The demand for skilled coders is rapidly increasing. If you have a basic knowledge of coding we’ll show you how to research programming careers and choose one that fits your skill set.
The amazing thing about learning to code is the endless opportunities one has for exploring programming careers. Technology touches every industry, and that demand for coders will only grow.
How you find yourself in a coding career doesn’t matter.
You could find your start taking free online lessons. Or, attend college courses and boot camps.
Many employers don’t care about degrees in the tech industry.
It’s all about agility and problem-solving.
Languages and best practices today are outdated tomorrow. The sooner you get a jump into a paid role the better. This article will help streamline that action.
Programming Careers: Setting the Foundation
There are a diverse set of programming languages. Each takes you on a wildly different career path. Some crisscross giving you extra options and job security.
Popular programming languages include:
Your pick “doesn’t matter” is the consensus from the programming community. Instead, you’ll often hear it’s best to choose a language based on criteria like job outlook and application.
Simply put: Pick a programming language you can get behind.
Those just beginning benefit when they have a goal. The application creates excitement and commitment to learning the language.
There are several great resources for learning programming including:
Again, your commitment will dictate where and how you learn to code. There is a great mix of free and paid resources to explore each language. The courses teach the basics and also problem-solving skills to tackle future projects.
What could you build to cement the learning? Try:
- An iOS or Android app
- A website or eCommerce store
- A simple video game
You should also network with peers and programming veterans throughout this learning process. These connections help you better understand the topics through Q&A feedback. And, could become your launching point with programming as a career.
Entry-Level Programming Jobs: Getting Your Foot in the Door
So you’ve got a good understanding of a few programming languages, and ready to get into the workforce?
The career track found through boot camps sets a strong path to landing your first, real coding job. This track is akin to interning in other career paths.
The track typically involves using these to build a portfolio:
Open Source Projects
Join in and begin contributing to an open source project found on Github, Google Projects, or other channels. This builds your portfolio and introduces you to new projects. And, you’ll network with peers with possible connections in the industry.
Non-profits are usually understaffed and regularly take any talent they can. This would give you real-world coding experience, and let you give back. One good reference from a non-profit could lead to a fantastic paying career.
Consider landing gigs through freelance job boards or listings. This could refine your skill set and present new challenges. The quality projects are then listed in your personal portfolio.
Build and release an app to the community (free or paid). This could bring positive exposure to your coding and creative skills. Plus, it continues marketing your personal brand as it remains accessible and useful.
Spend time practicing interview and soft skills while on the career hunt.
- Holding good conversations
- Showing your work at whiteboard sessions
- Presentation and goal orientation
These, combined with coding skills and entry-level experience, will gain better prospects. Before long, you’ll work–project to project–until you’re on track with your career choice.
Scaling Coding Careers: A Path for Growth
The demand for computer programmers is seeing a 7% decline in the United States. This is due in part to outsourcing coding jobs to overseas professionals and teams. But, this is promising for those working remote, or part of those outsourced talent pools.
This decline creates an initiative to explore horizontal and vertical career growth. Your stay as a code jockey is the stepping stone for upward mobility when exploring coding careers.
Programming Fields: For Your Consideration
The projects may change but the programming language remains the same. This lets you hop business to business seeking new opportunities and challenges.
What programming fields could you explore to grow your career? Here’s a brief list:
- Specialized software development (e.g. Fintech or Biotech)
- Mobile game development
- Database development and management
- Internet of Things or AI/Machine learning
- User Experience (UX)
- Cloud Support Engineer
- QA Testing
- Programming Analyst
Browse online job listings to compare your skills to what’s in demand. Then, align your learning path and projects to this new field. Use your connections within the coding community to get noticed, too.
Your choice should also consider the environment like:
- Small Business
Degrees and certifications certainly help to obtain higher-level programming jobs. But, you’ll find many looking for a great project and team experience at these levels. Company/culture “fit” and soft skills are beneficial, too.
What can you do to pivot from generalize code jockey to a specialized role?
- Follow and learn from programming veterans
- Take on exciting personal or community projects
- Continue giving back to the open source/non-profit space
- Dive into new coding concepts or explore complementary skills
Develop skills and network throughout your coding career path with the same intensity you had in the beginning. Do so and you’ll pivot any direction catching your interest.
The Future is in Coding: Start Today
AI, machine learning, and self-driving autos were science fiction. Developments like blockchain and IoT are now embedded in everyday items. Legacy support and upgrades, SaaS, and Web technologies are prevalent in businesses today.
The path to exploring programming careers begins by answering this one simple question, “Will we rely more or less on technology?”
Start exploring programming in your free time using online resources. Or, commit to higher education on campus or through boot camps. Research your outlook and create a growth path with your career in programming.
The future is in coding.
Want more? Check out our blog for other helpful coding tutorials and guides!