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Who wants to be a programmer?

There could be many reasons why you want to change your career. You don’t see any opportunities, your health state makes it impossible or you’re simply burned out, unsatisfied and sick of your current work. Whatever the reason is, you need to know that it’s not an easy journey, so don’t rush it. Many times you will find yourself frustrated or resigned, and you have to be prepared for that. Both mentally and physically. First of all, make sure that you are really ready for a change. You will need to say goodbye, to all benefits and promotions, you had in your current work, go back to the beginning and start to gain new experience. It takes a lot of courage and humility. Give yourself a time to get into the right mindset. Be clear about your final goal, and commit to it. It will help you stay on track.

Heaven for everyone…

As we mentioned before, many career changers, turning into IT market and programming. IT sector evolving very fast, giving a long range of challenges and opportunities for new employees. Also, there is a large gap between needs in this market and the number of specialists and because of that, it’s much easier to get a job, even for the beginners. You will find many companies who do their best to attract future employees with offering high salaries and very good working conditions. With very low unemployment rate and above-average work-life balance IT is one of the most lucrative sectors, that looks like a promised land for everyone, where benefits coming for workers without any effort.

… or maybe not.

If the idea of programming came to your mind, there is few things that you need to know about, before you just jump into it. To work as a programmer means to solve the problems. Languages and frameworks are just tools for it. To know how to use them you need to know how to think analytically, be determined, patient, and focused on details. If one of those aren’t defying who you are, you can be sure that you will find programming very frustrating, pretty fast. It’s also good to be lazy. No, it’s not a joke. Ability to finding, and using simplest ways to solve problems is essential in programmers work, and a lazy attitude is helping with this a lot. You need to be prepared for the fact, that you may not be able to get a full-time job right after you will appear on IT market. There are a lot of junior developers out there and companies are looking mainly for qualified workers. Salaries for programmers are high, but with them comes bigger responsibilities. You need to adjust your expectations to the level of your knowledge and focus on self-developing. The first couple of years may not look like, dream come true for you, so you have to be patient and don’t give up.

Per Aspera ad Astra.

When it comes for programming, a good attitude is just half of success. Without particular skills and knowledge, you will not go too far in this environment. You need to find your way to acquire those skills. When starting out, many people get stuck deciding which language (and framework) they should learn. Be aware that the most popular technologies are not always the best choice for beginners. We have one very transparent example for this statement. We decided to show you how to write a simple program, that checks if a given number is odd or even, in 3 different languages.
JAVA:


import java.util.Scanner;
class OddOrEven
{
    public static void main(String args[])
    {
        int x;
        System.out.println("Enter a number: ");
        Scanner in = new Scanner(System.in);
        x = in.nextInt();
        if (x % 2 == 0)
            System.out.println("The number is even.");
        else
            System.out.println("The number is odd.");
    }
}

C#:


using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
namespace check1
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            int i;
            Console.Write("Enter a Number: ");
            i = int.Parse(Console.ReadLine());
            if (i % 2 == 0)
            {
                Console.Write("The number is even");
                Console.Read();
            }
            else
            {
            Console.Write("The number is odd");
            Console.Read();
            }
        }
    }
}

PYTHON:


num = int(input("Enter a number: "))
if (num % 2) == 0:
    print("The number is even”)
else:
    print("The number is odd”)

In every example program will ask for a number, and display response that “The number is even” or “The number is odd” message. It just speaks for itself does it? If you want to find more details about our favourite language, you are more than welcome, to check out our blog post about Python. It’s wise to begin with, something easy and user-friendly.
When it comes to web development, we will advise you to check out the Django framework. With fully documented and explained tutorial it’s perfect knowledge source. Just one line of code:


$ django-admin startproject myfirstproject

gives you a fully established base for a web project, ready for you to develop. And yes, it’s all for free.
And there is great news for you. Once you know a particular language or framework well, you can easily transition to new ones. What you want to focus on the beginning is understanding programming fundamentals. In essence, learn how to learn. There are many available options, that could help you with that. There are hundreds of great books and free online programming courses out there. Find them, use them. They will help you with the basics. Once you have foundations, consider participating in some course or boot camp. Having experienced teacher helps with the understanding of more complicated topics and with acquiring good habits.

Train yourself

One of the most important aspects to remember is the fact that, you need to be focused on self-learning and continuously developing your newly acquired skills. Use tools that developers use. Read blogs and Twitter, attend meetings, and conferences. Create a GitHub account, and start creating your own projects. Practice, practice and practice some more. Learning by doing is something that does matter the most in programmers world. Set aside a significant amount of time every day, every week, to learning. Some people say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Now, you don’t need to sacrament so many hours to get your first software developer job, but to become an expert you will need to dedicate some serious time.

There is no such thing as “stupid question”

One of the most beautiful things about the idea of programming is the fact that is based on the community. Programmes may seem to be scary and strange people, but we assure you that it’s not true. It’s really hard to find other working groups so open for sharing knowledge and helping others. This is one of the reasons, why this environment is evolving so quickly. On pages like stackoverflow.com, you can ask your questions to millions of programmers from all over the world. Any of us never felt, ridiculed or spurred by any fellow developer. We were all at the beginning once, and learning someone it’s a way to consolidate our own knowledge.

Get to the source

GitHub is one of the most powerful tools for you to work and learn with. By browsing through its repositories, you will find tons of documented, open source projects. To get real benefit from it you need to learn how to read other people’s code. It’s always more than one solution for a task in programming, and it makes it even more beautiful. Many people have different approaches to different problems. By reading their code you’ll be able to understand their ideas for a program to work. It will really benefit you to see how experienced developers do things.

Be brave

All of these sounds like a lot of work right? Yes it is, but it is absolutely doable. The need for professional developers is still increasing so with enough effort, you can make your dream come true, and become one of them. Find your way, and take your time. You’ll get frustrated sometimes, but keep in mind that a couple of years from now, everything you’re stressing about won’t even matter. Move forward, keep calm and code!


Marcin
Marcin
Python Developer
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