc.).
A good developer will build their proficiency in multiple languages over time, like a good builder will become good at using different tools over time.
What can I do to become more competitive?
You should check out our Software Development pathway for the entry-level skills that will be useful to get your foot in the door. On top of our foundational courses, we currently have a Principles of Programming and Python Programming Fundamentals courses live and ready for you to enrol in!
Want to talk more? Book a call with me here