10 Steps To Become A Software Developer In 2020

3 min readAug 24, 2020
Photo by Diomari Madulara on Unsplash

Today I want to go over how you can become a Software Developer in the year 2020. We all know this has been a challenging year for a lot of us and you have to make sure to stand out from others. This plan will help you do that.

Here is the 10 step plan.

  1. Master the fundamentals.
    Regardless of your language of choice be JavaScript, Python, Go you should know the following
    - Variables
    - Conditionals
    - For Loops
    - While Loops
    - Object-Oriented Programming
    - Recursion
    You can cover all this and more in the free Galvanize Software Engineering Prep course.
  2. Be comfortable with problem-solving.
    This will set you apart from other job candidates during your interviews.
    - Develop your problem-solving skills by solving challenges on HackerRank or Project Euler or codewars.
    - Learn how to solve FizzBuzz. Here is Repl naive implementation in Python and an optimized implementation I wrote.
    - If applying for a Full-Stack position or if you are constantly running into algorithms interview challenges; learn algorithms. For JavaScript Developers this is a good free source from Front End Masters A Practical Guide to Algorithms with JavaScript.
  3. Build real-world projects for your portfolio.
    This is essential for those without practical experience because it demonstrates your skills to a potential employer almost tangibly.
    - You can partner up with friends, or in Meetup groups to work on real-world projects. Currently, a lot of these meetups are online.
    - Create applications that are valuable. For instance some automation with Python, data analytics.
  4. Do open source and learn GIT and the Terminal like your life depends on it.
    Professionally you’ll be using GIT and the Terminal on a daily basis and knowing them really well will help you succeed and impress during your first days a Software Developer.
    GIT is like a time machine for your code. If you make a mistake you can go back in time. Also, GIT is not the same thing as GITHUB.
  5. Learn to read code.
    Read the code of other people who are at the same level as you. This allows you to understand and get value out of their code. If they are too good you won’t understand anything.
  6. Study the Masters.
    - Read JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan considered the JavaScript Bible.
    - Read “You Don’t Know JS: Up and Going” by Kyle Simpson which provides the necessary background for those with limited knowledge about programming.
    - Read Eloquent Javascript” by Marijn Haverbeke for a full intro to the JavaScript world.
  7. Learn how to READ and WRITE documentation.
    This shows potential employers that you care about your code being maintainable and readable to HUMANS (other developers in this case). Take a look at Udacity’s free Writing READMEs course.
  8. Apply to lots of places.
    - Start by applying to about 30 jobs per day, do keep in mind you should spend time being specific, informed, and targeting your potential job leads. Do NOT SPAM apply. Levels.fyi can help if you are having trouble figuring out your salary range.
  9. Be ok with REJECTION.
    Getting rejected hurts but by no means allow it to happen and not let it affect you. When I was looking for my first developer job I was rejected multiple times, so many I lost count.
  10. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
    Realize that imposter syndrome will follow you for the rest of your career. If it’s no longer there it means you are no challenging your self and not growing. Don’t be complacent, challenge yourself!

Now get out there and get that job of your dreams and best of luck to you out there. Thanks for ready and don’t forget those claps.

— jQN




I'm a Full-Stack Software Engineer who believes in the power of technology to change and improve lives. Connect with me on https://twitter.com/FullStackJQN