Keen to get into the software development game? The industry is booming so there are loads of opportunities for talented and driven developers. If you're starting a career, or choosing which courses to study at university, consider giving some attention to the world of coding and software development. If you've ever wondered how that augmented reality Snapchat filter works, or how a status can be shared to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this could be the industry for you. Here are 5 steps to take if you want to become a software developer in Johannesburg...
How to become a software developer in Joburg
1). Have a clear goal
Before you dive into a new industry, or change your career path to follow a true passion, it's important to know where it is you want to go. And why you're making this commitment. A general goal would be to become a successful software developer, but what does that mean? Do you want to work for an established IT company? Or be part of a smaller team where the role is less structured? Do you want to start your own development company one day? Answering these questions early on will make it easier to tackle bumps in the road as you work towards becoming a software developer in Joburg.
2). Be aware of trends in SA
South Africa tends to be a bit behind when it comes to international trends, which can be useful for up-and-coming developers. Our lag gives you more time to anticipate upcoming trends. But that doesn't mean you can ignore current development trends in South Africa. At the moment, there's a debate around which framework is most beneficial to use.
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According OfferZen's 2021 State of South Africa's Software Developer Nation report, developers want to work with React and Angular, but most don't. Those are the top two most-wanted frameworks, but the most-used are still ASP.NET and .NET Core. What does this mean for aspiring software developers in Joburg? To be on the safe side, focus on your Angular knowledge because it falls into both categories. But know that React looks likely to become a top-used framework for the future. Some experience with that is sure to come in handy.
3). Learn the latest technologies
4). Read from the best
If you're just starting out in the industry, it's great if you can learn - or read - from the best. Thankfully, because of how developers work, there are ways to see what the professionals are doing without leaving your laptop. As a junior developer in Joburg, spend some time visiting sites like GitHub repositories and looking through documentation. While documentation does sometimes go wrong, the source code in these sites is mostly accurate. And there's loads to be learnt from reading code written by experienced developers.
5). Build your own projects
This is one of those industries where nothing is really a substitute for hardcore practical experience. With any new role, there's going to be a certain amount of on-the-job learning. And, if you're familiar with a certain language - even if it's just one - or have built one or two of your own projects, you'll pick things up that much quicker. As you learn to code, you develop your own skills and set yourself on a firmer path to employment.
We hope to see many more software developers becoming part of the innovative Joburg industry!