How to get an edge in the Realm of Software Development

by HSG on Apr 10, 2014 in Articles from Software Fans

A career in the field of software development remains immensely popular due to various factors. Chief among them of course is the higher compensation and lucrative pay scale in the IT industry when compared to other career options. In addition, the flexibility of work hours and the sheer sense of achievement experienced by one while creating new programs are unsurpassed by any other job.

Popularity and reach of Software Programs

Software programming has become a quintessential part of our day to day life, right from the smartphones in your pocket, to video gaming, and everything in between. The opportunities in this field are truly astounding. The niches for specializing are also diverse, from creating operating systems, to mobile app development, or web app development to name a few.

There are various ways in which you can distinguish yourself in the market for the much coveted title of software programmer. Here, we focus on some of them.

Education counts, but Learning is the Key!

An engineering degree remains one of the top ten popular educational courses. According to NCES , there are a large amount of people clamoring for an engineering degree.   It is also among the top 10 degrees that pay well. In addition, it is also among the six degrees that rank highest as far as employment opportunities are concerned, according to the poll from consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Many believe that a fancy degree is important for becoming a software developer. Not completely true. Here’s why. Although a fancy degree would get you an entry to the elite group of software programmer, it is not guaranteed to keep you there. This is because IT industry constantly undergoes change. Only someone who can adapt accordingly would be able to remain in the software development field. To do so, it is important to keep learning!

The various tutorials available online like W3schools are good sources to learn programming. Other major players in this field include Google code University, Codeacademy etc.

In addition, various courses and certificates are offered by institutes on software programming. Eminent teachers and skilled professionals in those institutes could also help in this regard.

Always have a specialization

It is better to have a specialized field or niche for software development in order to have a concrete career. Working on various technologies and languages within a short time frame would result in a scattered and non-streamlined format of resume, hindering career growth. It is best to focus on one specialization.

For those who intend to wade into web app development, it would be imperative to learn various aspect of web development like HTML, CSS, ASP.NET, Perl, Java etc. An interesting read in with regard to Web development is available in oreilly website.

In case you are interested in the development of Operating systems, a good place to start would be this tutorial in codeproject. It gives an overview about how to go about creating your own OS.

Many other categories of software development are available for specialization like Applications development for non-web based software; embedded systems development; Test Automation and the lesser known scientific development. An overview of these could be seen here.

Out of the varied programming languages available, it is always smarter to specialize in a programming language that has a consistent track record as well as good demand. This report on Top 10 programming languages gives an idea about the trending 10 languages in demand.

Remember, the world runs on Google today. Isn’t it hard to believe it is been around for just about 10 years now? Paradigm shifts happen, and IT industry is more like a rule than exception in this regard.

There are also numerous new programming languages getting introduced that could potentially reinvent IT industry.

Learn about methodologies and practices in the software Industry

It’s a common rookie mistake to assume that software developer just needs to be an expert programmer. Not True! As a programmer, you should also be aware of the various software development methodologies followed in the organization for the development of the final product. These could include methodologies like Spiral Model, iterative Model, Agile model, Scrum Model, and Waterfall model to name a few. Each of these methodologies has their own advantages and disadvantages and you might have to do a thorough research to assess the future potential of these methodologies before you decide to take a plunge.

Keep updating and reinventing your programming skills

Always have an idea about the popular trends and skills that are in demand. Then update your skillset to reflect those changes that are in demand. To stay on top of the game, it is always advisable to brush up on your programming skills and keep learning the new things that are released or scheduled to be released. Signing up in forums or blogs are good ways to make this happen.

If you are self-motivated as well as someone who keeps an eye on the pulse of software development, this is a perfect career choice for you! Just keep practicing!!

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