Steps to Starting your Programming Career
How to start programming?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22.8 percent employment growth for software developers in the next ten years, one of the faster growing when it comes to employment. It’s estimated that about 130,000 positions will need filling within that time. So how does one land one of these positions? Keep reading. 

1. Get knowledged

A bachelors degree is a normally required for software development positions, especially with big well-established companies.
What if I don’t have time/money to spend on school?
Theres good news! Many smaller companies believe actual experience is as good or even better than getting your club membership. Keep up to date on new programming tools and languages, don’t stop learning, and be confident in your abilities.
Once your foot’s in the door and you find you enjoy the field of development, think about going to school and getting that degree. Community colleges offer courses on the computer science, with credits that can transfer over to the classes and programs offered at four-year universities.
Regardless of your educational background, it’s also important to bring something to the table to prove those skills when you’re in the interview chair. 

2. Create and maintain a portfolio

Either physical or digital, it’s important to be able to show what you can do with a portfolio. Here we’ll define what makes an impression.
  • Current project – It doesn’t have to be anything huge, it just shows you’re avidly honing your skills.
  • A list of previous projects – Include dates, end goal, and most importantly the challenges you overcame. Why did you include this particular project in your portfolio? What does it mean to you? Even if you just used whatever you could find, be prepared to explain how you overcame a challenge, and describe why you enjoyed that project. 
  • Maintain clarity– think of a system and follow it, separate projects by code, type, etc. No one wants to look at something that seems thrown together. 

Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s important not to get discouraged. If you need some projects or examples for your portfolio, check out this link from our community. You can also find a list of free educational websites here. Got something to add or want us to cover something specific? Drop in to our community, we want to hear from you! Also, be sure to keep your eyes open for our next blog post that will explore projects more in depth.