The explosion of information technology over the past decade has opened up hundreds of new tech career fields. These careers are among the most exciting and most profitable today, often commanding high wages and job security that are lacking in other fields.
One of the hottest tech careers available to modern tech workers is that of the developer. Developers help to create websites, mobile apps, and programs that enhance user experiences on various platforms. If you’re interested in becoming a developer, you’re in good company. If, however, you do not know exactly how to go about it, here’s the basic guide to becoming a successful and employable developer.
Decide What Kind of Developer You Want to Be
Like most career fields, there are many different categories of developers. Some developers focus on creating mobile apps. Others specialize in front-end website development, which has to do with the elements of websites that visitors and users see. Yet another class of developers are experts in server-side, or back-end development, which deals with how websites interact with the servers that host them.
Any of these specialties will offer you many job opportunities. If you truly want to maximize your earning potential, however, consider becoming a full-stack developer. Full-stack developers are people who have gained expertise in both front-end and back-end development and can handle every element of the development process. Because they can smoothly create websites without the need for coordinating different development elements, full-stack developers are in high demand in the modern job market.
Decide How to Learn Development
Once you’ve settled on what kind of developer you want to be, it’s time to decide how you’re going to learn the skills you’ll need. Many people choose to pursue a college degree, often in computer science, to jump-start their development careers. If time or budget makes this impossible for you, there are other ways to become a skilled developer. There are several online courses available that can help you to learn web development from the ground up. Some of these are paid courses put together by professional developers, while others are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) created by major universities. Decide on a method of learning development, dive in headfirst and stick to it, as constantly changing your learning approach will only take you more time.
Learn, Practice and Build a Portfolio
Start Looking for Work
Once you are confident in your ability to develop a site or app, it’s time to put your skills on the market. Use industry-specific resources such as an IT recruiting company to help you land a job as a developer. A recruiting company is crucial in your job search since they are already connected to leading IT companies that are looking to hire. An IT recruiter knows what hiring companies look for in a potential employee. They can help you set up your resume in a way that is attractive to the hiring employer, as well as give you successful interviewing techniques.
You can also offer your services to businesses as a freelancer if you have an entrepreneurial streak. Remember not to take this step until you are sure you are ready and able to deliver the best work you can possibly do, as the pressure to excel will be on once you start your first professional development project.
Keep Your Skills Updated and Stay Relevant
One of the challenges of the tech industry is the pace at which it changes. If you want to make a long-term career in development successful, you should do your best to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies that may benefit you and your clients. By keeping your skills at the cutting edge of your industry, you’ll ensure that you are always in high demand.
The journey to become a professional developer will likely be a long one, but once you have made it, the rewards will be more than enough to justify your efforts. It is common for developers to make in excess of $50,000 per year, with salaries of $80,000 or more not unheard of for top developers. Take advantage of this new tech career opportunity while you still can, and start learning the skills you need to succeed in development today.
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