Are you curious about coding and considering becoming a web developer, but unsure if you would be good at it or if web development is the right career path for you? At its core, software development is about approaching problems and figuring out creative solutions.
Puzzles and Logic
Do you like logic puzzles and games? Many developers do! “A large part of coding is seeing the problem and searching for solutions,” says Dev Bootcamp alumni Donald Lang, a personal coach in the tech world who decided to learn coding to better relate with his developer clients. Lang discovered that he “developed quit a passion for coding,” and now he’s made it his career. “I decided I like the puzzles and the general feeling of coding, addressing things in a clear and logical fashion that would help people.”
Collaboration and Teamwork
Lang points out that being a developer is about more than just learning to code. Good communication skills help you collaborate with your team and your clients. “When you have a tough decision to make, you’re able to talk about it and articulate it. This allows you to work better with others, and when you’re working better with others, you’re able to build better tools with people.” says Lang.
This skill is especially important when facing clients. “A large number of projects fail because of bad communication,” Lang says. “Having good communication skills allows you to work better with the client and to find out what they want, so you’re not spending hours producing what they accidentally miscommunicated to you.”
Developers are great at solving problems. Ryan Lambert, a graduate of Metis, a data science bootcamp, explains the developer’s mindset when it comes to problem-solving. “Software has taught me that problems can be really huge but you can break them down into smaller parts,” he says. “In programming, you can just keep slicing, making it smaller and smaller and even simpler. It’s not like that in other industries.”
Lambert adds that this approach has served him well in programming and life in general. “There’s a lot I don’t know, but I’m less afraid of challenges now,” he says. It’s the kind of shift in thinking that he believes makes people feel “empowered.”
Solving puzzles with logical solutions can take a lot of attempts before coming up with that ah-ha moment. In software it’s called iteration, and it’s a big part of the development process. “You’re tying something, you see if it succeeds or fails, if it fails you try to figure out why it fails, then you try something new,” says Lambert. “It’s a lot of iterating,” he admits, but also says “after a while you don’t even think about it.”
Keep on Learning
Developers are constantly learning. “Languages come out all the time, new kinds of languages where you have totally different paradigms,” Lambert says. “Learning new things in software, that’s the daily practice. You’re never done.”
If you think coding might be right for you, both Lambert and Lang suggest you try it out with any of the many free or low-cost resources like these compiled by Dev Bootcamp teachers, staff and alumni. “Do your due diligence, and do research before you engage in an event that’s supposed to help you in life,” recommends Lang.
“If you’re interested in coding you should try it!” he adds, “Because the more diversity, the wider variety of background we add to coding, the more likely we are to build tools that are accessible to more people.”
The Magic of Coding
Lang offers one final piece of advice. “If you love learning and exploring new things, and working with creative and passionate people who love to solve problems, coding could definitely be for you.”
The possibilities are endless, adds Lambert. “It’s so funny the things you can use it for,” he says. “You feel like a magician.”