Do you find programming attractive and want to become a programmer? We do not blame you, as there are endless reasons why you should learn programming

If you are wondering how to become a programmer, keep reading this article in order to get some relevant insights into how to start a career in coding. Precisely, you will learn the tasks and responsibilities that a programmer is charged with, the steps needed to be taken to become one, and the set of skills that enable a programmer to excel in the field. 

What does a programmer do?

Programmers are in charge of ensuring that everything in a computer system is running smoothly. They do so by writing, modifying, likewise testing code and scripts. Concretely, programmers are concerned with software performance, reliability, and security. Further on, they generally find themselves working in computer systems design and industry of related services. 

Now that you are informed about what does a programmer do, keep reading to learn how to become a programmer. 

How To Become a Programmer?

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Working as a programmer comes with numerous benefits. If you are wondering how to get into computer programming, the sections below will give you an insight into the initial steps you need to take to become a programmer, as well as the set of skills you need to possess in order to succeed in the field. 

What Are the Initial Steps You Need to Take?

There are a few steps you need to follow in order to become a successful programmer. As we will explain in more detail, you need to start by choosing the industry of your interest, identifying the programming language required in that industry, and choosing what kind of learner you want to be. 

Decide on the industry you’re interested in

Research in the industry is essential as it allows you to compare and contrast different industries and see which one better fits your skills and interests. You may see yourself engaged as a web developer that can be further separated into front-end or back-end developer, a software developer that makes you responsible for creating software, a data analyst who can work in research or academia, or a database administrator who is tasked with the administration of databases. 

Identify the programming languages you will need to learn

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Once you have decided on the industry you are interested in, it is best you start learning the languages that are relevant to that type of industry. For instance, SQL is the language you need to know if you see yourself in database administration. However, if you decide to pursue a career as a front-end web developer, you are advised to learn CSS and JavaScript. Similarly, you will need to learn Java or Swift if you are interested in building mobile apps.

Decide what kind of learner you want to be

Coding may be learned in a college, at a Bootcamp or even independently. Before you decide which form to choose, please have in mind the following considerations.

To begin with, if you have enough time and want to learn all the details of programming, it is more appropriate to opt for a university degree. However, if you find yourself in the middle of commitments, a Bootcamp may offer you more flexibility. Bootcamps are randomly completed within a couple of months and at a reasonable price. 

If none of what we mentioned above fits you, you can still learn programming on your own by consulting several readily available online tools and free or inexpensive online courses. However, bear in mind that independent learning requires a lot of discipline and commitment since the only person you are accountable to is yourself. 

What’s Next?

After completing the crucial steps above, it is time for you to practice what you have learned. Apart from that, we highly recommend you build your portfolio with your own website and other projects. Needless to say, applying for a work or internship is crucial for proper professional formation. 

Practice what you learn

As in any other profession, practice will truly make a difference. Thus, we advise you to practice, practice, and practice some more. That will, among other things, allow you to become more proficient in the language you have chosen. 

Build your portfolio

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Building your own website and projects will help you create and enrich your resume, which you will be randomly asked to submit in any future job application. A portfolio helps your potential employers to assess your level of understanding of the technologies and other technical skills needed for developing a site or similar projects. Thus, make sure not to neglect this step. 

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Apply for jobs or internships

A job or internship will enable you to practice your previously learned coding skills in a university or a Bootcamp. Further, it is an excellent opportunity to get real experience in programming, likewise, avail of the chance to get great references for your further career objectives. Apart from that, having a job or internship in programming helps build a network with people already engaged in the field and get the most out of this network. 

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What Skills Will You Need to Succeed as a Programmer?

Certainly, technical skills in the field are a must in a programming career. However, in order to brighten such a career, apart from technical skills, you will also need to possess personal and team skills. 

Personal skills

Computer programmers will need a set of personal skills to grow in their careers. To start with, communication skills are essential for a programmer as the latter will need to coordinate work on large projects with team members and managers. 

In addition, programmers need to be detail-oriented, as their work mainly revolves around writing, modifying, or testing codes, where a small mistake may cause the entire computer program to crash. 

Further on, programmers need to possess excellent analytical skills, meaning that they must understand complicated instructions to create computer programs. 

Team skills

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A programmer needs to be a good team player since the field involves a great deal of teamwork. This is mainly due to the complexity of programming that not rarely needs the contribution of numerous professionals for a complex project to be completed. In this sense, a programmer will need to have some essential teamwork skills, including: 

  • Great listening skills 
  • Great communication skills 
  • Providing help to team members
  • Aiming towards a common goal 
  • Readiness to share responsibilities and success with others 

Final Thoughts

There are numerous things you should consider before deciding to pursue a career in programming, including the tasks and responsibilities of a programmer, likewise the steps and set of skills that will allow you to have a distinct career in the field. Hoping we have informed you well enough about programming, you are welcome to start your career at the University of the Potomac.