How To Become A Coder: A Simple Guide (2023 Update)
The ability to code is a unique skill that can open up a range of high-paying career opportunities. It’s a versatile and useful skill that can be applied in any industry, which makes coders unique on the job market. Job instability is a fear for many, especially with rising inflation and interest rates, so having a skill like coding will enable you to experience job and financial security.
There’s no one correct path to becoming a coder. People pursue different means of learning the skills necessary to succeed in this field, and as long as you have the necessary knowledge, then you have the potential to have a lucrative career.
So, if you’re interested in becoming a coder and want to know how to get started, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s discuss the basics of a coder’s responsibilities and how you can break into this career.
What Is a Coder?
A coder is someone who specializes in writing in a variety of different programming languages. Coders use programming languages to create websites, apps, and software. Every app on every cellphone, every website you’ve visited, and the software used to keep them running and updated were all created by a coder.
Coding requires intensive training for you to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to apply it to workplace projects. Writing code can be incredibly complex and involve hundreds or even thousands of lines of code. You’ll need to be a detail-oriented person with solid critical thinking skills to succeed in this position.
Related: Learn to Code: A Guide for Aspiring Web Developers
What Are The Responsibilities Of A Coder?
Not all coders will have the same title in the workplace. Some may be computer programmers, web developers, software developers, or quality assurance analysts. The role you are fulfilling as a coder will impact the responsibilities you’re expected to take on.
Most coders work as computer programmers, and these are some of the typical responsibilities they’re tasked with:
– Write and test code for new programs
– Identify errors in code
– Update existing programs
– Rewrite programs for different operating systems
– Create technical guides for different programs
Other roles may have similar or entirely different responsibilities. The one responsibility you know you’ll have as a coder is a need to write, alter, or test codes.
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How Do You Become A Coder?
There are many different avenues you can follow to become a coder. No two people are the same, and neither is the path they took to start their coding career. Here are some general steps to becoming a coder.
Step 1: Choose Your Educational Path
Coding is an incredibly technical and complex skill. You need the proper education and training to succeed in this profession, but there are many different ways to receive that education. Below are the three ways most people learn about coding in 2023.
While following the traditional path of obtaining a college degree is no longer a necessity, many people still choose to go this route. A college degree offers you a sense of security and allows you to spread out what you need to learn over a period of four or more years.
Most colleges offer associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in computer sciences and software engineering. Pursuing a degree in these fields will teach you how to code and apply code to workplace projects.
Some people choose to go the college route because they qualify for a scholarship or financial aid. Others simply want the college experience and the ability to learn at a regular pace. Regardless of your reasoning, obtaining a college degree is a solid option.
Coding bootcamps have exploded in popularity over the past decade. These bootcamps offer short, intensive training programs to teach you everything you need to know about coding. Most bootcamps wrap up within 4-6 months and offer other benefits such as mock interviews, resume preparation, and important networking opportunities.
This is an excellent way to receive your education. Most coding bootcamps are much less expensive than college, and some even have programs where you don’t start paying the tuition until you’ve successfully completed the course and obtained a job in a related field.
Technically, you don’t need any certifications or degrees to be hired as a coder. Big companies like Google and IBM have stated they no longer require proof of education through a program. As long as you have the right knowledge and skillset, you can be hired as a coder.
There are plenty of courses and information available online that could teach you how to code. However, coding can become very complicated, so many people who start on the self-taught path end up attending a coding bootcamp or a data science course to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.
Related: Is Coding Hard? What You Need to Know
Step 2: Find Your Specialty
When you go through training to become a coder, you’ll learn about the different career opportunities available to you. Some coders go on to become software developers, web developers, computer programmers, or quality assurance analysts. There are plenty of other careers you could apply your coding skills to as well.
Once you’ve wrapped up your education, you’ll want to think long and hard about the type of work you want to do. Determining the specific job you want to work in will help you with the following step.
Step 3: Get Hands-On Experience
Finding a part-time internship before your first paid job could be very beneficial when you’re ready to enter the workforce full-time. It will allow you to showcase your skills, learn how to apply those skills on the job and under stressful situations, and teach you more about the type of work environment you should expect.
Many companies offer internships for coders, and while some may be unpaid, the experience they provide will be incredibly valuable.
Related: Learn About Web Programming Course
Step 4: Work For Someone Else, Or Yourself
After you complete your education, determine your specialty, and get some hands-on experience, it’s time to get to work. The great thing about coding is that you can work for others or yourself.
You could get hired by a company as a computer programmer or a software developer, or you could put your skills out there on online marketplaces and become a freelancer. Both routes have pros and cons, but your skills will always be in demand as a coder.
How Much Do Coders Make in 2023?
The salary you earn as a coder will depend on whether you’re working for yourself or a corporation. It will also depend on which specialty you decide to focus on. Here are some average salaries for coding careers:
Computer Programmer: $93,000
Software Developer: $109,020
Web Developer: $78,300
As a freelancer, you have the opportunity to set your own rates and determine your hours. There are plenty of opportunities for you to earn a comparable salary by working for yourself, although working for a company does come with additional benefits, such as health insurance.
Related: How Much Do Web Developers Make in 2023
Start Your Coding Career With Coding Bootcamp
Coding is a lucrative career that provides you with financial and job security. If you have a knack for technology, are detail-oriented, and have excellent critical thinking skills, then coding could be your perfect career. Try a coding bootcamp to get started and see if this is a good fit for you.