Software development is a growing field that is expected to be even more critical in the future than it is today.
According to the Global Developer Population and Demographic Study by Evans Data Corporation, the number of coders worldwide is expected to grow to 27.7 million in 2023.
If you want to be a part of this growing workforce, your main question will most probably be; is software development hard to learn? Is being a software developer hard? In all transparency, it is not easy to break into. But with the right tools, resources, and of course, a lot of hard work, it is achievable.
This article will take you through the basics of coding and give you some resources that can help you get started in this exciting and rewarding career.
What Is Software Development?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of software development, it helps to first pinpoint what software development entails.
In a nutshell, software developers are responsible for creating and maintaining computer programs. They use their knowledge of programming languages and develop applications for various business needs.
Software development is vital because it impacts almost every industry and has become an integral part of businesses across different verticals.
For example, mobile apps are developed to let users check their bank accounts, read the news, play games, book flights, order takeout, and do so much more.
What Makes Software Development Hard To Learn?
While it’s undoubtedly a promising career, the vastness and complexity of software development can make it hard to learn.
Software development is a field that requires its practitioners to have a good understanding of multiple programming languages, operating systems, database systems, and more.
Software developers also need to think critically and solve problems. They must work with teams, understand algorithms and data structures, collaborate effectively, and communicate well with other stakeholders.
Therefore, if you are looking to pursue a career in software development, be prepared for a steep learning curve and plenty of hard work. Here are some reasons it is hard to learn:
- The industry is young. The software industry is still in its infancy, which means there aren’t too many set standards or guidelines for everyone to follow. This can make it challenging to navigate and understand the various aspects of software development.
- Coding is complicated. Every line of code can have multiple outputs and dependencies that you have to test and deal with. This means a single line can make you fail the entire project.
- A lack of resources. There are very few resources available to help beginners learn how to code. Most of these resources are usually made by individual software developers or companies that have evolved, which means there’s a lot of outdated information floating around the web.
- Other external factors. Certain external factors, such as integration with other tools, legacy data formats, scalability, and government regulations, can all impact software. Software developers must comply with these factors and account for them in their work. This means a lot of extra work that novice developers may not be aware of or prepared for.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Software Development?
If you want to take the college route, you can enroll in a four-year bachelor’s program to learn everything from scratch. But if you have some degree of UX design knowledge or background in software development, you can take a twelve-month course to learn a specific programming language.
It is important to note, though, that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It largely depends on your prior knowledge and experience in the field and how dedicated you are to learning new things.
How To Get Started With Software Development
How hard is software development? Is it impossible to get into the field if you don’t have a college degree in software development? Fortunately, you can learn software development without a college degree.
You can also find online communities and forums where you can get help from other developers.
Build Your Foundation
Software development can be divided into different stages, which are as follows:
- Requirements gathering
Depending on the specific project, some of these stages may be skipped or combined. But in general, this is the typical software development life cycle. You should familiarise yourself with these stages.
When you’re just starting, you don’t have to work on world-changing projects that will impact the lives of millions of people. Instead, it’s better to focus on something you are passionate about, such as a personal project or something for your own business.
This will help you build a strong foundation and better understand the basics of software development.
Moreover, go through the resumes of software engineers and list the skills you need to excel at. Doing so will also let you know what to focus on while self-learning.
It’s crucial to get hands-on experience in your software development career as early as possible. Internships, learnerships, and apprenticeships are a great way to do this. You can also look for open-source projects that you can contribute to.
Once you understand the different stages involved in coding, you can then start learning specific programming languages and tools.
A course in coding at redAcademy will go into the basics of the different stages involved in building software. A good course should also cover coding and include practice projects.
The best things about taking a course are that you:
- Can ask whatever questions you have
- Can get help from pros working in tech companies
- Don’t need to pay for expensive equipment
- Don’t need to spend time working on your projects.
- Should have help finding the best job opportunities
- Can learn from other students in your class
Ask for Help
If you don’t understand a specific concept or are having trouble taking on a new programming language, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help. There are plenty of people in the tech industry who are more than happy to help out a fellow developer.
For example, Stack Overflow is a Q&A website for developers where you can ask any question about computer systems, app development, different modules, machine learning, and more.
Some online communities and forums are specific to particular programming languages or tools. These are great places to connect with fellow developers and ask questions.
You can also visit local events, conferences, or developer meetups in your area, where you can get information from professionals and other people who are interested in software development.
Check out the software development conferences in 2022 here.
Conferences and events are also great places to network with industry professionals. Attend job fairs and meet with potential employers to see if they’re hiring.
The last thing you want to do is get stuck on a problem. If you feel like you’re struggling, find someone who can help you out. With the right resources – such as taking redAcademy’s coding / software development course, you can make great strides in your coding career.