Becoming a programmer is not an easy road to take. The majority of people that want to take this career path are intimidated by the long list of things they have to learn on the way.
Whether you are considering a full-stack, front-end, or back-end, the list of programming languages and applications that need to be mastered is not small and, at first glance, may seem daunting.
But not all paths to starting a career as a programmer are the same and equally challenging. The great thing is that you can start your career in the tech industry with different skills and upgrade them over time. You can learn new languages and technologies and continuously develop your career in every direction you want.
There are several ways to start a career as a programmer, depending on your affinities and how much time you will invest in studying.
We created this guide to help you choose the best option for you, give you an idea of how long it would take you to start working as a programmer, and overcome the initial fear of the unknown.
The good news is that we are here to help you along every step of the way.
Types of developers
1. Front-end developer
The front-end part of a website is everything you see on the page and interact directly with. Buttons, menus, widgets, shapes, etc., are some of the things a front-end programmer does. In other words, the front-end web development is the part of the site or application that runs in our browser or devices.
It is often confused with web design, which annoys many developers. Yes, design is an essential part of a front-end programmer’s job, but most of the time and effort comes down to writing code and bringing all the page elements in perfect order and functionality so that the whole experience is enjoyable for the end-user.
The developer ensures that the website or application is device-friendly and that our devices will use the available resources optimally. This is the perfect career for creative people who want precision and functionality and have the patience to sort things all over again.
Here is a list of things a front-end programmer needs to know to kickstart a career in this field:
- HTML and CSS:
These are the basics of any website because everything would be just black text on a white background without them. Luckily, they are easy to learn and require just a few weeks to gain solid knowledge.
Almost all programming languages have frameworks. Nowadays, it’s impossible to imagine coding without using one of them. Each framework has its advantages and disadvantages. It is crucial to check if its functions correspond to the project you are working on when choosing a framework for web development.
- RESTful API:
Representational State Transfer may seem scary at first glance, but it’s a relatively simple architecture for communicating services over the web. RESTful API services are sets of practices that need to be followed for different web services to communicate seamlessly with each other.
In case you were wondering, the average time to start working as a front-end programmer from scratch is between 10 and 12 months.
2. Back-end developer
The back-end developer’s responsibility is to solve problems all the time. In other words, he applies new ways to make the website or application work better and more efficiently.
The back-end is the part of the website or application that you don’t see and interact with directly. It runs on the server, and it makes the website or application work correctly. The back-end part refers to things that happen in the background, such as logging in to a particular page, putting products in a shopping bag, communicating with a chatbot, and so on.
Here is a list of things a back-end developer should be familiar with:
- Server-side programming languages:
Good knowledge of at least one such programming language as PHP, Python, .Net, etc., is undoubtedly a must for any back-end developer. For example, PHP and Python are open-source programming languages, with large communities focused on their continuous development and improvement. PHP has been around since 1994 and is one of the most prominent community-based programming languages, and it constantly upgrades.
In terms of performance and stability, it’s only current competitor is Python. As a newer language, Python has the advantage of more straightforward syntax and several libraries exclusively for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
- Databases and servers:
This means knowledge of various database management technologies such as MySQL, SQLServer, Oracle, or caching mechanisms such as Redis or Varnish. It’s always an advantage to know Apache, Microsoft IIS, or Nginx servers.
The list is not definitive, but it gives you a clear idea of the basics a back-end programmer should get familiar with. The time required to acquire basic knowledge to start a career in this field is between 10 and 12 months, depending on the time needed to learn the basics mentioned above.
3. Full-stack developer
A full-stack developer can work both on the front-end and back-end parts of the product. This is a career path for people who aim to control all the factors in a project. There is no clear definition of what a full-stack programmer needs to know because, in every conversation with developers, you will get entirely different opinions and information. But what is essential to have in mind is that it isn’t necessary to master all the technologies completely, but to understand the processes on the client and server side and their interaction.
The list of things a Full-Stack developer should know is a bit longer, and it includes:
You should be fluent in a server-side programming language such as PHP, .Net, Python, Ruby, Java, and API technologies like REST or SOAP.
- Databases and servers:
Knowledge of different database management technologies like MySQL, SQLServer, Oracle is a must for a full-stack programmer. Understanding caching mechanisms such as Redis or Varnish adds extra weight to your resume.
Unfortunately, the list does not end there. It may contain additional tasks and skills like performing product quality tests, documenting, knowledge of algorithms and data structures, and much more.
This career path requires extensive knowledge of technology and programming languages. Thus, starting a career as a full-stack programmer can take between 12 and 18 months, depending on how fast you learn. But, the hard work will pay off!
If this is your area of interest, there is a place where you can start your full-stack journey. The enrollment in the Academy for Full-Stack programming is in progress. Check out the whole program here!
If you want to be part of the Coding community and build new success stories with us, learn more about our Full-stack Web Coding Bootcamp!
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