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Education and Training Required to Become a Successful Programmer

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The most sought-after people in the tech world are programmers As we move towards a fully digitized existence, possessing IT skills of any kind is not only a necessity but also very lucrative.

As it is, most sought-after people in the tech world are computer and mobile app programmers. As smartphone and Internet penetration gradually moves towards the 100% mark, there is a need for more apps and computer software to meet the various needs, wants and requirements of our time and programmers are at the center of it all.

As you’re here, we take it that you’re passionate about being a successful programmer, but like with everything else, passion alone is not enough. You need to go through a comprehensive training program to even be considered a decent one as we explain below.

But first things first.

Who is a Programmer?

A programmer is basically a person who uses their skills and knowledge to write code, or rather specific set of instructions which directs the performance of a computer or mobile program. Depending on the user devices, the programming code can be written in one of the various programming languages available including Java, SQL, JavaScript, C# and Python which we’re sure you have heard about.

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In the past, programmers often relied on software developers and engineers for program designs and frameworks. This, however, has changed with the introduction of assisted software engineering tools and open source codes that have made programming much easier.

How Much Do Programmers Earn?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average annual income for computer programmers for the year 2017 at $82,240. This is slightly more than the average income for majority of employees in America and more experienced programmers may earn more than $100k on a good year.

With more and more industries and companies looking to go digital, the demand for programming services is set to increase significantly over the next decade which, coupled with the low number of skilled professionals, will inadvertently result in higher pay for the decent programmers.

 What Are The Educational Requirements Needed to Be a Programmer?

The type of qualifications you need primarily dependent on your ambitions and goals, but still, there are some general requirements that you need to meet to be considered a programmer worth his salt. These fall into 3 categories that are not necessarily exclusive of each other as follows:

Programming Degree

Unless you want to do freelance work throughout your career or only want to learn to code as a hobby, it is advisable to acquire credible certification from qualified colleges. Depending on your plans and preferences, you can go for a Computer Programming degree or diploma or a more general IT degree. All the major universities, whether in the US or globally offer either or both of these courses or at the very least, a variant of them so you shouldn’t have any problem enrolling into a program.

If you don’t feel like quitting your day job to focus on studies, you can take customized online courses, commonly known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from any of the universities offering them. Matter of fact, you may get lucky and get admission to a university you may never have been admitted to for a regular course and mode of study. We’re talking renowned universities such as Purdue University, University of Michigan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and John Hopkins University.

Complimentary Certificates

While a programming degree will mostly suffice, you will have much better chances in the job market as well as be a better-rounded programmer if you have a couple of IT certificates to complement your degree. Short certificate courses like CISCO courses, Microsoft Certified Systems Associate (MCSA) programs and the Google IT Support Professional Certificate teach you the fundamentals of programming and are valuable additions to your credentials.

It would also be much better if you acquired a certificate for every language you master. For instance, you can pursue an online JavaScript Developer Certificate from online educational sites like Udemy, edX or Coursera to add to your programming degree or diploma and standout from the increasingly bigger crowd of programmers. As mentioned elsewhere in this page, being a successful programmer is a function of all your qualifications added to your experience and personal drive.

Hands-on Experience

If you have hopes or ambitions of getting any well-paying job, you will need to rack up a decent work portfolio that showcases your programming skills, knowledge and experience. You may have all the academic certificates but those are more important to you and your family than your clients and furthermore, gaining practical experience is a significant part of the education process. In fact, very few clients will ask you about your degree or certifications. It is your experience that will impress clients and give you a continuous flow of well-paying jobs.

To gain experience, you don’t necessarily need to work on paid projects. You can always code apps and websites for your personal use or even for friends. The key is to put into practice what you’ve learned theoretically and keep on making improvements to your techniques and methodology. Writing code in different languages is also a great idea as it makes you more versatile and you are therefore able to work on a broader range of projects and improve your earnings.

Additional Training to Be a Successful Programmer

Additional training is necessary

Everyone wants to succeed in whatever endeavors they embark on, and we do not doubt that you also wish to not only learn how to write code but also be successful in the trade. In that case, academic credentials are not enough. It is important to keep striving to learn things including coding languages, Operating Systems specifications, and Database management trends.

One way to keep abreast of new technology, exchange knowledge and interact with fellow developers is by attending Coding Bootcamps whenever you can. If you are in the US, you have a wide range of boot camps to choose from, including the critically acclaimed AppAcademy and Flatiron School. These boot camps offer lessons on a variety of programming concepts, from front-end development to Android app development and are usually very affordable.

Another way is to go back to class and acquire a higher, more specialized degree. This way, you will be eligible for higher paying jobs, and if you trust your knowledge, you can establish a consultancy service for companies and rookie developers.

Above all, work on your communication skills, particularly written English grammar or any of the major world languages to ensure effective communication with clients and reduce misunderstandings. This is especially so when dealing with foreign clients who may have only a basic grasp of English.

Final Thoughts

Computer programming, being one of the most technical specialty fields, requires considerable learning, training, and practice in addition to passion, drive and hunger for success. There is no shortcut in the area; it’s either you know how to design systems, write code, correct bugs and errors and execute programs – everything involved in programming – or don’t. It’s also worth noting that lack of skills is very noticeable in programming, more so than in other fields and it’s always good to be honest with yourself if you can’t be with others.

About the author: Sophia Clark is a creative writer. She is working on several projects. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing fiction. Her big dream is to publish a book one day. Connect with her on G+.
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  1. nice post.

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