Software development is arguably one of the most underappreciated jobs in modern society. Everyone is used to seeing the finished product, enjoying various apps and websites, but nobody ever thinks about the effort that goes into them. In fact, most instances where software developers are given any notices is when there are bugs! So, the only attention they receive is largely negative.
Still, this shouldn’t distract you from the fact that a career as a software developer can be very rewarding. The job is well-paid, and you get the joy of bringing something to life and seeing thousands – maybe even millions – of people using it. Consequently, it’s become a very competitive career, with loads of people choosing to look for software developer jobs. As such, you may worry that you’ll be unable to land a role – but we can change that. This post will reveal some steps you should take to boost the chances of landing a top role as a software developer!
Develop numerous skills
Software isn’t the only thing you should develop – your skills and knowledge should also be considered. When people gain software development qualifications, it doesn’t mean they automatically know all the different programming languages and technical things out there. Often, you have to do some additional studying to learn more and develop your technical expertise. Signing up for things like a Python bootcamp can help you learn about a very important programming language. Think about the other common languages and systems used, and ensure you’re an expert in all of them.
As a result, this makes you far more desirable as an employee. Companies will be keen to hire you as they know they can count on you to work across various platforms depending on their needs. Being a jack of all trades is certainly a huge advantage in the software development world!
Create a portfolio
It’s fairly safe to assume that most of you will have some semblance of software development experience, right? Either you’ve had some jobs before and want to advance your career, or you might have studied it at university. In either case, you’re bound to have projects that you can use in a portfolio. Even if you’ve never had a job, most software developers need to come up with a project before they graduate!
If for whatever reason, you don’t have any projects – or you have hardly any – you should start making them. All you have to do is develop some small apps or websites, showcasing your talents. Then, you can use these to show prospective employers when applying for jobs. It is the single best way of showing off what you’re capable of. They can see examples of your work, speak to you about them, and see just how talented you really are.
Don’t aim too high, too soon
Yes, getting a top job as a software developer is your dream. However, you can’t aim too high, too soon. One way to ensure your dream is fulfilled is by settling for a slightly worse job, to begin with. It won’t be your dream role, but it helps you gain some very valuable software development experience. Again, this links to the previous point as you can now generate things to add to your portfolio, which will serve you well in the future.
Furthermore, think about it from a different perspective. You can find jobs as a software developer that act as a stepping stone to help you go out and find better jobs at better companies. Or, you can get a job at a company where there’s a clear path of progression. You may start low on the ladder, but you have the chance to climb your way further up. Give it a few years and you might reach the top!
Develop your people skills
Yes, yet another thing for a software developer to develop! Believe it or not, but people skills can be a real dealbreaker for many employers. You assume that life as a software developer is spent in front of a screen working with loads of numbers and codes. Well…it is….but that’s not all that you do! There will be many instances where you have to interact with other people – your software development team, managers in the business, clients, and so on. Having good people skills means you can handle these interactions very easily, clearly getting information across and working as a team.
People skills are especially important as clients and business executives might not have a clue what you’re dealing with. If they want updates on projects, you need to be able to explain things in simple terms that the average human understands. It’s all about learning to separate yourself from the world of software development and connect with others at their level. Otherwise, there are loads of instances of developers coming across quite nerdy or looking down on others that don’t understand software development.
Focus on your strengths
Finally, you have to learn how to approach interviews and resumes as a software developer. The worst thing you can do is lie about your skills. The second worst thing is to make it seem like you’re more experienced than you are. Many people will try their best to include every skill under the sun on their resume, acting as though you have a good understanding of it. Then, it gets to the interview, and you flop because you’re asked questions about things you’ve acted like you’re an expert on, but really you have a very basic knowledge.
The simplest way to avoid this? Focus on your strengths. Think about what you’re best at, and shine the light on this. It makes it so much easier to put together a solid resume and cover letter, and it translates into much better interviews as well.
If you give these tips a try, you will find it easier than ever to land a good job as a software developer. It might not be your dream role just yet, but it will help you get there in the future!