A couple of months ago, we did a ScreamingBox Technology and Business Rundown podcast on the subject of changing your career to become a developer.
In addition to the information in that podcast, I have written out this case for changing careers and the top tips to help someone change their careers to become a global rockstar developer.
The technology industry has many advantages that make it very attractive to people who are looking for an exciting career change. As such, it is not surprising that anyone would want to switch from their old career and consider becoming a developer. Though the reasons for the switch will not always be the same for everyone, certain reasons cut across most people and cultures.
However, before we examine some of the reasons why people switch from an existing career to becoming a developer, let’s point out some things. First, it is never too late to start a new career, provided it is something you’re passionate about. Work is sometimes hard and stressful, so it is critical that whatever career you choose, it should be one that you are passionate about. If you want to become a developer, it should be because it is something you are now passionate about.
That being said, there are many good reasons beyond the passion of coding that are motivating for people to become a developer. Imagine spending twenty years in the corporate world keeping up with your 9 to 5 job, meeting deadlines, attending meetings, etc.; and all of a sudden you decide you want to become a developer. Most of your friends might pass out in shock, think you are crazy or wonder if an alien has taken over your body. They might think those things because they really don’t know the great benefits of being a developer:
Being a developer is flexible
As a developer, your work is flexible, meaning you can work from anywhere you and at any time you want to. Instead of the regular shirts and ties the corporate world is known for; you can work in your shorts and t-shirts from home. Developers are also not confined to a specific work time; what matters is to get the job done.
Developers are in high demand globally
We live in a technologically defined world where everything has gone digital. The days of manual activities are all over and have been replaced by virtual realities. Today, you don’t have to be physically present in a place to take part in what goes on there. You don’t even have to show up to work in person before you carry out your task for the day.
Technology has not only made our lives better, but it has also made things a lot easier. Interestingly, at the core end of many of the technological innovations we see in our world today are developers who continue to give their best. Due to this, the services of developers are on-demand globally, and like the basic economic principle, this high demand means high pay!
It is open to anyone
Even though the tech industry has traditionally been white male orientated, that has been changing quickly over the last 10 years and will continue to change. Women are making significant gains in the tech industry and currently only make up 1 in 10 developers (11% to be exact), but that is growing quickly. This is due to the fact that women are starting to realize the advantages of being a developer versus other careers, such as the flexibility that remote development offers.
In a blind study, in which code samples were reviewed and judged without knowing who wrote the code, the code of women were found to be superior then the code of male developers.
The growth of remote development in the pandemic years has brought in more diversity of the races and sexes to coding, and the shortage of developers motivates companies to look at the code instead of who wrote the code. As it should be. Check out the Code2040 diversity organization and National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) for more information on this important subject.
It allows you to contribute to innovative projects
The tech space is one where innovation and creativity thrive. Every day, new applications are developed, advanced software created, and products designed to make the average human’s life better. As a developer, you get to feel better about yourself, knowing that you’re working on things that make a difference in the world around you.
A developer works a meaningful job that serves good purposes, not for themselves alone but a larger percentage of humans.
It provides you with a new challenge
Doing something repeatedly can sometimes make you feel dull and exhausted. The decision to switch from an old career to becoming a developer could help you stay excited and mentally motivated. It allows you to come out of your comfort zone and try something you are not used to but have always desired.
Low education costs and Lots of Learning Resources.
Low-Code and No-Code makes learning faster
We recently did a ScreamingBox Technology and Business Rundown podcast on No-Code Technologies with Jen Kramer and it is amazing to see how fast the No-Code/Low-Code development movement is growing. Learning and becoming good at development using No-Code/Low-Code platforms is now a very good option to becoming a developer. Even though it is not as difficult to learn to develop with these platforms as learning a coding language, as Jen Kramer discussed in our podcast it will still be important to learn the development process and how data and web/mobile components work together.
Jen Kramer has a bunch of No-Code learning resources that might be a good option for someone who would like to change their career and become a developer.
5 Top Tips to Become a Developer
After getting lost in the euphoria of becoming a developer because of the many benefits accrued to it, the next best thing is to start figuring out how to go about it. Gleaning from the experiences of top developers who didn’t start as one, here are five amazing tips that will come in handy for you.
Understanding the challenge ahead of you
Beyond the many fun things you hear about top developers in different tech areas, you must know that changing careers comes with its challenges. First, you have to let go of the mindset that drove your previous job and familiarize yourself with the mindset of the job you’re getting into. Then, you will have to start learning the ropes of the tech world, and this can take a while.
Never underestimate the challenge that lies ahead of you as a developer. Instead, it would help if you took out time to figure out how to surmount it.
Find any relationship being a developer has with your previous job
Find out skills you used in your previous career that relate to the tech world and use them to your advantage as a developer. It is always best when you work with your strength while you improve on your weakness. For example, if your old career required creativity, you can leverage that same creativity as a developer.
Take online courses to hone your skill
To succeed as a developer in the technologically competitive world, we live in; then you must be willing to learn. Interestingly, learning as a developer is a continuous process if you want to get better and develop more innovative ideas. The internet is a good place to learn top development skills.
You can take free online courses as a newbie where you learn the basics of tech development. As you grow through the ranks, you can invest in paid courses to understand complex areas.
Join a network of developers with a similar passion as yours
It is best to surround yourself with people who share a similar passion as yours in every career. The fastest way to learn the ropes of computer or product development is to join a network of developers. You can find them online on social media platforms and forums or offline in your community.
As a part of a tech network, you can learn about new tech areas and get notified when there is an opening that can benefit you.
Practice as you learn and build things yourself
Finally, your learning process should be evident in what you build. Don’t only learn and keep learning, also take out time to practice what you learn. Try as much as you can to build things for yourself. Yes, you may make some mistakes, but you get to correct them faster and deliver better subsequently.
Changing from an old career to becoming a developer is a great idea. It allows you to enjoy some flexibility as you can work from home at a convenient time. Also, developers are in high demand globally, making it possible for you to get a job faster. Most importantly, there is a lot of money to make as a developer, provided you can improve yourself over time