Updated: May 3
Software developer can be a relatively loaded title to have in this industry. In a general sense, a software developer is someone that develops, designs, and maintains custom software. Since the array of programming languages and frameworks is so vast, you can be doing something as small as writing some functions in a SQL database OR something as complex as building the next Twitter. Regardless, you will fit under the umbrella term of "software developer".
What does it really look like to be a software developer?
Before entering the space, it is important to have a good understanding of your expectations.
1) What does the job entail?
As someone who has been a developer for years now, I've worked a handful of jobs in the industry. Each is different from the other. Each company that you work for is unique in its company culture, policies, standards working hours, etc. Personally speaking, I was expected to work 9-5, which is normal. But the nice thing is that most employers place a heavy emphasis on maintaining a good work-life balance.
2) Understand the development life cycle.
While certain procedures of a development team may vary, the core concepts are the same. The work begins with an idea or a need for something. A solution is then planned and refined. After that it is designed, developed, and tested. The final step is a full rollout of the solution. Whether there are complicated steps in between or not, every development life cycle functions the same way at its core.
Here at Atsap, we have formulated a comprehensive, one-stop shop program for turning an idea into a market-ready solution. Atsap Launchpad is our program that we put all of our clients through. In the Development portion of the program, we spend an ample amount of time diagnosing the problems and solutions required. We have a team of contractors, both developers and QA testers, that we hire and work with for every client. After understanding the requirement of our client, we refine it and pass it to our developers to complete. Once complete, it moves to our testers and so on.
How do you become a software developer?
1) Get a degree.
I'd like to emphasize that this step is not required. More and more employers are no longer requiring traditionally college degrees. Nowadays it is more important to have certifications or personal projects in your portfolio. But should you be interested in going to college, look into the Computer Science or Information Sciences degrees available. Four or more years of learning in a board-certified curriculum are invaluable.
2) Gain experience early on.
Getting involved in the space at an early age is incredibly important. Try your best to get an internship or summer job at a tech company in high school if you can - the earlier, the better. In college, get an internship or a part-time job at a local software business of interest to you. Chances are the technologies being used at each company are going to be different from what you are learning in college/high school. This will serve you well when it comes to getting full-time employment, as it shows you are well-rounded and capable of learning new tech stacks.
If interested in career opportunities, reach out to us! We are always open to hiring new interns as a part of our Atsap Mentorship program (a part of the Atsap Launchpad).
3) Learn on your own.
The amount of resources on the internet that can help you learn to code is pretty crazy. If college isn't for you, participating in coding boot camps or taking online classes could be the right fit. Or if you are just curious about learning new things, go online and search for Youtube videos on coding tutorials. OR even just on Github and look at open-source repositories...
4) Be open-minded.
Often times you will be working with a bunch of other people. As a part of a team, you will need to remain patient with others. If you are not a people person, make sure you look diligently at career opportunities that would allow you to remain in your own space. Remaining open-minded in that regard is really important. In regards to the above points made about the vast amount of things you could be learning, it is important to be open to the idea of learning new frameworks and languages so you can demonstrate that you are a multi-faceted developer.
Why bother becoming a software developer?
1) Pay and benefits.
For starters, the annual salary of a software developer is considerably higher than the US average. According to U.S. News, the average salary of a software developer was $110,140 in 2020. The best-25 percent was upwards of $140k. The median income of a software developer is 150% that of the US average of $71,456.
The software industry is absolutely BOOMING right now. Tons of cities in the US, like Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and Austin, are investing heavily in tech and software in an attempt to become the next Silicon Valley. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft - commonly referred to as "Big Tech" - are all moving to these hub cities in droves.
Should you have an entrepreneurial spirit like us, you may not want to work for anyone else. Well, you picked the right industry for it. The beauty of software is that you can literally do anything with it that you'd like. If you have an idea and want to start your own business, you have the freedom to do it all on your own.
Do you have an app idea and need help turning it to a reality? Book an appointment with us today. Why wait around?