4 tips on how to become a software developer
You've taken a Computer Science or STEM degree knowing that technology is only going to play a greater and greater part in our lives. You've read up on the digital skills gap and the demand for people in the IT industry. So, you're assuming that getting an entry level or graduate job in software development means getting a decent grade and sending out a few job applications. Well, think again!
Here's two hard truths about junior software developer jobs:
- IT recruiters have requirements that go beyond the technologies and skills taught in University.
- Demand for experienced software developers are in greater demand than entry level graduates looking for roles.
But, luckily for you, the software industry is young and if you get the right experience now you will have a very bright future ahead of you.
Take a look at these tips on how to become a software developer.
1. Narrow down what type of IT job you want
Software development is one of the most varied sectors in the UK and it's growing rapidly. You'll find software in almost every aspect of our lives and there's so many different paths you can take. Why not have a look...
Have a research about the technology you want to work in, or the different roles there are in software development. This will help you to narrow down the job hunting, and help you decide on what skills you need improving to find the job you want.
2. Make sure you know the technical skills you need
There's such a huge range of technologies and you can't have heard of them all! Research the up and coming technologies and if you haven't got this skillset then investigate if there are any University modules you can take to gain the right knowledge. If there isnt, how about having a look at graduate training schemes to help you advance your career. Maybe even ours :)
Have a read of this article by Dice to find the most trending technologies in 2016.
3. Be enthusiastic
Despite society's misconceptions that you must be a 'geek' or 'maths whiz' to become a software developer, this is not true. So, let's put these fallacies behind us.
The days are gone where IT is about sitting behind a desk and having little interaction. When you're being interviewed employers look for enthusiasm and want to know that that you enjoy programming. Remember, technical knowledge is something that can be taught but without the enthusiasm to do it how can you do it well?
4. Create a portfolio
Don't just use your CV as your selling point, tell your story!
“Building a portfolio allowed me to tell stories about how I applied my learning, the experiences I gained, and how I brought an idea to life. I didn’t just list off a series of courses I took during my interviews,” remarks Caroline Sun, an associate business analyst in the IT department at Oliver Wyman.
Use GitHub or the projects menu on LinkedIn to show potential employers what you are capable of and why they need you.
You are about to enter a fantastic industry, so don't let the job hunt get you down! Why not have a read of this Guardian article to see real life experiences!