Become a Software Developer Fast and at Little Cost
People are learning to code online for free. Check out these courses and start earning a lot of money as a software developer in months.
You can become a software engineer, even without a University degree. A number of free online resources makes it easier than ever to learn this skill and put yourself in a position for a high paying job.
There is a 1.4% unemployment rate for software developers and the median salary is $107,510 per annum. You’d agree this is a very lucrative career path.
For some, the best part of being a software developer is the work-life balance that this job offers. There is a projection of 22% growth expected to occur in the industry between 2019 and 2029 according to the Bureau of labour Statistics.
What Is a Software Engineer?
In the simplest form, it’s a title given to people who write the codes behind a software product. Examples of this include apps, video games, robots, operating systems, etc.
What does a software engineer do?
- Conceptualize, design, and create software applications
- Use code to solve real-life problems
- Converting instructions from how humans understand it to how computers understand and vice versa
- Might have to work with a team of other software engineers to improve code and get the best possible outcome
- On occasions, a software engineer may need to partner with other creatives such as technical writers, graphic designers, product managers, etc.
Similar to almost all other industries, there will be little differences among different software engineering companies.
The job itself is exciting. As if that’s not enough, there are other perks that make it one of the most sought-after industries. With perks like:
- This is one of the industries with very lucrative pay even at entry-level.
- On the average, people with less than one year of experience gross $102,447 per annum.
- As you garner lots of work experience, you can expect to get a take-home north of $137,925 per year.
Work from home possibilities
- Many software engineering companies offer their staff the option or opportunity to work from home. As long as you meet up with your deliverables, where you work is inconsequential.
- The option to work from home has always been there. Some researchers place the percentage of software engineers working from home at 86%.
Casual work environments
- Besides the flexible schedule, the work environments are usually casual.
- You get to choose your work hours. Some companies do not even start for the day till 10 am.
What else could a worker ask for? A job that has high pay, flexible hours, and flexible work location. In many other jobs, you have to select one and forgo the others. Here, you can have it all.
There are 3 Ways to Become a Software Engineer
Option 1 – Coding Bootcamps
This is a high-intensity training program designed to impact specific knowledge on its attendants within a very short period.
Bootcamp, unlike regular college or University, allows you to select a time that works for you so you can learn all you need to know without having to compromise on any other important part of your life.
You can also learn at your own pace. On average, bootcamps last less than 12 weeks and are usually enough to set new programmers on their way. There are also longer bootcamps that can sometimes stretch to 24-36 weeks and this is usually very intensive.
This will help you tackle all modules, focusing on the key development arrears like data structure, databases, key programing language, algorithms, project management, software applications, etc.
There are several advantages of coding bootcamps over regular college or university programs and this stems from the total focus and intensive training that’s offered in a coding bootcamp unlike colleges where you’re made to diversify your portfolio.
With coding bootcamps, career coaching and employment assistance are usually very important takeaways after the training. This is something that’s seldom found in universities or colleges.
Bootcamps don’t just train, they take it a step further by mentoring graduates in the field and assisting them in finding a good job.
Option 2 – DIY Software Engineering
You might have heard stories of self-taught programmers. A lot of people in the software engineering field today did nothing related to computers in their first degree but somehow found a way to maneuver to the programming world.
The fact is, you can teach yourself how to become a software engineer. You only need to be willing to put in more effort and take advantage of resources like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). There are quite a number of popular ones including:
- Mobile And Web Development Course from Johns Hopkins
- Programming Fundamentals from Duke University
- Introduction to Web Development from UC Davis
- Full Stack Web development and Multiplatform Mobile Application Development Specialization from The University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
A lot of these courses have made their materials available for free; however, they may charge you about $500 or less for certification.
If you decide to go this route, you must understand that in many cases, you will only have interaction with teaching assistants or your peers in educational forums.
You rarely get any personal attention and the curriculum may not be designed in a way that you get to land your first job after the training.
Option 3 – Traditional Degrees
The traditional paths to becoming a software engineer are: associate degree (2 years), a bachelor’s degree (4 years), or even a master’s degree in computer science.
These degrees expose you to a high spectrum of fundamentals and broaden your understanding by also mandating you to take some courses in fundamentals of mathematics, logic, programming etc.
The persistent rise in demand for software engineers within the United States means that the non-traditional paths would still remain very relevant and students would continue to take advantage of learning opportunities like internships, externships, open-source programs etc.
As a matter of fact, even those who have gone through the traditional study paths still opt for non-traditional learning modules to supplement their degrees.
In summary, there is no one ideal approach to becoming a software engineer. Time and resources available will always be an influencing factor when choosing study paths.
However, Coding bootcamps remain the quickest route because, in about 24-36 weeks, you could be a practicing software engineer.