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6 Steps to Become a Software Developer in 2021

Becoming a software developer is much more than just sending a CV to get your next job, it’s all about how you package yourself. Many junior developers often yearn to become visible experts in their field but get lost in finding the right process to adapt. Generally, there are three distinct fields in software development; front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers with one primary goal: to design software or digital applications that empower users to accomplish a specific task. 

One dominant aspect of technology is constant changes and developments, which makes the field competitive thus the process of becoming a developer guru. This article will take you through 6 simple steps to becoming a software developer in 2021. 

1. Understand the field of software dev. 

I know you expected to begin with a technical step. Not really! It all starts with the mind trying to acknowledge the field of software development. This is where you will nurture your passion for the career and keep you going. It's important to understand the different roles of a developer, which projects and industries you will work in, the required skill sets, the different opportunities, and the challenges you will encounter during your career. You also need to establish trending technologies in software development and choose the platform for which you want to create software. With all these, you will be having the right mindset to get you started in becoming a software developer. 

2. Determine the best programming language to learn 

Depending on the three career paths in software development (front-end, back-end, and full-stack), you need to establish the best language to learn. A front-end developer needs to master HTML or CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery while python, SQL, Node.js, and Django are vital for a back-end developer. A full-stack programmer will have to learn both languages. The programming language will also depend on the type of project you are working on. For example, in in-game development, C++ or C# are key languages while in web development you should learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

3. Train for the real world 

Having chosen the right programming language, it's time to dive into learning them all as you master one. One trick to becoming a tech guru is to master one programming language and understand the rest. Enroll in a software development course at the best institution of your choice. I would recommend Moringa School which emerged as winners at the just concluded Kenya Edtech Summit & Awards 2021 and has been impactfully dominating the tech space. 

If you are beginning from scratch, get familiar with the basics of the programming language as you proceed to the core. Amazingly, there are many available free and paid resources online which will help you in becoming a great developer. These range from books, video tutorials, and online learning platforms. You should aim to learn theory and get practical exposure within the shortest time possible. 

4. Start creating your application 

Now that you have gained the right skills, it's important to start building on your own self-driven projects. These projects aim in solving vast real-world problems. If you still have no idea of which applications to work on, there are many accessible resources online to get you started or you can build a replica of popular applications. Through this, you will be able to actualize your theoretical understanding of the skills gained into practical knowledge. You will also be able to increase your visibility to potential employers by showcasing what you can offer to them. 

5. Join the right tech communities and make good use of them 

Your network is your net worth! Identify the right tech circles, be part of them, and build meaningful connections alongside getting community support. By making connections with other software developers, you will develop a greater understanding of your craft and establish areas to improve on. The large talent pool support is also vital in reference whenever you are encountered with bugs in your application that you are unable to solve. You might also get a connection to job opportunities and get inspired by other developers.

6. Start job hunting 

Finally, I believe that you are a good software developer and ready for the market. You can either work as a freelance software developer, work for a company, or form a startup and build your tech business. There are many opportunities for you to earn a living as a developer, all you need is to be a go-getter. 

In conclusion, practice makes perfect! Keep on improving your skills to remain relevant in this constantly changing digital era.