Benefits Of Learning Software Programming

Software programmers, or applications developers, found themselves in high demand in the 1990s. With the dot-com bust, though, programming jobs seemed to dry up, which meant that the majors in the field diminished as well. Over the past five years, however, the field has seen a resurgence, largely because more companies are understanding the benefits of custom-designed software and are willing to pay for the convenience and long-term savings of having their own applications.

What if you’re already in college, though? Perhaps you majored in something like chemistry with plans to go to medical school. Now you’re not in med school and unsure how to use a chemistry major. Perhaps you, like I, majored in history because you valued the analytical skills the discipline requires of its best students. Then you entered the job market with that degree and found out you didn’t have a clear-cut plan. Can you, too become a software programmer?

Yes, you can!

Benefits Of Learning Software Programming

Your first step would be to determine what you like about the field and whether or not you think that you would be a good fit for any of its subfields. Some people love internet marketing, for instance, while others may be drawn to healthcare needs. Perhaps you have special skills or knowledge from your original job and want to transfer those skills to the programming industry.

Once you’ve honed in on the area you enjoy, then you should do some research on the languages and platforms people in that subfield favor. For example, some website designers prefer to work in graphic-laden editors, such as Flash, while others want sites programmed in PHP. A growing number favors the .NET framework.

Choose an area and begin to learn all you can about it. Visit forums online to ask questions. Go to the library to get books on the subject. Spend as much time as you can doing examples. You may even want to take a course at your local community college or hire a college tutor to help you.

Showing Your Expertise

Benefits Of Learning Software Programming

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you will need to design a program to show prospective employers or clients. You may have more luck getting clients on your own than trying to get a 9-5 job without a computer science degree, but either way, you will find that software programming values a portfolio that shows you can do the work.

Should you want to impress future employers, you should think about getting certification as well. Microsoft recent altered the way it awards certifications, and there are a number of options available for people who are interested in the .NET framework. You can get Windows or web applications and take them in VB.NET, C#.NET, or you can mix and match the exams to fit what you want. Sun MicroSystems offers a similar Java certification, and other companies have them as well.

Once you’ve learned a language and platform thoroughly, designed a couple of programs for your portfolio, and received your certification, you can begin searching for jobs in your new field.