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Top Tips on How You Can Become a Software Developer

Are you interested in pursuing a career in Software Development? Read our top tips on how you can get started today! 

What does a Software Developer do? 

Software Developers are an essential part of our ever-expanding digital world, but what do they actually do? Well, the simplest answer is, a lot! Software Developers’ work is vast and diverse. That film you watched on Netflix last night? The tweet you just sent from your phone? The new video game you cannot wait to play? All of that is thanks to Software Developers!  

Software Developers use their specialist programming skills to design, develop and test new software. This could be for a variety of areas - from online shopping retailers like ASOS, to social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok. The job of a Software Developer is to ensure the user’s experience always reaches optimum levels by creating code, fixing bugs and continuously assessing the software to make improvements and adaptations. 

Average Software Developer salary: £24K - £70K (According to Gov.uk

Software Developer jobs:  

  • Applications Developer 

  • Web Designer 

  • Game Developer 

  • Software Engineer 

Does this sound like your kind of job? Read on to find out how to get there! 

The Best Place to Start 

To begin your journey towards a career in Software Development, find a course that will start from the beginning and support you to learn and hone the skills you need. Our T Level in Digital: Production, Design and Development or Software Development Technician Apprenticeship would be great places to start! A lot of jobs in the industry also require degree level education to access those higher progression routes. Luckily, there are a number of relevant courses available here in Weston-super-Mare through University Centre Weston (UCW): BSc (Hons) Applied Computing and Digital User Experience (UX) Degree Apprenticeship. 

The BSc (Hons) Applied computing programme is a full-time 3 year degree that is delivered in partnership with the West of England Institute of Technology – designed to collaboratively tackle skill shortages by providing relevant courses that directly link to industry demands. 

Decide on Your Goals 

Before you embark on your Software Development journey, have a think about where you see yourself in 3-5 years time. Do you want to work for an education provider or a game development company? Would you prefer to work in an office or remotely? Maybe you see yourself working freelance or for an agency?  

Deciding what you want out of your career will help you navigate your training. Perhaps you need to think about a specific area you should develop your skills in. For example, if you want to pursue a career in a marketing, do you need to grow your understanding of GDPR and how information is properly stored? 

Once you have a clear idea of where you want to go, you can streamline and personalise your training or studies to better suit your goals.  

Learn the Language 

One of the most crucial ingredients in becoming a Software Developer is learning a programming language! For a successful career in this industry, you will need a good core understanding of one or more of the following:  
 
Java - is a programming language that works across a multitude of platforms including Android and the internet – primarily used for developing server-side applications. 
 
Python – Generally considered the simplest and easiest to learn, Python is an excellent place to start if you’re new to the world of programming! 
 
C/C++ - Used for a wide range of programming including software engineering, data structures, game programming, developing browsers, operating systems and applications. 
 
Scala – Developed as a 'new and improved’ version of Java, Scala is an object-oriented language used for functional programming and strong static systems. 

Find Your Niche 

While you study and improve your skills in the art of developing software, start to consider what you, as a Software Developer, want your niche to be. A niche is essentially a specialism – something that you’re great at, that will make employers and clients want YOU.  

Maybe you want to progress into a career in web design, so gaining a fully comprehensive flare in Wordpress or other content management systems (CMS) like Squarespace or Wix would be great for your portfolio!  

Here are some more examples of areas you might find your niche: 

  • App Design/Development 

  • Data Science 

  • Cybersecurity 

Produce Your Portfolio  

Make sure you’re collating everything you create into a portfolio! Think of your portfolio as an extension of your CV, something that will let you say, “I am an incredible Software Developer, and this is why!”  

As you progress and develop, start to refine and curate your portfolio to reflect your absolute best work – ensuring that work is in-line with the Software Development jobs you want to apply for.  

What should my portfolio include? 

  • Name and contact information 

  • Link to your CV 

  • Examples of your highest quality work 

 

If you stick to these top tips, along with committing time and effort into your studies, you’ll be a Software Developer before you know it! 

To explore our options in Computing and Digital Technologies click here

To find out more about UCW’s Higher Education opportunities in Software Development, click here

 

Apply or find out more

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