Basic Guide to Programming with insight to Career Paths

There is no doubt that almost every industry in our world is undergoing Digital Transformation. The backbone of this is software and with that comes the ever-increasing demand of programmers in almost all organizations of the world. It is crucial for one to have knowledge regarding the fundamentals of IT education so that he or she can move forward in their career.

With that being said, if you are looking to start off in this field, you need to learn about programming. This guide will give you a rundown of different paths of programmers and how you can enter and excel in each different field:

What You Will Be Doing?

Before we go directly into the roles of programmers, it’s important to classify them into broad categories which almost every organization has. Given below are some functions that are performed by programmers:

  • Gather requirements from clients and document them – Software Requirements Engineer
  • Code the software from scratch – Software Engineer/Developer
  • Manage the software development team – Scrum Master/Project Manager
  • Deploy the software – Deployment Engineer
  • Test the software for bugs – Quality Assurance Engineer/Software Tester

Those 5 above generally cover almost all of the operations which can be performed by programmers within an organization. Based on them, we can define different career paths which you can take to attain any one of the above-listed roles.

But I Know Zero Programming?

That’s absolutely fine. All of the expert programmers that you will see today started off from scratch, no matter what their age was. Plus even if you have a degree totally unrelated to IT, you can still start off. It’s about identifying where programming will aid you in your career and then choosing that specific path. 

I recommend you take a good look at the following programming languages if you want to start off with programming:

  1. Python
  2. Java

Python is one of the easiest programming languages out there that can land you a very lucrative career. Being used for automation and data science, Python is being used in a lot of sectors. Even in Web Development, Django which is a Python-based framework is being used which shows that you can multiple career options based on what you choose. 

On the other hand, Java is used for Desktop and Mobile app development. It is a robust programming language in which you can build robust apps based on your own preference. So if you are interested in creating solutions for yourself, Java is one way to go.

There are various other languages too but I recommend you choose either one of these to get started. I have an extensive array of Python tutorials to help you get started with it, be sure to check them out!

Different Career Paths for Programmers:

It’s important to understand that you need to have a specialized skill set in order to excel in the world of IT. Therefore you need to chalk out a plan in order to excel in the field you wish to go in. Here is a brief overview of different field you could go into as a programmer:

Machine Learning Engineer

Machine Learning is the talk of the town these days with many many people taking courses to excel in it. You will learn how to make statistical predictions or use advanced techniques for the processing of video or image data. This field has many further sub-specializations which would require another guide itself but for starters, if you are looking to understand AI and work around complex ML algorithms plus have a knack for maths, you need to explore this field further.

Recommended Languages to start with: Python, R

Web Developer

We use the web every single day and it keeps on growing. If you are looking to tinker around with websites, then this is the domain you need to explore further. You need to decide whether you want to create beautiful websites or you want to play with stuff that happens at the back end. Based on that, you can either become a front-end developer or a back-end developer.

Recommended Languages for Front-end: HTML5 , CSS, JavaScript, Bootstrap, React

Recommended Languages for Back-end: PHP, Django

Mobile App Developer

We have many apps on our smartphones and there are millions of others in our app stores. To become a mobile app developer, you need to decide whether you want to make apps for Android or iOS or perhaps both? Based on that, you can decide which programming language is more suitable for you. 

Recommended Languages for Android: Java, Kotlin, Flutter

Recommended Languages for iOS: Swift, React Native

Game Developer

If you have always thought that you could create a better game than the one on your phone or PC, then you need to take up Game Development. Aspired by many but adopted by few due to the scope of this domain, you could get started with game development with my tutorials on Unity3D, it’s loved by most programmers out there and can help you get started in this field. 

Recommended Software Development Kits: Unity3D, Unreal Engine

QA Engineer

Quality Assurance is an essential part of software engineering and ensuring that your program is free from bugs. While no program is error-free, the job of QA Engineers is to find bugs in code which is often written by other people. If you have been called a Grammar Nazi or like to find mistakes, you should explore this area further.

Recommended Programming Languages: Python (Selenium)

I Am Not A Math Geek

While there are various elements that involve maths in programming but you don’t have to be an expert in order to take up most of the fields in programming. The basic knowledge that you will learn in the Python course mentioned above will allow you to code complex systems. However, you will and should write code for mathematical problems. These will allow you to perfect your grip in basic programming concepts and the best way to do that is to start off with Project Euler problems. I have solved many of them and you can take a look at the solutions.

Recommended Topics:

If you are looking for a list of topics to see how well you adjust to programming, take a look below at the sequence you should follow to learn any particular language:

  1. Data Types
  2. Operators
  3. Loops
  4. Conditionals
  5. Arrays
  6. Functions
  7. Classes
  8. Data Structures
  9. Sorting
  10. Project (make a complex program based on concepts you have learned)

Conclusion: 

Programming is easy to start off provided you stick to it with consistency and practice the right topics from the right sources. You need to identify the career path you prefer, read up on it and start from the very basic. Moving up you will be able to code complex systems and score a lucrative career!

Imad

I am a Software Engineer with ample experience in making games, websites, mobile apps and augmented reality solutions.

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