Background: Nowadays, software engineering has become one of the most popular and very perspective professions. This is mainly because modern technologies based on the computer systems became an essential part of everyday life. As said Rob Walling in the article Why Should I Become a Programmer? How to Become a Programmer, “According to the US Department of Labor, 8 of the 10 fastest growing occupations between 2000 and 2010 are computer-related.”
Methods: All the information included in this paper is the result of a research work based on the facts from books, scholar journals, electronic resources and websites. It covers not only the description of the profession, but also includes some sort of conclusions made on my own from the facts I discovered. As a result, here one can find advices on how to study programming.
Results: Having done this paper, I discovered a lot of information that I had not been aware of before. Now I understand that being a software engineer is very cool and prospective, however it is more like a payment for a long and difficult way of self-education and career growth. Anyway, it is exciting.
Conclusions: Many students really do not know what to become in future, so that to be sure, that they can get a good and well-paid job. Nowadays, society needs software developers, because they are the masters of technology that is important in modern life. This is one of a million of proves convincing that becoming a software engineer is a perfect choice.
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Becoming Computer Science Engineering
Nowadays, software engineering has become one of the most popular and very perspective professions. This is mainly because modern technologies based on the computer systems became an essential part of everyday life. Rob Walling wrote in his article, “According to the US Department of Labor, 8 of the 10 fastest growing occupations between 2000 and 2010 are computer related”. As long as they constantly keep evolving and progressing, this sphere needs more and more highly qualified professionals, which means that a good software engineer will always be able to find a well-paid job.
Most people, who are not experts in programming, cannot even imagine all the varieties of areas included in the profession of software development. Indeed, in addition to home and office computers (which, of course, also require a huge amount of software created by programmers) there are mobile computers, embedded computers, industrial computers, and so on. A variety of computer technologies is growing every year and expanding its scope, hence this profession is not only urgent, but moreover, becomes more popular.
The Role of Education for a Software Developer
Software engineering as a profession is different from other jobs for the following reason: one is not supposed to graduate from college or university to become a software developer. “If you’re a young person who is thinking about becoming a computer programmer but can’t afford college, you might think about skipping college altogether”, says Ryan Carson, co-founder of an online coding school, in the article Computer programming is a trade; let's act like it (Subra, 2014). It does not mean that students who want to become software engineers do not have to get higher education at the university or college. The thing is that everything depends on the student. “The attitudes of the learners will affect how much they can learn”, states Julia Briggs (2013). This field requires highly qualified professionals who are not always graduated from computer science faculty. One can get a degree in economics or philosophy, but if a person likes programming and is good at this field, he or she has all chances to get a good job. However, to become a software developer, one has to go through a long and difficult way of self-education. There are several options how to gain the required knowledge.
Ways of Studying Programming
The most classic and proven for thousands of years way lies through books; it is possible to use the textbook. However, there is a choice at this point. A lot of information can be easily found in the wilds of the Internet in different forms, even online programming languages tutorials. Creators of one of the online programming courses state that it is enough to dedicate approximately 10 to 12 hours per week to Thinkful coursework. However, those who prefer paper books can buy them in online bookstores.
A large number of people claim that literature and science is much more natural in the paper version. Especially based on the specific question, it is necessary to examine a large number of examples and be acquainted with a lot of codes.
The second option is also somewhat traditional – these are private courses of programming. One will have to spend a certain amount of financial resources, but there is a big advantage. There is a possibility to get under the wing of an experienced mentor who will pay special attention to a student and find a personal approach to him. Moreover, many institutions give a certificate after completing the courses, where a student diligently studies and proves his knowledge at the end by passing some tests or exams.
There is one more disadvantage. In addition to spending money, students have to waste time attending classes. If the book learning allows surrendering into the hands of science at any convenient time, courses will never propose a free schedule. If there is a study or work, then attending a lecture can be physically difficult. Tired brain will block information, which will not promote high success. Getting back to what was said in the beginning of this paper, if someone is interested in this business and is full of enthusiasm, the programming courses could be an invaluable acquisition.
The third option of training is private lessons. Waste of money is even higher here, but one gets the comfort, productivity and high efficiency in return. It has been proved that the lessons of one to one and all kinds of tutoring are far more effective than group lessons.
As for time, one can always agree on the personal schedules and mentor. If something does not work with one teacher, a student can always find another. Fortunately, this kind of private business is now in great demand. Having friends who are programmers or at least have little understanding in this matter, it is always worth to contact them. Additional help will never be useless.
Benefits of Becoming a Computer Science Engineer
Devoting life to programming a young professional wants to understand what is waiting for him, what the prospects are, before he or she starts a new interesting work. In the majority of cases, the prospects are fairly bright. In modern times, computer programmer job is one of the most highly paid ones in the world. Programmers are needed everywhere. Lou Martin states, “If ever you lose your job as a computer programmer, chances are you won’t be without a job for long” (Martin).
Salary varies quite widely. Speaking the language of numbers, it may start from $40,000-$60,000 in small provincial companies and reach up to $60,000-$150,000 per year in large corporations. Of course, the location plays an important role here. Summing up, an experienced programmer is in a great demand in today’s job market.
Today, programmers are the most important and valuable employees. They are the only ones who constantly and always have their salary significantly increased, and who in any crisis remains popular in the market. However, the salary increase cannot be unlimited. Then an employer starts warring about how to keep a software developer. That is why this profession is cool for not only the money it brings, but also for very comfortable working conditions.
Bonuses in Working Conditions
There are some bonuses offered as often as the promise of ‘competitive’ salary. First, software engineers do not know what a stable schedule is, because they do not have any. Almost all employers are sure that it is very important for programmers and QA managers to work when there is an inspiration, rather than fixed working hours. That is why the proposals to work flexible hours and the opportunity to work remotely at home can be found in most working conditions.
Professional growth (courses, workshops, conferences, etc.) and the ability to learn new technologies is also a great plus for software developers. The world of IT does not stand still, and the desire of developers to improve is caused not only by the desire to motivate employees but also by the presence of stiff competition in the market and lack of qualified specialists. Most companies only have to deal with educational software, as noted in the descriptions of vacancies in the ‘Additional bonuses’.
Sometimes, big employers can offer an individual plan for career growth, but it is a rare bonus. To handle this, there is a specialist in the personnel department of large companies who deals exclusively with career planning and employee development. English language courses are also the popular form of non-financial incentives for employees of IT-companies in non-English-speaking countries. This is because work in IT-companies almost always involves communication with foreign customers, and it is easier to learn English than to find someone who already knows it. Many employers believe that business trip abroad can be a nice bonus for good work. This type of work is often included in the section describing the benefits of future work.
‘Interesting dynamic design’ and ‘career growth’ – are the most standard formulations used by recruiters to attract software developers. Most companies promise not only compensatory leaves but also its increase from 24 to 28 days.
Nature of a Computer Specialist’s Work
In his work, the typical programmer has to solve a wide variety of tasks. The spectrum of these objectives is not limited to the writing of codes. Often, a software engineer should be able to design application architecture, work out easy navigation and optimize the processes occurring within the application.
With acquisition of experience, a software developer becomes a good specialist, project manager or team leader, which is why such responsibilities as administration and management of the department are added to his tasks. Many programmers work remotely. They are called freelancers.
Programmer is a specialist with an analytical mind, good memory and ability to perform complex mathematical calculations. In order to be competitive, software developers are supposed to develop their knowledge in the field of programming. Besides, there is a need to have time to keep up with all the changes in the field of computer technology, which is why curiosity and the ability to work with a lot of information is very useful for programmers. Physical inactivity of software engineer requires of him perseverance, concentration, and ability to bring long, routine business to an end. To work on projects, modern specialists in IT business cannot do without initiative and ability to work in a team.
Personal Features That are Needed to Become a Good Specialist
Unfortunately, it is not enough to be hard working in order to become a software developer. A good programmer should have the following qualities:
- Analytical mind;
- High degree of learning is not usually required. Some people become programmers being 30 years old. Having a powerful logic is much more important than a diploma. Andy Hunt (2008) states that the most important tool in programming is human brain;
- Sense of purpose;
- Patience and perseverance;
- According to Andrew Hunt (2008), software developer must have an unerring instinct for technologies and techniques.
- Ability to work in a team;
- “A software person should understand a business domain not only well enough to develop software for it but also to become one of its authorities”, states Chad Fowler (2009).
Unfortunately, not everybody can learn. Sometimes it is necessary to make a lot of work to achieve this. Nevertheless, if there is a persistent desire, half of the battle is won, and one can consider himself a 50% programmer. It is not so little, but never enough.
Of course, speciality of software development is quite complicated because it requires well developed logical thinking, the ability to formalize the problem and break it into subtasks, and creation of a project for the future software.
John Backus said, “You need the willingness to fail all the time. You have to generate many ideas and then you have to work very hard only to discover that they don’t work” (Ullman, 2013). The stages of project development are coding, checking, testing, debugging, maintaining the finished product, getting a feedback from users, development and improvement of a project, and production of new and more functional and stable versions of software.