Software development is a career path whose popularity has risen exponentially in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic only served to accelerate the rise of technology and the boom of the digital age, as most people turned to the internet for work and school. As such, there has never been a better time to begin a software developer career.
In this article, we'll explore the compelling reasons why software development is a career worth pursuing. Whether you're just starting or looking to make a career change, read on to discover why you should consider becoming a software developer.
Is it hard to become a software developer?
Being a software developer can be challenging for most, but it is achievable with the right approach and dedication. To begin with, one requires a solid foundation in computer science, mathematics and a working knowledge of programming languages.
Enrolling for a computer science degree is the most common way to achieve this. Fortunately, there are many online courses and boot camps through which one can acquire these foundations. What's more, many of them are offered free of charge.
In addition to technical skills, you'll need strong problem-solving, communication skills, and creativity to lead a successful career as a software developer. You must also be willing to learn continuously, as it is an ever-evolving field.
How many hours do software developers work?
The required work hours of a software engineer can vary depending on their employer, the project they're working on, or their job station. Typically, most developers work full-time, which averages about 35 to 40 hours a week. However, it is not uncommon to find them working longer hours, especially when their projects have tight deadlines or when they address bugs in production.
Interestingly, most companies allow their developers to work remotely or offer them flexible work schedules. This means developers can work from anywhere and adjust their hours to suit their schedules better.
Why choose a software developer career?
There are numerous benefits of being a software developer. These include:
Software developers are in high demand
Though the career path of a software developer can be challenging, there is a high demand for skilled professionals in this field. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in the tech field to grow by 25% by 2031, which is higher than the average for all other occupations. As more businesses and industries increasingly rely on the internet for their operations, they'll need professionals who can create, maintain, and improve the software solutions that power them.
Great for those who like problem solving
This career entails solving real-world problems using software. As such, you'll need to use your analytical skills to break down vague and seemingly complex problems into bite-sized, understandable pieces. You'll also employ your creativity to design and implement solutions that meet the end user's needs.
What's more, climbing the software developer career ladder involves continually learning and adapting to new technologies. This means that you'll constantly face new and unique challenges, providing intellectual stimulation.
Creative and collaborative profession
Software developers often work in teams to design, build and maintain software applications. This calls for effective communication, as well as continuous collaboration. One popular coding technique is pair programming, where two developers work on the same code. Developers may also need to work with designers, product managers, and QA testers. This collaboration enhances their creativity, exposing them to multiple perspectives and ideas.
Constant learning something new
Technology is constantly evolving at a rapid pace. As such, software developers need to keep up with the latest industry trends and techniques to remain effective. This may involve learning new frameworks, libraries, tools, or even whole programming languages.
Additionally, developers must learn about new domains, APIs, and other products. These help them understand the context in which their applications will be used. Though challenging, this continuous learning process can be quite rewarding for your software developer career advancement.
Has a project-based work structure
The work of a software developer is usually project-based, which means they can work on various tasks ranging from simple to complex. This work structure gives them a sense of purpose and achievement as they see their work evolve from ideation to implementation. It also compels them to focus intently, as they are often tasked with specific goals and deadlines.
What's more, this project-based nature of their work bodes well for individuals who frown upon monotony in their work. Projects can vary in size and scope, which helps keep the work challenging and exciting.
Ability to work remotely
Thanks to modern communication and collaboration tools, software developers can work from anywhere in the world. This can lead to improved job satisfaction, as individuals work in the environments that best suit their work styles. It also saves commuting costs and time. Additionally, remote work provides them with time for family and other personal responsibilities, improving their work-life balance.
Companies also save on office space and other associated costs when they embrace remote work. This is especially beneficial for startups, which are common in IT.
Well-respected profession with a good career ladder and salary
Software development is undoubtedly a high-paying career. According to a survey by the job search site Indeed, software development ranked as the top job of 2021. More than half of Glassdoor's ranking of the top 10 best jobs in America in 2022 is software engineering roles. Glassdoor averages the average pay for a developer in the US at $85,000 per year, with some senior roles paying upwards of $120,000 annually.
This career also offers exciting opportunities for advancement, which naturally translates to higher salaries. Most people typically start with entry-level jobs as junior developers or software engineers. With experience and skills, they advance to senior developers, software architects, or technical leads.
Besides technical roles, developers can also move into management as project managers and engineering directors. These roles call for strategic decision-making, personnel management, and business acumen.
Visible results and satisfaction
Often, developers can see the fruits of their labor when they deploy and launch their apps and software solutions. This results in improved job satisfaction, as well as a sense of pride in their work. Nurturing such feelings has been known to inspire employee loyalty to the organization.
Falls in a low-stress category
While it can be intellectually demanding, software development is generally considered a low-stress profession. This is because developers have a high degree of autonomy in their work, and they are not typically involved in physical labor. As such, the risk of injury or other occupational hazards is quite low. Moreover, most software development work can be done remotely. This helps reduce stress on the developer team and improve their work-life balance.
Should you become a software developer?
Statistically, becoming a software developer is one of the most highly sought-after professions, and the demand is only projected to grow in the coming years. Additionally, it is well-paying and low-stress. It also provides numerous career advancement opportunities, and developers can attest to a high degree of job satisfaction. As such, becoming a software developer is definitely worth considering.
Software development is a lucrative career choice that offers an attractive compensation and a clear path for career growth. With most businesses moving their operations to the internet, there is a high demand for staff with adequate digital skills. What's more, with the advent of communication and collaboration platforms, developers can work flexibly from anywhere in the world.
You can also learn about different IT fields in which you could work too. Check this article to find out Why IT Is The Best Sector to Work In