How to Become a Coder in 2023: A Guide to Starting From Scratch

The ability to code can be incredibly lucrative and opens up a variety of job opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds. Whether you’re a detail-oriented, focused person who loves problem-solving in your spare time, or you want to understand how websites and apps work so you can learn to build them yourself, gaining coding skills can provide a stepping stone to an exciting new career. 

Whatever the reason, if you’re curious about how to get into programming or want to learn how to become a coder, it’s important to understand coding job requirements and how you can develop your skills to become a promising candidate for computer programming roles. In this article, we’ll discuss how to get into programming and why this is such a promising career in 2023. 

What Is a Coder?

Simply put, coders write the code that teaches computers how to create the outcomes that we want when we use a piece of software. They might work in gaming software, data analytics, or cybersecurity; for a software company, an education company, or a media company. Regardless of their job title or industry, coders all use computer programming languages to build websites, apps, or other types of software.

Computer code represents the building blocks of all these types of software. If you’ve used an app, visited a website, or written something in a word processor, you can thank the coders who built those tools.

Coders use a wide variety of programming languages in their jobs (e.g., JavaScript, Python, Swift, MATLAB) in a wide variety of coding roles. Computer programmers, for example, write and test the code that makes websites and software function properly; whereas web developers build and maintain the websites you use every day, from the front end (the aesthetic side of the website you see as a user) to the back end (the technology that makes the website operate). Alternatively, data scientists use code to make sense of enormous data sets, while UX designers focus on how a user will interact with a website’s or app’s interface. Coding, therefore, is a versatile skill for jobs across industries. As tech becomes a more central part of corporate functions across the world, coders become more and more important.

How to Be a Coder

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in coding, there are a few steps you should take. Different coding jobs will require a different combination of knowledge and skills, so before you begin your job search, it’s important to understand what your career options are and develop the necessary skills for the job you want. The steps you take will depend on what type of position or industry you want to pursue.

Step 1: Obtain a Computer Programmer Education

Many coding jobs do not require formal programming education in order to enter the field. Many people are interested in learning how to become a coder without a degree, and many coders are self-taught or learn to code through boot camps. These are short-term, intensive — often virtual — courses focused on developing market-driven skills in preparation for a specific line of work or professional skill set.

That being said, certain coding careers, like robotics and AI, can benefit from the completion of a formal degree. Some more advanced jobs may require a computer programming degree, which is earned through studying computer science at a university. These programs can be very useful for future coders, especially those looking for the experience of a formal degree, but they are not always required.

If you’re interested in upskilling from a non-coding job, or don’t want to take the time required to obtain a degree, boot camps are an excellent option. Whether you’re interested in a coding boot camp or a data science boot camp, these courses can help you jump-start your career in just a few months and give you the skills you need to become a coder. Boot camps can help you learn various coding languages, from HTML to MySQL, and many of them offer career services that can help you land a job once you’ve completed the course.

Get Program Info

Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
0%

Step 2: Develop and Practice Your Skills

Acquiring practical experience that shows you’ve gained the necessary skills to become a coder is just as important as gaining the proper education for your desired role. It’s one thing to learn the basics of a coding language like Python, C++, and Java, but it’s another to know how to put those languages to work.

Before you begin applying for jobs, it’s essential to take on a few projects to solidify and gain confidence in your computer programming skills. Luckily, there are many places online that can help you complete these projects. GitHub, for example, offers a wide assortment of coding projects to take on as practice. These vary from numeric tasks like creating a mortgage calculator, to algorithm sorting and text analysis. Taking on a few of these projects will help you hone your coding skills and become aware of the things you still need to practice. You may also want to consider applying for internships, which can help you develop relevant skills in real-life professional environments, as well as offer mentorship opportunities. 

It’s important to note that coders need other skills past the ability to write and use code, including a high level of focus and diligence and the ability to work with others and communicate their ideas and findings clearly.

Step 3: Pursue Certification if Necessary

Many people looking to start a coding career have the same question: Is certification required to become a computer programmer? For most jobs, the answer is no. While most coding boot camps will offer you a “certificate” upon completion, it is not equivalent to completing a regulated certification program.

Step 4: Apply for Jobs and Become a Coder

Once you’ve developed your coding skills, you’ll want to start looking at available coding jobs. Of course, there are as many different coding jobs as there are programming languages. An important part of developing your skill set and researching job opportunities is deciphering which of these jobs would be best for you. While it might be difficult to find a computer programmer job description that’s the same across companies and industries, it’s helpful to research the different positions that you are qualified for or interested in.

You may also want to reach out to people who work in computer programming or tech, to get a better understanding of what different jobs look like from the perspective of the people who actually work them. Use your personal network to reach out to friends and acquaintances asking if they know anyone working in these fields; you’re likely to find a rich community of coders, many of whom will be happy to talk shop and give you advice on the job hunt.

Why Pursue a Coding Career?

Technology has come to play a huge role in daily life. Whether you want to book a vacation, communicate with your family, manage your money, or schedule a dinner date, you’re going to interact with at least one technical product.

As apps and websites become more advanced and more everyday tasks are digitized, demand for coders — or professionals with a coding background — continues to be significant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were over 185,000 computer programming jobs in the United States last year, with a median salary of $89,190. 

If you’re curious about how to get a coding job, keep in mind that recruiters are looking for candidates with knowledge of multiple programming languages, and as much relevant experience as possible. Enrolling in a coding boot camp can be incredibly helpful if you want to acquire these skills and experience needed to stand out from other applicants. 

Coding Job Overviews

There are many different types of coding jobs, all of which require a unique combination of knowledge and skills. Below are a few common coding jobs overviews to help you direct your education and training plan based on which roles appeal most to you.

Computer Programmer 

Computer programming is one of the more straightforward coding jobs. These professionals write and test the code that makes websites and software function properly. 

Web Developer

Web developers are the people who build and maintain the websites you visit every day. They create the visual aesthetic of a website and decide how it will function for users. Back end web developers create the technology necessary for a website to operate, while front end web developers use code to create the design and programming that make up the user-facing aspects of a website. Full stack web developers cover both front end and back end and are most prevalent at companies that don’t have an entire team of developers. 

Software Developer

Software developers build computer software and apps, and they most often focus on consumer-facing products. Therefore, they have to understand and anticipate user needs, and balance them with market demands. They are also responsible for modifying and fixing the products they create as needed. 

Data Scientist

Data science is one of the more technical fields accessible to coders. These professionals extract and transform raw data into meaningful insights, and coders in these roles utilize data mining, data modeling, machine learning, and natural language processing to achieve these goals. They also visualize and interpret their key findings to inform their companies’ decisions. 

UX Designer

If you’ve got an eye for design, you may want to consider jobs in user experience (UX). A UX designer focuses on how a user will interact with a website’s or app’s interface. They make sure that using an app or visiting a website feels intuitive and easy, and they try to anticipate a user’s questions and ideas before the user even has them. 

Video Game Developer

Video game developers help build the technology behind your favorite video games; they transform them from an idea into a playable reality. They code all the elements of a video game, from the background designs, the different possible controls, and even sounds, and then test each component until they’re ready to be used by real-life gamers. 

Coder Salaries

Coding is a lucrative field, but as with any industry, salaries vary by position. Let’s look at the average salaries for some of the most common programming jobs:

Web Developer

According to Burning Glass Technologies, the median web developer salary is $91,938. Demand for these jobs is growing modestly, with a projected growth of 8.3 percent over the next ten years, which is close to the national average for all jobs. Over the past 12 months, there have been over 112,000 job listings posted for web developers. These positions often require a bachelor’s degree, as well as an understanding of basic programming languages like Java, JavaScript, and SQL. 

Data Engineer

Data engineers design, build, and manage a company’s information and its data infrastructure. They use coding and algorithms to analyze and process data based on their organization’s needs, and they make sure those systems are working smoothly. According to Burning Glass Technologies, the median data engineer salary is $111,435, with serious growth projected at 20.8 percent over the next ten years.

Data Scientist

Similar to data engineers, data scientists use data sets to answer questions and solve problems that their companies have. They often use advanced statistical analysis and machine learning to achieve these goals. The median data scientist salary reflects this highly technical aspect of the job, at $112,614. According to Burning Glass Technologies, these jobs are expected to grow by 14.5 percent over the next ten years. 

Database Administrator

People in this occupation build databases by using software to organize and store data that are important to their organization. They ensure this data is easy to access by the people who need to use it, and that it is securely protected. The median annual salary for this job is $89,549, with a low growth rate projected at 1.9 percent over the next ten years, according to Burning Glass Technologies. 

Electronics Engineer

Electronics engineers design and build the physical technical products you use every day (e.g., iPads, smartphones, GPS systems). There is a slight projected decline in these jobs, at -0.7 percent over the next ten years. That said, the median annual salary is still strong at $87,143.

Computer Programmer

As we’ve discussed, these are the people that write the code that serves as building blocks for websites, apps, and software. According to Burning Glass Technologies, the average computer programmer’s salary is $76,267.

Software Developer

Software developers are in charge of designing, fixing, and maintaining computer software. According to Burning Glass Technologies, the median software developer salary is $98,776, and these jobs are projected to grow significantly over the next ten years, at a rate of 17.3 percent. 

A bar graph that displays the median salaries for coders in 2022.

How to Become a Coder FAQs

If you learn to code at the university level, this process can take up to four years. Coding boot camps and data boot camps, on the other hand, last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, making them great options for people who don’t want to wait four years to be ready for the job market.

As with any other skill, when it comes to programming, practice makes perfect. There are countless learning resources online, like those at GitHub, that can help you become a better coder. You may also want to buy books on the topic or review self-taught coding programs. If you studied programming in school and want to deepen your skills, you may want to consider a coding or data boot camp. 

Before you begin looking for coding jobs, it’s important to make sure you have the relevant educational experience. This might be a bachelor’s degree, or a coding or data boot camp. Once you’ve found some job listings that interest you, you should also research and practice some common interview questions.

Coding is a lucrative career, with average salaries beginning around $85,000 and reaching $110,000, depending on the job title. Often, more rigorous math-heavy or analysis-heavy jobs pay more than more basic coding jobs. 

Become a Coder Today

Coding is a lucrative and fascinating job that allows you to solve problems and work on products that affect everyday life for millions of people. One of the best ways to jump-start your coding career is to enroll in a coding boot camp or data boot camp, both of which will teach you the necessary skills for a variety of coding careers and offer professional advising to help you land your dream job. 

Get Program Info

Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
Back
0%