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How to Become a Programmer: An Ultimate Guide

It’s 2022 and almost everything around is driven by technology. Technological advancements have eased the life of millions as well as introduced them to newer horizons. From simple web applications to complex games and social media, everything is underlined by tech and more importantly, the computational programming that works as the primary driver. And behind all this programming are programmers.

This article will focus on how anyone with an interest in the field of computational programming can become one, just by following a few structured steps. Interested to know more? Read along to get set on the journey to become a programmer.

Prospects of Becoming a Programmer

Programmers enjoy some of the highest salary packages around the world. It’s a technical discipline that has a high demand with a low supply of labor. A programmer in the US can earn anywhere between 80K to 120K USD per year depending on their expertise and concentration.

The freelance market is also brimming with programming jobs for people looking for a more laid back career choice. All in all, programming as a career is vastly rewarding compared to most other career choices.

Is it Possible to Become a Programmer from a Non-CSE Background?

There are hundreds of examples of successful programmers who didn’t major in CSE. So yes, it is possible to become a programmer from a Non-CSE background. However, a person needs to have an affinity for problem-solving and mathematics. The process of becoming a programmer without a degree in CSE will be discussed in detail in the latter points.

How and Where to Learn Programming?

The process of becoming a programmer starts with the approach. While programming is like just any other discipline of studies, it does offer a range of learning options. Each of these approaches will eventually lead to professional-level programming capabilities, but it’s important to choose the best one given the situation.

Training/ Technical School

This is by far one of the most common starting points for people who already have a bachelor’s or diploma degree and are looking to switch careers. A training or technical school specializing in programming generally runs a 2-year long program that takes a person from the basics to the pro level with certification.

Undergraduate Degree

An undergraduate degree approach is perfect for those who already have a knack for computational science at an early age. Majoring in computer science can be the perfect stepping stone to enter the world of programming.

However, an undergraduate degree comes with at least 4 years long commitment and a person will have to take courses that are otherwise unrelated to programming. But given the current situation, an undergraduate degree in computer science is still the most comprehensive and widely accepted accreditation when it comes to securing jobs in this field.

Online Certification

In the wake of the pandemic, online courses and distant learning have become widely popular. It is now possible to take different courses at world-renowned universities right from the comfort of the home. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Edx offer such certification.

Different boot camps also start from scratch and build up a person to be a professional programmer. While having skills are inevitable, certifications are also a key part of securing certain high-paying jobs in this field.

DIY Approach

The DIY approach is best suited for self-motivated people. If a person has the mental capacity to learn something by themselves, then they can start by scouring the free resources available on programming.

Needless to say, this method is probably the hardest and most challenging compared to the others. Mainly because there aren’t any existing guidelines here. A person is mostly on their own. But with the right mindset and learning goals, it is definitely possible to become a programmer in this method.

Steps to Become a Professional Programmer in 2022

Now that the learning process is out of the way, let’s have a look at the steps to become a full-fledged programmer.

Pick a Path

The concept of programming is diverse, to say the least. It isn’t like a course that will make a person jack of all programming trades. It’s more like developing the existing knowledge into a concentration-based approach.

For example, in web development, there are front-end developers as well as back-end developers. There are ones who work as full-stack developers as well as node.js. It all depends on what interests the person.

Learning the Language

Done with the stream choice? Congratulations, that completes the hardest part of becoming a professional programmer. After choosing the concentration, the next step is to choose the language. Start with the basics like Java, Python, Kotlin, and Ruby. These are some universal languages used in almost all concentrations.

For a deeper understanding, consider learning C and C++. But most importantly, make sure to master a language before moving on to another.

Create the Big Picture

This is probably the most important aspect of becoming a programmer and one that most people mess up. Just like other career choices, it’s important to see what the chosen concentration of programming will lead to.

For example, as a web developer, the concentration should focus on any front-end or back-end development. The front end might even be limited to just UI/UX design. In any case, a web developer has nothing to do with say app development or mobile platform development. In that sense, understanding what to learn and when to learn and the associated steps are important to develop the big picture of the programming run.

Work on Projects

About three months down the learning process, you may start working on practical projects. Pick up projects that are relevant to the concentration. Now people might think why should one do projects for free? The short answer is to build the portfolio.

In the world of programming expertise and experience are everything. There’s no point learning the myriad of syntaxes if one doesn’t know how to properly apply them. In that sense, it is important to work on different projects to hone the existing skills and pick up a few more.

Create a Portfolio

The projects that a person works on can be showcased as part of their portfolio. For programmers, the portfolio isn’t something that is projected on a piece of paper. There are two ways to go about when it comes to creating a portfolio.

The first one is to create a personalized website which will be a resume cum project portfolio. The second option is GitHub where the users can store all their codes and share them as a project portfolio.

Apply for Jobs

With the learning and projects being done, it is time to apply for jobs. The certification and the project portfolio will be important determinants in this regard. Make sure to apply for jobs that are relevant to the concentration to increase the chance of getting hired.

Final Words

The process of becoming a programmer is not difficult per se rather something that requires concentration and dedication. No one can become a programmer overnight. But if the dedication and passion for problem-solving are there, the world of programming can be a great career choice.

Source: United News of Bangladesh