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How to Break into Programming

So you want to be a nerd. Who can blame you? The world is run on digital technology, and software developers are the real power behind all the computer and phone applications we interact with every day.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Programming Professionals make more than $102,000 annually on average, and the job growth is much higher than the median, at 17%.

So the job security is great, the pay is crazy-good, and all your friends will be impressed if you learn enough to make them a phone app. At this point, we can’t think of a reason for you not to pursue your curiosity about becoming a Programmer. So what are the characteristics you’ll need to pursue a career in software development and how can you get started?

3 Characteristics of the Best Programmers

So You Want to Be a Programmer

1. Crazy Good Coding

Computer programmers write in code. Code is computer language. There are many computer languages out there, from Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, to C+, C#, HTML, and others. Each language has a different framework and rules, but the goal, ultimately, is to solve a problem through code. If you solve the problem, the digital program will perform in the way you wanted it to. Success!

2. Logic + The Three M's

If you are not logical, mathematical, methodical, and meticulous, you probably won’t make a great coder. You have to be comfortable learning new ways to solve all the time. Because the field is changing so quickly and software is constantly being updated, you will probably learn new languages and frameworks throughout your career.

3. A Data Digger

Programmers get excited talking about data analytics, machine learning, and algorithms, topics that many people simply wouldn’t understand. They also enjoy working bugs out of software so that an application can perform properly.

If all these things sound awesome, then let’s move on and look at some ways to get started in the field.

How to Get Started in Programming

Become a Programmer

Interestingly, if you want to get into programming, you don’t necessarily have to have a college degree. But you will need solid coding skills along with a portfolio of projects that you’ve worked on.

The latest poll on Stack Overflow shows:

  • 29.1% of programmers have a bachelor’s degree
  • 21.6% have a master’s degree
  • 16.8% have a high school diploma
  • 13.7% have some college study but haven’t graduated
  • 5.9% have a doctoral degree

Part of the reason why you don’t necessarily need to go to college to get a job in programming, is that it is a skill that you could potentially teach yourself. From Lynda classes to MeetUps in your area, there are tons of resources to help you learn coding as a profession. There are also hundreds of pay-to-play technology boot camps like our friends over at General Assembly. These are intensive 4-week to 16-week immersions in computer programming. At the end of this training you might have a better idea what language or what areas you want to focus on. Many boot camps will also help place you in a job.

Looking for Work?

Already lessoned up and ready to start a new programming job? Did you know Artisan specializes in placing all kinds of nerds in all kinds of cool jobs? From UX to Graphic Designers, we can help you land your next gig.

Contact us to find out how we can help get your career to the next level.

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