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How and Why to Learn Software Development

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Software development and computer programming are the heart of the tech industry, and some of the most sought-after skills within the tech job market. As the tech industry continues to grow, women can enter the market by seeking out educational opportunities to learn programming and the various coding languages valued by the industry. Female candidates may be in demand as companies are becoming more aware of the value diversity brings to an organization. That’s part of why Hackrbright’s mission is to #changetheratio.

Whether you’re in a phase of life where you’re now deciding to re-enter the workforce, or you feel trapped in a career you dislike, moving to software development is a possibility. More than 900 women have learned to code at Hackbright Academy, and you can too!

Is It Hard to Learn Software Development?

To be honest, programming isn’t for everyone. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you take your first steps toward a new career in software development.

Be Prepared to Be a Forever Student

Due to the nature of the industry, software development is always changing. It is more important than ever as a developer to be able to embrace changes. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, tools, or programming languages to get things done. The good news is that once you learn a versatile foundational programming language like Python, it’s likely much easier to adapt to changes and learn other tools or languages. 

A Lot of Patience and Attention to Detail

The nature of software development requires a lot of trial and error, but that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid making errors in the first place. Becoming a software developer requires analytical thinking, smart decision making, and curiosity. Coding, testing, finding bugs, and successfully fixing issues requires attention to the smallest of details. Being proactive to potential problems down the road will save you a lot of time. This is why attention to detail is so important.

Problem-Solving and Collaboration

Problems are inevitable with coding. But how effectively can you analyze the issue, look through your code, and test solutions? Are you able to work alone in addition to collaborating with others to sort out the problems and find the answers? Being a software engineer requires structured thinking as well as outside-the-box thinking. It’s more important than ever to be able to collaborate with other team members.

Jump-Starting Your Career Into Tech

As the tech field continues to grow and as more industries see the value in software development, web or mobile applications, data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, you have more opportunities to explore the aspect of technology you’re passionate about. What excites you? Do some research by reading blogs and following opinion leaders.

Once you’ve got an idea of what fields you are interested in, make sure you understand the skills required to be successful. Make a plan to learn the skills you need for your dream job. Goal setting, identifying transferable skills, individual values, and short and long-term goals is key to measuring your success.

Making a major career change may not be easy, but when you have a specific goal in mind, it helps forge a clearer path toward the end goal.

Here are some examples of clear end goals for aspiring software developers:

“I want to work at an established tech company in software development.” 

“I want to work for a new tech startup as a data analyst in an industry I am passionate about.”

“I want to work on a web development team.”

What Programming Language Should I Learn to Become a Software Developer?

Once you’ve decided on a new career path, it is important to choose a programming language that best aligns with your goals. If you’re interested in learning about Python fundamentals, consider learning at Hackrbight Academy. There are many options to choose from, but no matter which language you decide to dive into first, don’t give up and remember to have fun.

Here are three of the top programming languages, according to the TIOBE Index in September 2019, paired with jobs that they work best with.

Python

A great first language for beginners because of its easy readability, this one helps take some of the stress out of learning code. Python is used for machine learning, AI, data scraping, and web development. There are many jobs where Python is in demand due to its versatility. Software developers, back-end developers, data scientists, and web developers all use Python! You can even learn the basics of Python at Hackbright Academy, and our full-stack program includes Java, PHP, CSS and more.

Java

Java is one of the oldest programming languages, dating back to 1995, primarily used for web development. It is still the most popular language due to its versatility ranging from desktop to mobile apps. Java software is heavily used to power Android apps and is a good choice if you’re interested in mobile app development. What jobs use Java? Java developers, software developers, and back-end developers. Java is taught as part of Hackbright Academy’s full-stack program.

Ruby/Ruby On Rails

Ruby is an open-source and powerful language that covers both front-end and back-end programming, which proves to be versatile when creating an entire application. It is known to be beginner-friendly, as it is quick to develop, especially after you learn a versatile foundational language like Python. Companies like GitHub, Twitter, Snapchat, and Amazon, to name a few, use Ruby in their programming.

Where Do You Start?

Hackbright Academy understands the importance of starting your software development job search early. That’s why we help you dive in from day one with a customized career development program that includes everything from career workshops to personal career developers who will help you craft your story and navigate the road ahead. We have at least one mentor for every student enrolled in our programs.

We teach a full-stack, which means front-end, back-end, and database programming in a variety of languages, ensuring you’ll be able to understand the software development process from start to finish. With a full-stack background, Hackbright grads can be prepared with the tools to enter the tech industry as software engineers. Check out our upcoming Prep Course and our Immersive 12-Week Full-Time or 24-Week Part-Time Software Engineering Programs.

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