Here are the 5 things that you should know if you are planning to be a developer or software engineer.
1. Being a developer is committing yourself to a continuous learning throughout your career.
It does not matter if you are a developer working in web development, machine learning, mobile apps, cloud computing, OS, data science, game development, just to name a few, you are essentially committing yourself to a continuous learning throughout your career. Since technology keeps on evolving, as a developer, it should be as your utmost interest to keep up with the new current technology. Of course, if you choose not to, you will soon find yourself jobless.
2. There is no such thing as the best programming language.
Each individual programming language has its own strengths and weaknesses that serve its purpose. You may find a lot of discussions going around the web, comparing programming languages to find out the better language, while the comparison may be true to a certain extent, ultimately, each languages serve its purpose. A hammer is used to hammer a nail while a pair of scissors is used to cut, have you ever see someone try to hammer a nail with a pair of scissors?
To make things simpler to understand, take Python for instance, you can use Python to create REST API, scripting, data science and even website or web apps. However, with the development of Angular, React and Vue over the last few years, more people stop using Python to construct a website, instead it is only heavily used for back-end purpose or for scripting. Instead of trying to find out the best programming language, the better approach is to learn as much languages as you can.
3. An expert in one language or an average in various languages?
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.Bruce Lee
Personally, it would be awesome if you could be an expert in one of your core language, for example let’s say you are an expert in Python. There is nothing wrong to be an expert in one of your core but it will be a huge problem if the one language that you are an expert in happens to be the only language you know. Being a developer, you must not limit yourself to only a few languages. Go broader, learn all the languages that you come across, if you cannot be an expert, aim to be slightly above average.
Think of all the languages that you know like tools that you need to build a house, with more tools at your disposal the easier it will be to build a house.
4. No, there is no shortcut to be a developer.
If you decided to be a developer because you have been fed stories where developers are making lots of money all the while from the comfort of their home, living their dream. Boy oh boy, you are gonna have a bad time.
While it’s true that some developers are making good money which may stems from :
1. Doing freelance work
2. Having higher position in a prestige company.
3. Creating their own products and selling it.
4. Teaching courses.
5. Blogging or YouTube
Understand this now that this by all means is not an overnight success. Although the above may be true, there are also developers who are struggling with their own company, their own products, their freelance works, their blog or YouTube channel. But hey, nothing comes easy. If its easy, everybody would have done it.
Do not be discouraged or disheartened, if you love what you do and you put in a lot of effort into it, sooner or later success will find you.
5. Programming is fun!
This post serves to give those who have decided to be a self-taught developer a sort of like a reality check so you will understand and realised what you are actually doing. However, I strongly want to remind you that programming is a hella fun.
Yes, things can be shaky and rocky at the start, at times you may to give up completely and chase some other things, but just hang on, things will get better. Once you get that gears running, once you understand what programming is, I assure you that things will be fun.