How To Find Your First Job In Software

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There are so many possibilities within the world of software, with a range of roles, tools, and applications. In this guide, we will visit the different types of developers, what skills employers are looking for and how to improve your portfolio.  

What Type of Developer Do You Want To Be? 

One of the first steps is to determine what type of software development you would like to do. 

Front-End Developer

A Front-End Developer is responsible for the user-facing side of a website or database. Working on the structure and design of web pages, building codes that will be used by others, optimising the web pages for load times and using multiple languages to format websites.  

Back-End Developer

Back-End Developers oversee building and maintaining the systems that process data and carry out actions on web pages and websites. Being a Back-End Developer means you will be heavily involved with data storage, the security of it and general server-based functions.    

Application Developer 

Application Development involves coding programmes for use on mobile operating systems such as Apple, Android, and Windows. There are many steps that Application Developers must work through, first, they must code the application, and then they are in charge of testing it and providing updates where needed.  

There are many other types of software development, so make sure you do some research and find out which one best suits your interests and skills.  

Learn Programming Languages 

Now you know what type of developer you would like to be, the next step would be to learn skills relevant to that role. Most skills are transferable across different roles, such as programming languages and tools.

When it comes to learning code there is a vast range of different languages with a range of different uses so defining which code will work best for your role is important.  

Front-End Developers

For Front-End Developers, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML are critical tools to know, as well as general operating systems, web browsers and software structures. For those wanting to learn JavaScript and HTML, Command Shift and Codecademy both run educational courses from beginner upwards, helping you boost your skill set for potential employers.  

Back-End Developers

Popular languages and tools used by Back-End Developers consist of Python, Java and databases like Ruby. There are many languages and database tools that you can learn, so it’s worth having a look around and finding the ones that work well with your current skill set. Sololearn hosts courses covering multiple languages and tools.  

Build your Portfolio 

A portfolio consists of any skills, certificates, awards and achievements and projects that you have worked on. This should include a bio, any languages, and tools that you are proficient in, and a link to your resume or CV.

You should provide details of the projects that you have worked on, these can be personal or professional, as long as you have worked on the project and can show what you did and demonstrate your skills and knowledge. 

Your portfolio could consist of websites you have built, databases, and any games or applications you have coded. There are so many examples of things you could include. Just make sure that it is something you know you can explain when it comes to the interview. 

Apply for a Software Developer apprenticeship 

By enrolling on an apprenticeship, you will earn a wage whilst gaining skills, knowledge, and a nationally recognised qualification to make you stand out as an industry professional.

Getting into any role within software can be difficult without any experience or qualification, there is a lot of competition within the industry for roles and most companies advertising for a junior or entry role will expect you to have existing experience and a qualification to match this. That’s why an apprenticeship can be perfect for anyone looking to start there career, as it is an accessible route into the industry for anyone who lacks experience or qualifications. As long as you have a passion and understanding of the industry, an apprenticeship could be a perfect first step on your career journey.

We offer a Level 3 Junior Software Developer programme, which will teach you how to become a confident coder and designer, and how to use databases. Our course offers an all-round development experience covering topics like software design and development, the software lifecycle and web technologies. Among other benefits, you will work with one of our dedicated coaches who will guide you through your apprenticeship and support you through your training and end-point assessment. 

What’s Next? 

Finding your first job can be scary, but it can also be a very rewarding experience. 

Make sure to have a look around and consider what type of Developer you want to be, build the relevant skills, and have a portfolio that will allow employers to see what you are capable of!

Take a look at our Software Developer apprenticeship programmes:

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