It’s a very important step when someone wants to change a current job or chooses coding as their first career path. Different industries value developers for their unique skills that help them create products. This means that developers always have some projects to develop and launch. Coding careers also mean significant profits, which makes people consider becoming developers.
It’s possible to start a developer career as long as you know where to begin. Check our article with 12 top tips to start a coding career. The article is supposed to give a better understanding of what is needed to become a successful developer and land a job in a development company.
A future developer doesn’t have to be a mathematical genius, but they have to work hard on acquiring skills. The first thing to do is to choose what career to pursue. Then research what skills an expert in the field must possess.
It’s possible to learn everything without anyone’s help or to obtain a degree. Self-education requires a lot of willpower since you are the only person in control of the progress.
Make sure to fully commit to acquiring the necessary skills and be ready to engage in a long learning process. Consider creating a studying schedule to check your progress.
Today, people share materials that help future developers master their skills. Some websites provide aspiring coders with courses that help them learn the basics of computer programming. GeeksforGeeks offers simple and easy-to-understand tutorials that explain such programming languages as HTML, C/C++, Java, Python, etc.
Apply New Skills
Individuals learning basic skills often have to practice to understand how different codes work. Keep learning new aspects of coding while also trying to apply your knowledge. First, it makes a person more confident and inspires them to keep learning. Second, practice helps to gain a better understanding of how something works — that way, a person can also avoid forgetting a recently acquired skill.
Mistakes happen since it’s a learning process. Accept the fact while learning, it’s OK to make mistakes, and don’t get discouraged if something does not go according to your plan. Take your time to figure out what’s wrong. Don’t stress out and keep calm.
Instead, take a step back and check the theoretical part. Most people manage to find the issue and get a better understanding of what went wrong. In some cases, mistakes even help to understand the material better.
Moreover, there is a tip that can be beneficial for competitive people. If today a coder notices 11 mistakes in a code or a project, then tomorrow’s task is to make fewer mistakes. Turning a learning experience into a competitive game may contribute to the overall progress.
After learning how to code, the next step is to write a simple code. In the real world, software developers have to apply quality assurance to their newly-created products to make sure it’s of great quality. Apply this strategy to a learning process.
There are many forums and discussion websites used by coders and programmers. A few simple examples of such websites include Quora, Reddit, etc. Post a code to get feedback. It’s free and might be very helpful. In some cases, other developers give tips on how to improve the studying process.
Don’t Rush It
Having realistic expectations is the key to not dropping the task mid-way. It’s impossible to become a professional software/mobile developer or a data scientist within just a week or a month. It takes great effort and patience to acquire the coding foundation to then develop specific skills.
When studying, especially something as complex as coding, it’s essential to make sure new knowledge sticks long-term. Consider learning one new skill and then practicing it to understand how it works and to make sure it stays with you long-term.
Ask for Help
If you have friends working as programmers or even a mentor in the IT industry, don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you don’t have friends who work as coders, consider using mentioned services — Quora or Reddit. Both services have huge communities willing to assist aspiring programmers.
Start a Personal Project
One of the best ways to keep interested in the educational material is to finally apply new skills! Note, it’s wise to go a bit further in studies to acquire basic skills. Then it’s possible to outline a project and start its development.
Consider something interesting and fun as a project. Don’t rush it and try to avoid too difficult ideas. First, starting a personal project helps with motivation. When the educational process seems to be too difficult, or it’s difficult to keep progressing, work on a project.
Second, a personal project may help with revising some of the skills. Practice is amazing when it comes to memorizing the material you have already learned.
Make Extra Effort
While learning new materials, aspiring coders often come across difficult topics or aspects. The reasonable thing to do is to put more effort into learning something difficult to understand. But it’s rather obvious.
But if a coder comes across a simple topic, most likely, they don’t dedicate enough time to get a better understanding. It’s a mistake. It takes time to fully understand even the simplest aspect, so make sure to take some time to put more effort than required.
Potential developers should understand why they learn how to code — they do it for themselves to become successful programmers. There are no teachers who evaluate their work since this isn’t school. The learning process should be useful for personal growth and to find a job, so it’s important to put in the extra effort.
Be Honest when not Fully Understanding a Topic
Whether studying at college coding school or learning through a self-educational process, it’s essential to clarify difficult-to-understand topics. As mentioned, learning how to code is about personal growth, not about pretending to understand something when that’s not the case.
When a beginner applies and gets a job, this will backfire. A developer won’t complete the task, and it will cost them a job. Instead of getting a brief clarification, make sure to study more. Don’t go further until the previous topic is fully researched. When facing difficulties, ask for help.
Point Milestones and Consider Rewards
Encouragement is always important. Whether it’s working in an office or studying, small encouragements help cope with typical difficulties. Create a plan and point out milestones. Upon reaching milestones, consider rewarding yourself for success.
The educational process is much more tolerable and fun when crossing out all those topics one has learned. And taking rewards for each milestone makes the process look like a game, which is even more enjoyable! But be careful with rewards and keep up with a personal schedule.
Pair up with Experienced Coders
One of the easiest ways to gain valuable experience is to pair up with someone who has this experience. If it’s impossible to find a friend or a mentor, consider online services. There are multiple online courses with big audiences of eager-to-learn coders. Some of these people may already have some experience.
It’s also wise to search for communities of developers online to find a mentor. It may be a difficult task to find someone willing to share experience and babysit, so to speak, an inexperienced coder, but it’s worth a shot.
Take Online Coding Challenges
Consider finding coding challenges online! It’s one of the best ways to improve coding skills and gain valuable experience. Most coding jobs require troubleshooting and creativity, and while taking on such challenges, it’s possible to improve mentioned skills.
The good news is that there are several platforms offering coding challenges online. The best thing about these platforms is that they have different levels of difficulty that cater to the interests of beginning and experienced coders.
The benefits of these challenges are as follows:
- learn how to use acquired technical skills;
- improve existing skills;
- dive into the coding process.
It’s all fun and games when creating personal projects. But taking an online challenge is different. It’s close to the actual working environment when coders get tasks to develop software, front end or back end web projects, etc.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Test Tasks
The whole point of studying was to get a job. When a future successful developer is seeking potential jobs, they should be persistent to at least get test tasks. Many companies do not hesitate to hire passionate inexperienced developers as long as they show eagerness to work, improve and show good results.
If an applicant is persistent enough and gets a test task, they should fully commit to completing it. Even if it’s impossible to finish the task on time, it’s beneficial for personal growth to complete the test. Completing these test tasks may not land the applicant a job, but it will help to gain valuable experience. Eventually, this applicant will have enough experience to complete tests on time and get the dream job.
Try setting realistic expectations when learning how to code. It’s a complicated process that requires time and a lot of effort. Having realistic expectations helps to stay on track and not get discouraged whenever it becomes more difficult to learn.