As the world grows more and more integrated with technology, you may have found yourself wondering if a career in software development would be a good move. Maybe you believe you have the next best app idea but lack the skills to bring it to life. Are you toying with the idea of becoming a software engineer? Maybe you are just hoping to learn a new programming language without spending big bucks.
There are an endless amount of resources for you–regardless of which situation you identify with the most. Some cost more than others, and some are entirely free. Here are a few ideas for you to start learning more about software development.
Of course, there are books to learn pretty much any topics, and software development is no exception. Yes, books are still a thing, and they are a powerful, reliable resource. There is your classic For Dummies series that can do that trick, but if you’re looking for something a little more in depth, check out some other options.
If you can get your hand on a booklist that is used in software development classes, that’s a great place to start choosing where to build your library. Arguably, one of the must-haves is Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell.
There is a lot of conversation that goes into software development before coding even takes place. For example, before utility tracking software can be developed, there first need to be the conception phase to identify what functions the software will have. Some podcasts, like Partially Derivative’s focus on data science, might even help solidify a concept like this.
You can learn a lot from podcasts without doing a single line of code. Some podcasts provide information on trends in software development and career advice, like Ruby Rogues, and others that focus on specific languages, like Talk Python to Me.
Self-Paced Resources and Traditional Classrooms
For those just starting out but unsure of their commitment level, free courses are the best resource to tip your feet into the software development world. Code Academy and Free Code Camp are two free programs entirely online. Their primary focus is to introduce you to coding and teach you the variety of languages out there.
If you have a project in mind, you can use this infographic to help decide which language is best for your concept. Additionally, it’s a great tool to use to determine which new language to learn to stretch your current coding skill set.
When you need more structure for learning to be the most effective, you should check out your local community college or university to see what software development courses they offer. If you are willing to invest in this as a career without obtaining a college degree, do some research on specific coding and development boot camps available in your area.
Regardless of what approach you take to learning a new programing language, you need to remember a few things. First of all, find a program that suits your learning style. If you procrastinate, don’t dive into a self-paced course. Odds are, you won’t finish what you start.
On the contrary, if you are incredibly self-motivated, don’t jump into a traditional classroom that will move too slowly.
The bottom line is pick a path that best suits the type of learner you are. Then, invest in yourself. You are worth it.