Getting Into Software Development: The Main Steps to a Smooth Career Transition
13 Mar 2019
8 minute read
Making big changes in life is hard, no matter how much you want it. No matter how ready you feel and how much you want to change your career path, when you’ve worked your 9–5 job for many years — taking that step into the unknown can seem almost impossible. When you decide to change career paths, you’ll need to spend a lot of time learning something completely new while staying determined and motivated. You will also need a lot of self-discipline — and in a world where everything happens so quickly, a change in career does not just happen overnight. That all said, it’s still a possible and worthwhile task — so it’s time to get a head start as we help you get the job of your dreams with some useful tips.
Why You May Want to Change Your Career
A lot of people start to think about trying something new when they feel exhausted or bored with their day-to-day. If the willpower is just not there and you’re finding yourself struggling to wake up to force yourself into work, the chances are that something is not quite right.
Do you sit in the office and work on auto-pilot? Do you constantly wish you were somewhere else? Maybe you have great ideas but nobody is interested in them. Or — maybe — you’re tired of turning green with job-envy whenever your software developer friend talks about their work.
There reality is that there are many different reasons why people want to break into the tech industry — and no matter who you are, where you come from or your abilities — if you really want to get into tech, you can do it.
Some people get discouraged from getting into tech because they don’t have a background in the area — this is a common misconception. Because tech is such an ever-changing industry, even if you don’t have a degree in computer science or have been bad at math in school, you can still successfully learn programming languages and master the necessary coding skills. In tech, it’s the passion, drive and ability to continuously learn that get you where you want to be in your career.
Another common error when changing careers, is being driven by salary only. Though money is an undeniably important issue, it is crucial that it accompanies a passion for industry, a desire for professional growth and work-life balance. Since we spend so much time at work, it’s important to like what you do. So make sure that you’re changing careers for the right reasons and do your research!
Tips on How to Make Smooth Career Transition
1. Determine your learning style
You’ll have to learn a lot so we suggest choosing the most effective education model to help guide you on your career changing journey. Some people prefer to absorb information alone and read through large paragraphs of information, while others need to be more hands-on and surrounded by a team to learn more collaboratively. Others may also need visual and virtual aids, from podcasts to educational videos. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different sources to find out what learning style fits you best!
2. Determine what useful skills you already have
If you’re reading this, the likelihood is you’re someone who will be changing careers. This is a huge advantage as you will have transferable skills that will help you succeed in any position, in any company, inside tech. Companies don’t just want people who know how to write they code — they also want you to be a good communicator, critical thinker and creator.
3. Find the necessary tools and sources
You can find many online sources created specifically for people wanting to dip their toes into code — try coding and see if you like it before committing to upskilling in it. You can also check out this list of books and visit any workshops or meetups happening in your city or region. In our opinion, an immersive, accelerated course is the ideal option for getting your tech skills up to scratch for a career in industry as a developer.
If you’re tossing up your options, but still unsure which path to follow, now is the time to discover how a coding bootcamp can change your life.
4. Start with small projects
When you look for your first project to tackle — be realistic. Don’t try to do too much at once and give yourself time to enjoy programming.
5. Prepare for interviews
Research, research, research! Look for common questions and programming challenges online and think about how you’d answer or solve them independently. Work on your personal brand, build a great portfolio and be confident in yourself.
The tech industry is constantly evolving, and it’s a great opportunity to build on your existing skills, gain new ones to equip you for the future and have your ideas and voice heard in an industry more prevalent than ever. There truly is no time better than today to make the jump, upskill and change your life as you know it.
About the Author
Ester Brierley is a QA Engineer in a software outsourcing company and a seasoned content creator for College-Writers but considering a career change. When she’s not writing about cutting-edge digital (and lifestyle) trends, Ester takes online courses to improve her marketing skills. Follow her on Twitter.
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