A senior Java developer and Java tutor at Learning Tree International programming courses.
Software development is something that is gaining popularity at lightning speed with the development of technology. The demand for regular developers is high compared to most other mainstream professions. But, what are the other reasons for learning to code?
Given my experience as a software engineer and Java tutor, I’ve come up with many reasons, and, in this blog post, I am going to share them with you. I hope they will lead you to make an informed decision.
Salary is a frequently discussed subject in a programming environment. Compared to many other industries, software engineering allows specialists to receive a way higher average wage.
To avoid being verbose and prove that you are a future high-demand expert, I will give you real numbers based on data from Glassdoor, the job and recruiting website. The salary rate is the average between the length of service and all geographical data. It also depends on the coding language you are mastering.
Software development is one of the industries that show comparatively stable employment. Unlike many other occupations, computer professional activities face a significantly lower unemployment rate even during a pandemic. See the table below.
Although the industry is stable enough, the technology moves fast, which means the specialists will hardly be able to use all those skills they have now in 2–5–10 years. The good news is that many IT companies contribute to the professional development of their software engineers because using modern tools consequently leads to their business success. So, if you constantly update your skills, you don’t have to worry about losing your job.
When you are good at coding, you have more options. You can decide whether you want to join a large company or a small one as a programmer. You can start your own startup or choose to work as a freelancer without being tied to a place. You can most likely get an offer and move to another country for relocation. Everything depends on your goals.
Knowing how to program not only improves your way of thinking, but it also makes your CV stand out among others, even if you’re engaged in the indirect activities, like software testing, digital design, system administration, business or data analyst. Mentioning you are good at programming gives hiring managers a better understanding of your ability to think critically and grasp advanced topics quickly.
Working from home or remote work is a common practice in the software industry, way more widespread than in any other sector. However, like elsewhere, software developers have fallen out into two camps: those dreaming of working remotely and those staying away from it. The good news for the second group is that there is a high demand for skilled devs all over the world. Other than that, the companies looking for IT specialists often offer assistance with relocation.
Many companies that strive to optimize the workflow process allow their employees to work remotely several days a week. Software development companies are no exception.
The senior managers who take care of their team members usually approve flexible working hours, focusing on the results you deliver rather than the number of hours you spend at your computer.
They even don’t get hysterical when devs request a vacation.
Compared to many other industries, software engineering can boast a friendly working atmosphere. Sure, there is no 100% guarantee you won’t meet crappy people, but you still can easily avoid any bad workspace by monitoring feedback about different companies. Besides, modern software companies strive to create the environment, where the specialists do quality work and feel happy. For this, for example, they implement feedback and one-on-one meetings to stay in contact with you.
Learning to program is not that challenging when you have enough educational resources on hand. Forums, online courses, gamified tutorials, and other learning portals like those listed next, allow developers to share knowledge and collaborate with other specialists.
Evolving problem-solving skills is a must for all engineers. For this, I always recommend several websites to my students. They include:
CodeGym is an online learning course that will make you write tons of code. Whether you want it or not, but practicing is what helps you consolidate acquired knowledge and hone your skills. With CodeGym courses built with the latest technologies, you won’t get bored learning Java language.
Codecademy offers a whole host of free training materials related to different programming languages. They are suitable for both novice and experienced developers who want to implement their knowledge into delivering different projects.
Java Revisited resource offers a mixed approach to learning Java language, providing a bulk of practical lessons along with comprehensive theoretical material that will guide through each step of working with code in Java.
Codewars is more suitable for students with at least basic programming experience and who want to hone their skills by completing hands-on, complex tasks.
Codepip is another distinctive platform that implements gaming technologies into the learning process to make the latter more effective.
FreeCodeCamp provides a whole lot of free tutorials that let beginners start writing the code from the very beginning of the training. After completing the practice level, you can even enrol in creating projects for similar non-profit organizations.
Stack Overflow is an open community created to give answers to your toughest code-related queries, share knowledge, and land a dream job.
Reddit is a so-called news website, where its users share content related to different subjects. It is divided into subreddits, so you can easily filter out everything you don’t need.
SitePoint refers to another community developed to support programmers and designers, help beginners understand the language of their choice, and other users in business, marketing, and other related fields.
CodeProject community brings together a bunch of articles and tutorials on web and software development, programming languages, etc.
Hacker News collects the latest news about the hackers’ world.
Tutorials or online courses provide educational material to let you acquire coding knowledge at your own pace. I’d recommend considering the following ones.
Gitconnected is a platform created by developers for developers to share knowledge, communicate, and learn.
CareerFoundry is a website that offers fully-mentored courses and programs aimed at helping you acquire knowledge and skills in the tech industry and land a well-paid job.
Coursera is an online educational platform that lets people enrol in many courses for free or choose from paid ones. The site lists lots of programming courses, such as:
Web Documentation is a must-have tool that makes developers’ lives easier when it comes to finding solutions to problems. You, as a programmer, can utilize MDN Web Docs, W3Schools, or devdocs.io.
LearnCode.academy is a YouTube channel that covers a vast number of topics related to software development. It also features tutorials for beginners along with advanced web dev tools for experienced programmers.
An IT world is what can greatly improve your communication and collaboration skills. Building social media platforms, mobile apps, or any other digital projects requires a team effort to speed up the process and avoid mistakes a single programmer may happen to miss. Usually, methodologies like Scrum and Kanban help you with that, making cooperation easier.
So, if you want to land a job in the software industry, you have to be ready to work with people and learn more about them.
I’ve seen many different projects, fun and weird since I’ve been working as a programmer. Other than establishing projects for your clients, you can also create products to your liking and successfully launch them.
For instance, once I created a working prototype of “Cat’s care” that comprised a cat’s voice recognition system with an automatic feeding system. Because the system is robotized, it can recognize if a pet wants to drink or eat, and gives a portion of food if there’s no one at home. The app can also recognize by voice if the cat is sick, but it’s still in development.
Another project I did was related to music. I have a cousin who is a pianist, and together with him, we’ve built a program for ear training.
So, you see, you can do anything. Let your imagination run wild!
Engineers are quite busy specialists compared to other experts in different industries. Due to the large work volume, they often have to refuse recruiters. Do you know many industries, where headhunters are literally fighting for you? Recruiters are headhunting developers all the time — I always get new offers from different companies on my LinkedIn profile. With that being said, highly experienced specialists are in great demand and receive good offers.
The IT community is another most discussed topic in the software environment. It is active and supportive, which means you’ll never be left alone with a problem. Fortunately, there are multiple forums, Q&A websites, and other discussing platforms I’ve recently mentioned, where you can seek help. Stack Overflow, Medium, subreddits, YouTube channels, and Facebook groups are just a few places where you can find a software solution. To meet fellow developers in real life, I recommend visiting Meetup with lots of events.
If you want to launch a startup, e.g. web or mobile application, you need to put in the budget additional expenditures for a developer or a whole team. A budgeted of 5–6 thousand dollars may easily end up with 20 thousand dollars spent on software development. This is where coding skills come to the rescue. Knowing how to program saves you money and lets you design, build, test run, and change your project without relying on others. Coding knowledge gives you a lot of freedom.
When preparing this blog post, I sincerely hoped it would encourage you to start learning to code or support you in the moments of desperation and desire to quit. If it helps you and you know someone who can also benefit from reading this post, make sure to share it with your peers.
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