For Hannah Blair, choosing which high school course to take in the UK came with an added complication.
She was attending an all-girls school that didn’t offer the computer and programming class she wanted to take, even though the school for childrenit did offer the course.
“The girls’ school had computer science, while the boys’ school had a real computer course, despite being under the same roof, so I switched to the boys’ school to do it,” says Blair.
His determination paid off and he graduated with a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Surrey (England) in 2018.
The young woman landed a place in the Deutsche Bank graduate program and has since worked with startups as an independent developer. And she is currently a senior developer on the virtual events platform Hopin.
It was a smart career choice, since the development of software it is an industry with many opportunities.
For example, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides for a job growth rate of 22% for these developers between 2019 and 2029, compared to 4% for other occupations.
And the roles are well paid. According to salary comparison website PayScale, the average salary for a developer is around US $ 80,000 per year.
A twist in life
Carl Mungazi studied journalism and worked as a local journalist in Luton, UK for four years, before becoming a developer in 2016.
His path to coding initially stemmed from his desire to build a news aggregator for the local area, something he had seen national publications build.
“Basically, I wanted to find a way to be able to track the news that is published in Luton,” says Mungazi.
The choice of which computer language to really learn depends on what you want to do.
Python it is a powerful general-purpose language and is often the first language taught to college students in computer courses.
It is widely used in business: YouTube, for example, is largely written in Python.
Ruby is another versatile language, popular with startups.
Regardless of the language a novice programmer chooses, there are vast resources online to help the self-taught. In his case, Mungazi says that freecodecamp.org was particularly helpful to him.
Another popular option is assist yetbootcamp (entertainment center), very useful for who change careers. Many of these have emerged in recent years, offering intensive courses designed to equip participants with the skills necessary to land that crucial first job.
Brenden Thornton chose this route, enrolling in a course offered by the Flatiron School, when he chose to stop being an NBA cameraman in professional basketball in the US.
“A great advantage of going to a bootcamp is to have a curriculum planned for you. I didn’t have to make any guesswork when deciding which technologies to learn and how I was going to teach them myself, “he explains.
The support that comes with assisting these bootcamps it was also key in his decision.
“They really take the time to build a support team around you, not only through job opportunities, but also through professional advisors who help you navigate the job search process“.
A drawback of bootcamps is that they can be time-consuming and, for many, prohibitively expensive. Many courses exceed $ 10,000.
A partial scholarship helped ease some of Thornton’s financial burden, but he still had a grueling schedule.
His Monday-Friday routine consisted of waking up at 5 a.m. to work at Uber and Lyft until 9 a.m. I would study until 4:00 p.m. and then go back to work on transportation applications until 9:00 p.m.
The “soft” skills
Regardless of which path you take in programming, it is essential to ensure that the so-called softer skills are not neglected.
“The skills employers are looking for are often more than technology,” according to Barry Cranford, CEO of recruiting firm RecWorks.
“The main thing, that really makes a difference, is yes it cans do it as part of a team“.
Have a public profile To highlight your work can also help when applying for jobs.
The online platform Github it is particularly popular with employers. “It’s like a portfolio of photographs, you can dive into it and see what people have done,” says Barry Cranford.
Finding a supportive mentor is another area that can give you a boost, he says, and could be a “secret weapon” for your career.
As with many industries, the networking (professional networking) can also help you build those crucial first contacts.
“Attend any meeting can greatly increase your chances of getting a job“, dice Brenden Thornton.
However, the challenges of landing that first job should not be underestimated, especially for career changers.
A Carl Mungazi le tomó 14 months get your first jobas he faced a problem familiar to many job seekers.
“One of the interviewers told me that he had a proposal, but they wanted me to gain more experience.”
Ultimately, whatever path you take in the industry, you must demonstrate a clear interest and passion for programming.
“It’s a very challenging process that will really boost your mental toughness, but if you are able to keep going, it will seriously change your life“, dice Thornton.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.