Develop Yourself: Build an Awesome Development Career

Back in the day, doctors and lawyers were considered the “cool kids” of the business block. Not anymore. These days, the world is much more interested in developers.


If you’re even remotely interested in starting a successful career as a developer, then read on!


Developing… what, exactly?


A lot of people know what want to work in development. But do you know exactly what it is you want to develop? It’s not quite as simple as “learning to code” and then applying that knowledge to whatever project comes your way. The code you need to learn might depend on what it is you want to do. It will also change how you approach a given code. So what is it you want to develop? Software? Video games? Websites – and, if so, the front-end or the back-end?

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The programming knowledge you need


This is where a lot of people end up getting stuck. It’s not that code is an aggressively difficult thing to learn. The problem lies in how difficult it can be to actually choose your first programming language! Many people start doing a few lessons on one language, then find themselves convinced they need to switch to another. As I implied earlier, the language you learn may be determined by what you want to pursue. If you’re looking at web development, then HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are must-haves. Game development will lean more towards C, C++, C#, and Python.

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Working with a wizard


Okay, so maybe a better word to use here would be “mentor”. But trust me when I say that great developers don’t mind being referred to as wizards. If you know someone who can code, speak to them regularly. Get them to check your work. Talk to them about better solutions to your problems. They’ll probably even know the best language for you to start with. No doubt they made a few mistakes when they were starting out. The best thing you can do is find out what those mistakes were so you can avoid them.

Development environments


The environment you use on your computer to build and test your programs is important. They’ll often determine just how much you can do with the knowledge you have. This also means that they’re important to know about during the learning stages of development. Actually learning to use these environments will give you a much broader picture of the development process. That experience will also look great on a resumé. Game developers will want to get trained in something like Unity. Developers of websites and apps will benefit from Visual Studio 2010 training.

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Building a portfolio


One of the best ways to stand out among the other developers looking to start careers is to have a portfolio. A lot of businesses are looking to hire developers, but a lot of resumés just like too much alike! Work on some great projects in your spare time and upload them to the Internet. They don’t need to go viral or anything (though that might help your prospects!). They just need to be there for the reference of potential employers.


Image credits

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