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How to Become a Software Developer

Technology (tech) is fast becoming the new oil. With new advancements popping up every day, tech skills have become a hot commodity in the job market. Now is the time to jump on the wagon!

Want to pursue a career in the tech industry? If you love mentally challenging jobs, then you will enjoy a career as a Software Developer. This career is a tough one if you do not have the patience, initiative or a knack for learning you will find it difficult.

The Job

Software Developers are the creative minds behind computer programs.

A Software Developer develops applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer and other devices. He also develops underlying systems that run devices or controls networks.

He identifies the core functionality that users need from software programs and determines user requirements that are unrelated to the functions of the software, such as the level of security and performance needs. Then he designs the program and gives instructions to programmers, who write computer codes and test it. If the program does not work as expected or if testers find it too difficult to use, he goes back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program.

Entry Requirements

Completing a formal education is the first step towards becoming a Software Developer.  A bachelor’s degree or HND in computer science, information technology or software engineering will launch you into this career. Computer science degrees tend to cover a broad range of topics which will prepare you for the job.

While in school you can gain experience by completing an internship/industrial attachment in a software/IT company.

Training and Certifications

To make it in this career, you must keep up to date with new tools and computer languages. You also need skills related to the industry you are working in. There are several programming languages and frameworks you need to learn to build a solid foundation in this career.

Here are some articles that will help you as well as institutions providing training for Software Developers.

New Horizon

HiiT Plc

Andela

College Grad

Hackernoon

Working Conditions/Salary

Here, you will be required to work closely with computer programmers. However, most companies, require that you write codes yourself instead of giving instructions to programmers. Software development is a collaborative process, and as a developer you will work on teams with others who also contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software. However, you can also work from home as a freelance developer.

Salaries depend on the industry and level of experience. For an entry-level Software Developer, the average salary is usually between N150, 000 – N200, 000. As you progress and garner more experience, your pay package increases.

Career Progression

Advancement opportunities in this career increase with experience and depend on the company. As a software developer in full-time employment, you can only get to the highest level available at the company you work for, which might not be so high. Large companies like Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Google, Facebook, HP, and others, advancement can be much higher. Usually, these kinds of large companies either have a technical or a management track for advancement.

You will have to choose between taking up management roles leaving behind your coding skills, and staying right on the technical track and keep on coding until you can’t code anymore.

If you choose the management track, advancement will be as an IT Manager, and then perhaps a Section Manager or Project Manager, and then you work your way all the way up to executive level positions like Director of Development, or even the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

You can also choose to go out on your own as a freelance developer or run a company of developers.

We hope you found this week’s career profiler interesting and useful. If you are interested in this career path or have questions, require further guidance on planning your career or have comments and suggestions, please feel free to contact us at careers@careerhubafrica.com. Or you know someone, a friend, a colleague who may find this post interesting, please do share this with them.

We wish you every success in your career…..

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