Getting started with software development can feel a bit overwhelming at first. The trick is to stay calm and keep your wits about you. The first thing is to be knowledgeable in different software and coding platforms. There is a lot you can teach yourself, but don’t be scared to sign up for some classes or a bootcamp.
Once you’re comfortable with coding, get to know a little about the business. Research software and tech companies in your area or an area where you’re willing to relocate. If you can come up with a marketable product (or several) to build yourself a portfolio, you’ll make yourself more marketable to these companies.
When you get hired, you’ll likely start out as a junior developer. This is the first, foot-in-the-door step you can take. Most people start out here. This job requires you to be able to write simple code, understand about the marketability and lifespan of most apps and understand app services.
Once you’ve shown mastery of these things, you can move up the ladder. Some people move quickly; others move more slowly. Don’t compare yourself to other people; walk your own path and be proud of your accomplishments.
The following is a common trajectory for developers past junior developer:
Software Developer –> Senior Developer –> Lead Developer/Technical Architect –> Development Manager/Team Leader –> Director –> VP –> CTO (Chief Technical Officer)
These steps won’t happen overnight. They won’t even happen over the course of a year. But if you’re good at what you do and keep working hard, they will likely happen.
If you’re looking to get into the developing field, some of the best fields to get into right now are cyber-security, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technology, progressive web apps and low-code development.
If you want to become more familiar with the needs of these fields, maybe consider signing up for a developer bootcamp.
What Are Developer or Coding Bootcamps?
Developer Bootcamps, also known as coding bootcamps, are intensive technical training programs held for a specific length of time to help individuals learn some of the most important programming skills they need to be employable. They are open to students at all levels of the coding spectrum – from beginners to the advanced.
The ultimate goal of these classes, of course, is to teach students enough that they are able to transition smoothly into various careers within the web design and web development fields. Some of the most important lessons are learning basic code, learning to build applications, especially those at a professional, business-like level and transitioning into building production-ready, marketable apps.
There are many of these developer or coding camps going on all over the world. Here are 15 of the ones we found to be especially beneficial:
1. DigitalCrafts Coding Bootcamp: Atlanta & Houston
2. Launch Academy: Boston
3. Hack Reactor: Various Locations
4. Flatiron School: Various Locations
Ranked #1 on the CourseReport website, Flatiron School offers a choice between on-campus and online coding bootcamps. They train students to be not only engineers and software developers, but also UX/UI designers and data scientists. Classes are taught by developing experts and one-on-one mentors. By the end of the course, students should have a full and vetted portfolio of marketable work.
5. Rithm School: San Francisco
6. Eleven Fifty Academy: Indianapolis
7. V School: Salt Lake City
With the option to learn on-campus or online via full-time or part-time courses, V School has availability to fit just about anyone’s schedule. Classes are small, with one teacher for approximately every eight students. The instructors use a process known as Responsive Learning to cover three main points with the students: acquisition of skills, on-the-job training experience and training for a career in software development. Students leave with a strong grasp of both experience design and full-stack web developing.
8. Actualize: Chicago & Online
This 12-week program has an on-campus program housed in Chicago but also allows students to do the entire program online from anywhere in the country. Students learn Git, VueJS, Ruby and more. However, a dedicated part of the curriculum at Actualize called “Job Hacking” focuses not on learning to code and develop software but on personal branding, networking, marketing oneself and other important skills on how to actually get and keep a developing job.
9. App Academy: New York City, San Francisco & Online
10. Holberton School: Various Locations
Holberton School is actually a bit more like an actual college program than a bootcamp, but it is an excellent program that deserves mentioning. The program runs for two years, and at the end of those two years students graduate as full-stack software engineers. The great thing about Holberton is that it is 100% hands-on learning.
11. Wyncode: Miami
There are both part-time and full-time bootcamps at Wyncode, and the classes focus mainly on UX/UI design, front-end and full-stack web developing and digital marketing. The camp is open to developers of all skill levels, from the true beginner to the expert just wanting to keep up with ever-changing tech. Along with programming skills, Wyncode also has a soft skills component to help graduating students find jobs in the field.
12. Ironhack: Various Locations
Ironhack actually holds bootcamps all over the world, not just the United States. US camps are held in Miami. Ironhack splits its focus between two main areas: data analytics and web development. The skills students learn depend heavily on which path they choose.
13. Momentum: Raleigh & Durham
14. Redwood Code Academy: Irvine
Redwood Code Academy offers bootcamp options for people with both full-time and part-time availability. The part-time classes run for six months, while the full-time course is done in three. Redwood offers one of the most comprehensive coding camps, teaching over ten different coding languages. Their focus is on web application, but there are also mobile app, cloud services and desktop app courses as well.
15. BrainStation: New York City, Toronto, Vancouver & Online
With both part-time and full-time courses offered, BrainStation caters to anyone who wants to learn more about the fields of development and design, data science and marketing. They also offer a fully online course that can be taken from anywhere in the world. They offer not only training courses but also certifications and diploma programs.