From ‘hello world’ to a product

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Getting started

Software development starts with learning. It is a journey and can be started in an institution, a boot camp and through self-learning. Many software developers are self-taught and may not have a background in programming courses.

Find your area

The software development field is broad and one cannot be a master of all. To decide what path is best for you, find out where your passion lies. It is also good to research on and try back-end and front-end programming in order to determine what you love. Have a rough idea about web/android and IOS development but it is important to avoid learning everything at once.

Staying motivated

It is easy to fall into tutorial purgatory or feel like giving up once you begin learning. Just like other skills, stay focused and seek help and guidance from developer communities in your area and online. Also subscribe to blogs and vlogs that post software development content in order to stay up to date with what is happening around the world.

How long does it take to learn?

Most skills require a ten thousand hours for one to be an expert in a specific field. Whereas it is hard to determine expertise or perfection in software development, be prepared to put in time and effort. There is no shortcut to gaining programming skills and it is important to start with basic computing concepts like data structures and algorithms. There is also no time limit to learning, it is a continuous process.

Publishing the first application/product

It is okay to be afraid of publishing your first product but go ahead and do it. Publishing your application is an opportunity to learn from others through feedback and positive criticism. The reviews provided by users play a key role in improving on it or ideas on the next products. If you want to publish ,then it is advisable to go open source .Open source projects offer an opportunity for collaboration and team work that makes one a better as an engineer. So take that leap of faith and show the world your work.

Working in teams

Software development involves working in teams most of the time. The team mates could be junior or senior engineers who come together to deliver a product.Whether junior or senior all developers should strive to learn from each other.As a junior developer, it is okay to point out your capability so that you can always deliver your part. Do not be afraid to say what you do not know. Say it but approach your team mates for help and learn from them.

Mentorship and taking action

Finally, join a developers’ community and get peers to grow with. Take a personal initiative to approach someone who can guide you .Also strive to learn things to understand and avoid being a ‘copy and paste developer’. Many developers fall into a trap of copying and pasting codes to an extent of not making effort to understand what is really happening behind the scenes. Being such a developer is not only lying to yourself but also can be an embarrassment during job interviews and other situations that require you to showcase your skills.

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