When the computer stops working, doesn’t your work come to a standstill? That’s because we are all now dependent on our application software instead of paper files for work. That’s because we have started storing data on a virtual cloud, are barely using printers and even communicating more through email than telephones.
Given that we are using a software for everything – storing data, organizing work, communicating and carrying out operations, the demand for a software developer remains high.
Even though you might say that there is at least one to serve any purpose – be it virus protection, internal communication or managing accounts, there are still plenty of companies who need their personal software to carry out certain operations. To add to it, you will always have the scope to create something unique.
What is a Software Application?
When we were kids, someone explained the difference between software and hardware in a very simple way. They said the hardware is like the brain – something you can touch and feel at a physical level and you can understand its parts and functioning. On the other hand, the software is like the mind – you can see what it does, yet it has no physical existence.
Now, if I want to define in more technical terms, a software application is a set of computer programs that helps you perform a task. It has a user-friendly interface and functionality that helps you finish a complicated task with ease and speed.
Be it art, science, data analysis or accounts, a software is used in literally every field today. Even the operating system of your computer and smart phone is technically a software. Coming to application software, the examples you’ll relate to the most are your antivirus, your Microsoft office suite and the browser you’re using right now.
What Does a Software Developer Do – Scope of Software Engineering
If you are willing to become a software developer, your biggest achievement can go till becoming the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. All these tech giants started off with a small-scale software business that grew to become a revolution.
I won’t say that every software engineer can have that kind of an achievement. Today, you start off with a well-paid job in an established company, creating software solutions with a team of engineers like you for different companies.
Your key tasks will involve:
- Coming up with an idea that solves your client’s problem
- Designing the interface
- Developing the functionality
- Checking and rectifying errors
- Making it ready to use
There are mostly 2 types of solutions you can create:
- Customized applications for businesses like CRM software or an ERP system.
- Creating software as a service that can be used by anyone through the web browser itself – like Microsoft Office 365 or the GSuite.
Popular Software Applications We Use
Your job profile might be limited to creating solutions only for the company’s clients. However, if you’re passionate and ambitious, no one can stop you from creating your own masterpiece.
Here’s an inspiration you can take from the existing software companies whose solutions are being used worldwide:
Back in 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen decided to make money through their programming skills. Now that was a time when computers were totally different – after all the Windows OS we use is also their creation. From making $16,000 in its first year, it makes $10,959,000 a day today.
Apart from the Windows OS and Microsoft Office Suite, they’ve created plenty of other solutions that we use for personal and professional use like Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Visio.
In years, I haven’t seen a computer that doesn’t have a PDF. Why just computers? Every smartphone has it too.
Founded in 1982, way before we even got our Windows OS, the company made its way from John Warnock’s garage to making $11 billion in 2019.
This US-based MNC has given us some applications we are all dependent on like the Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Reader. In the business world, their image and video editing software – Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere respectively are also used very popularly.
They’re most popularly known for their graphic creator and editor, Corel Draw. They have many other solutions in the same field like PaintShop Pro and Video Studio.
The Canadian company was found in 1985 as a research lab. However, they grew big in the 90s when they introduced Corel Draw to graphic designers. Today, the company makes $300 million a year.
Success Tips to Become the Best Software Engineer
You have the inspiration from the world around you to build a software of your own. However, that’s not it. Your inspiration and passion need the aid of knowledge, skills and experience to become a professional.
Here are 8 things you should remember when you’re on the journey towards success:
Never Stop Learning
When you’re in the field of technology, learning should never stop for you. That’s because programming languages and software keep developing with time. So, when you want to create your own, it has to be ideally more advanced than what you’ve seen so far.
Today, online education has made it easier for us to learn while we’re still working. I’ve even listed a few courses on the section below, just to give you an insight on advanced courses you can take up on software development.
Keep the User’s Requirements in Mind
The software is not meant for your personal use – it’s meant for your client. Whether it’s for an organization or for the general public, the user’s expectations from the application have to be kept in mind. In fact, you even need to have provisions for including what the users want later on in the software.
This requirement is not just restricted to the functionality of the software, but also its accessibility. Gone are the days when people were dependent on their own laptop for working. Today, you should be able to do anything you want from your phone – or even someone else’s. This is the reason why software as a service is always better as it is accessible from any device with ease.
Consider the User of Your Software to be a Layman
When you design a software, do it for a user who could be the least tech-friendly person. This helps you create a user-friendly interface. In most cases, applications gain users when their interface is easier to use. In fact, you also have to ensure that the interface is engaging for the user. Of course, you can’t ignore the fact that your user needs to get all the features he might be expecting from it.
Keep Your Backend as Clean and Organized as Possible
When you create a software, you need to update it with time too. What you make today will be outdated after 20 years. So, even if you’re the only one with the access to the backend of the software, keep your code clean. This makes it easy for you to run tests, discover and rectify errors and make updates as time and technology advance.
Remember to be Better than the Rest – Not at Par
Suppose, you’re asked to make an image editing software and you come up with an exact replica of Adobe Photoshop – will it work? Of course not! You need to provide some additional features that your competitors can’t offer.
When you are a part of this field, you will be one of the persons responsible for “advancement in technology”. Your software could change the working environment in a company, the way of learning in an institute or a man’s hobby – depending on what you’ve created.
Understand How Other Software Developers Code
You can learn different techniques and languages through courses but when you see practical uses of them, that is when you learn. We have already seen how software development is a regular process of learning and this is a great way to do so.
If you want to become a successful developer, you should learn how other successful developers write their codes. You can browse GitHub repositories where you can read codes from other developers. When you learn how other developers write their codes, it helps you a lot. This helps you in debugging your codes.
While you are going through other developers’ codes, don’t just glance through it. Make sure you have deep insight of how the codes were written and what the developer must be thinking while writing the codes.
Try to understand the functionality of the codes and make a dos and don’ts list. Often, people overlook this aspect of learning and developing their skills but this can help you become a successful developer in the long run.
Become a Part of a Community
If you are new in the trade, you should try and be a part of any software development community. This way you can learn new tips and tricks regularly from the community. These communities will be very helpful in your work.
If you are stuck somewhere, people in the community can help you out. Likewise, if others post their problems in the community you can also try and help them out. This allows you to get to learn new techniques regularly.
These communities can be a great inspiration for you. It gets quite frustrating when you are stuck somewhere and not able to resolve it. The community inspires you to overcome those problems.
Try to Be a Problem Solver
To be a successful developer, it is important to have the right mindset. It is important to have problem solving mind set. You should always ask yourself what the problem is and how you can solve it. Technology is there to make our lives easier and if you can learn how to solve problems, you can become successful.
Learn Software Design and Development Online
As we discussed, the road to success begins from education. When it comes to the field of technology, the more skills you have, the better it is. So, you can go to the world’s best college for a B. Tech but some additional certificate courses will really enhance your skill set. Here’s what you can learn:
Designed for python developers, this course will help you further enhance your skills in the field. You’ll be learning the new QML 3, Python native threading, building GUI applications and create a new wheel for PyPi.
Instructor Name: Ampofo Amoh – Gyebi
Instructor Rating: 3.8
Course Rating: 3.8
If you work with Scrum, then this course will provide some excellent polishing to your skills. It will really help you out as a program manager as you’ll be getting a better overview on using the software and in fact become a master by the end of this course.
Instructor Name: Paul Ashun
Instructor Rating: 4.4
Course Rating: 4.0
Designed for JAVA and IDE developers, this course is designed for professionals who wish to enhance their skills in building enterprise applications, write integration tests, test applications, consume data from clients using HTTP and work with Spring Boot.
Instructor Name: Nelson Jamal
Instructor Rating: 4.5
Course Rating: 4.5
Are you working as a junior project manager or may be at a lower position in the Agile team? Well, it’s time to work on your promotion. Take up this course to learn about estimates in Scrum framework, Kanban and Waterfall methodology, features that help you prioritize and communication techniques.
Instructor Name: Nicolae Andronic
Instructor Rating: 4.5
Course Rating: 4.5
Designed for existing DevOps engineers, this course will enhance your ability to work with the software. You’ll be learning how to use Git, GitHub, Nexus, Jira, Git LFS, Jenkins and integrating all these tools with one another.
Instructor Name: Moss Normand
Instructor Rating: 4.8
Course Rating: 4.8
Can You Start Your Own Software Company?
If you look back to see how Steve Jobs or Larry Page started their companies, you’ll learn it started from a garage. However, on today’s date, you have the liberty to start from the comfort of your very own bedroom. All you need is the will and the skill to build your own software.
So far, you got the tips to become a good professional and some courses that you can take-up to enhance your skills. Now, we see how far can you actually go in this field.
Not every software engineer has the ability to become an entrepreneur. However, you could be one of the few who can. So, the answer to the above question is yes – you can start your own software company. And in today’s world, there are plenty of ways in which you can grab this opportunity once you’ve gained experience with good software companies:
Become a Part-Time Freelancer
While you’re still working for a company, you can use freelance platforms on the internet and work as an individual during your free time. Talk to clients directly and create software solutions on your own for them. When you’re confident and have plenty of clients in hand, it’s time for you to take a step forward.
Have an Idea in Your Mind? Don’t Wait for Money – Just Execute it!
You know how Google started from a garage. The founders knew what they were creating and just started working on it. That’s one of the biggest advantages that anyone in the field of technology has – the opportunity is always there. Once it’s ready, find the right time to launch your creation. You think the Zoom app would have gained the popularity it has right now if the world didn’t undergo a lockdown? However, Eric Yuan made this way back in 2012.
So, your creation will find its way into the world – provided its features are up to date. And while you’re at it, take your time.
The Key to Becoming a Company from an Individual is Marketing
Whether you’re one of those who makes apps for business organizations or those who has this great app the entire world uses, you need to know how to sell your work. There are chances that you have better competitors in some corner of the world, but if you use the right platform at the right time to sell your product or service, you win.
Are You Ready?
You had your will when you landed here, and now that you’ve come so far, you have the way too. Technology is one field where demand will never reduce. In a progressing world, you’ll always have the opportunity to provide your own creation.
We have come far today, reducing the size of the devices we use while the storage space within increases. Shifting from paper to virtual clouds has been a long journey, but hasn’t closed doors for you to introduce anything new.
So, are you ready to create a software that changes the world?