These days, there are very few jobs that don’t involve some level of technology use. But while most of us are quite happy to simply be at the user end of that technology, you may be someone who wants to get stuck in and get involved in creating the systems and interfaces that the rest of us use.

In this blog post we take a closer look at what you might gain from choosing a career in programming.

What makes a good programmer?

Regardless of your background, there are some key traits or skills you need in order to be a successful programmer. And of these, the most important will be your ability to solve complex problems. You need to have a curious and tenacious mind that can analyse complex problems and design solutions to solve them. Whatever flavour of programming you get involved in, you will need to have the ability to understand abstract elements and follow a logical thread throughout various segments of code.

If you have an analytical streak which you have been able to apply in other areas of business, perhaps in finance or statistics, you may find yourself with a natural flair for learning a programming language. Alternatively, if you have graphic design skills you may have the potential to become a great interface designer and visual front-end developer.

How to get started with programming

There is no set, pre-defined path to becoming a programmer. In fact, there are many new, interesting entry points which were not so common just a few years ago. Rather than just searching for ‘wiz kids’ fluent in coding languages since childhood, companies are increasingly welcoming mature professionals who have a strong understanding of the business world and have developed various other skills alongside their passion for technology.

However, if you are curious about whether a career shift might work for you, it’s worth looking at taking an aptitude test for things like numerical reasoning and problem solving. There are free sample tests available online, such as this one from ComputerAptitude .

Reasons to pursue a programming career

So, what are the benefits of working in programming? We’ve listed some of the reasons why we see people shifting into a software development or coding career.

  1. You have opportunities without a degree
    Many organisations don’t require programming candidates to have a formal degree. They will be more interested in looking at your ability to learn on the job, your ability to work as part of a team and your willingness to tackle challenges. There is a huge amount of training courses available for major languages such as C#, Python, PHP, HTML, JavaScript and more – some of which you can learn to master in a matter of months.
  2. You will be in demand
    The job market for programmers is excellent overall, but depending on what you choose to specialise in, you can become highly sought after. Industries such as banking, utilities and manufacturing are investing heavily in software development at the moment, but each sector will have their own specialist requirements.Whatever your main focus is, it’s a good idea to aim to have more than one area of expertise. This means that you’d be able to rapidly move into an alternative role in case your primary programming language becomes obsolete or less popular.
  3. You will be a valued team member
    Teamwork is absolutely critical in all types of software development. The end solution will always depend on every member of the team making a valuable contribution, which makes you an important piece of the puzzle.In a modern business environment, programmers need to use a range of ‘people skills’ to engage and communicate with their colleagues and customers. You will be expected to share your knowledge and relay information that helps the entire team to make progress.More and more organisations adopt methodologies like Agile software development, which focuses heavily on creating a collaborative atmosphere where everyone adds value and learns from each other. This in turn results in faster delivery and higher quality of the end solution.
  4. You will be constantly learning
    Programmers are on a constant learning journey. This can of course be said for most roles in business, but programmers do need to stay particularly well informed about new technological solutions and innovations. The ability to harness new ideas or platforms can make all the difference when it comes to a business’ ability to stay competitive in the marketplace.Many employers will work with you to build a development plan that allows you to do sponsored training and get various qualifications that will benefit you as well as the business.
  5. You will have fun
    If you are a natural problem-solver, you will enjoy the process of creating software features and fixing bugs. You will get a great sense of achievement and satisfaction from delivering a solution that improves – perhaps even revolutionises – the way a business operates. And if you have been careful to choose an employer who knows how to reward its teams’ performance, you will get plenty of recognition for your contributions!

Making a career shift

If you’re curious about moving into programming as a career, take the time to carefully research various platforms and languages to see what might fit you best. Do you prefer desktop software development, mobile app creation, database development, or website development? You may want to interview developers with different specialisms, to get first-hand insight of what their job is like.

Here at One Beyond, our talented developers would be happy to talk to you about what it’s like to work at one of the UK’s leading bespoke software development companies!