Is Coding a Good Career?

Considering a career in coding? In this blog post, we’ll explore whether coding is a good career option and discuss some of the benefits and where to get started

A recent study reveals that over 83 percent of people across the globe now own a smartphone. Software power each an every one of these devices, not to mention: laptops, cars, refrigerators, printers… almost every electronic device has a computer chip which runs software.

And yep, you guessed it… every software application running on every devices was coded by someone.

So if you are pondering a career in coding, we at 4 Day Week will help you discover whether it’s a viable option for you. But first of all…

Coding is the process of writing instructions for a computer to execute. These instructions, or “code,” are written in a specific programming language, such as Java or Python, that the computer can understand.

The code is written using a specific language dependant syntax that follows certain rules, and it is typically organized into individual lines or blocks. Essentially, coding languages interpret human instructions. With coding, you have the power to build everything from computer programs and websites, to processing data and building apps.

Coding is often confused with the terms “programming” and “software development” as described in the following sections:

Coding vs programming

Coding and programming are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two slightly different things.

Programming involves the use of coding, but also includes other activities such as design, testing, and debugging. So, in short, coding is a part of programming, but programming is a much broader concept that involves a variety of activities.

Software engineering has an even broader scope than coding or programming. It involves the design and development of entire software systems. It involves not only writing code, but also planning and organizing the development process, designing the overall structure and architecture of the software, testing and debugging the software, and maintaining and updating the software over time.

Chances are, you’ve typed, “Is coding a good job?” into Google — which is probably why you’ve landed here.

It goes without saying, coding is an excellent career for many different reasons. Not only is it well-paid, but it’s also also creative, rewarding and fun!

From a salary perspective, even beginner coding jobs pay around $85,000 a year. Despite this, just one percent of the US population can write code, which works out to roughly three million people overall — so there’s plenty of opportunity to land a job as a coder.

Since our world is powered by technology, coding skills are readily needed and offer exceptional career opportunities, including front-end development and software engineering. What’s more, coding is one of the most versatile careers, providing numerous specialism opportunities and the chance to work from home.

It goes without saying that being able to code is one of the most highly sought-after skills in today’s job market. As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, the demand for skilled coders is only going to continue to grow.

It’s no secret that software development is a well paid career. Obviously salaries vary on different factors (such as location, industry etc), but if you are a junior engineer, you can expect to earn $80k in the US rising to $150k+ for senior engineers.

And if you are able to land a job at a FAANG company, expect the salary compensation ranges to be much higher.

Contrary to the negative portrayal of coding in pop culture, coding can be a fun and creative experience. The world of coding is full of exciting challenges and opportunities to build and create, and there is a vibrant online community of coders who are always eager to share knowledge and help each other learn and grow. With coding, you have an infinite number of possibilities.

If you want to leave a visible mark on the world around you, then coding is just the thing. If you’re someone who enjoys being behind the scenes or someone that’s okay with spending hours a day working virtually unnoticed, then coding probably isn’t for you.

If you’re up for saying, “Hey, I built this”, then a career in coding has your name on it. For example, did you know that Python forms the back end of Spotify, Netflix, and Instagram? That Java was instrumental to the Android app’s development? And that C++ is at the core of Unreal Engine and Microsoft Office suite?

A front-end developer’s main job function is to make sure the user can interact with the application through a user interface (UI) — often this is a website accessed using a web browser. They’ll achieve this via technology, design, and programming to code how a website looks and deal with any debugging. Everything you click on, see or use on a website is the work of a front-end developer.

The typical technologies used are:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript

While front-end developers handle everything you see on a webpage, back-end developers are the brains behind the scenes. They build and uphold the mechanisms that deal with information and carry out actions on the site. A back-end developer is responsible for security, data storage, and other server-oriented tasks that you can’t see.

The typical coding languages used are:

  • PHP
  • Python
  • Golang
  • Node.js
  • Java
  • Much more
Frontend vs backend programming languages

Being a “full stack” developer just means that you do both the frontend development and the backend development. It is typically a role undertaken by more experienced engineers.

Mobile developers, as the name would suggest, create apps for smartphones and other mobile devices. They use coding languages like Objective C (iPhone), Java (Android), Swift and other languages to build the user interface, logic, and functionality of mobile apps.

Knowing where to start when learning to code can feel overwhelming. There are so many resources. Here is our 3 step process to help you land your first job as a programmer.

So, you’ve decided which coding language you want to learn — great! Now it’s time to find a relevant qualification or online application. Numerous online coding schools let you learn multiple coding languages.

But if you’d prefer to gain an accreditation that shows your expertise, it’s best to source an authorized certification program. Getting a degree in programming or computer science tells hiring managers you have a nice mix of experience and theory to perform the duties of a coding professional.

Alternatively, you can take a digital training program with one of the leading coding bootcamps like CareerFoundry, Flatiron School, or Fullstack Academy. Think about which learning style you prefer and whether you’ll do best in a self-paced, virtual course or a regulated in-house class.

If you want to ask questions or need a hand with a difficult issue, don’t worry because there are ample places on the web to enquire, get assistance and learn the best practices. Becoming part of an online community such as Reddit or Stack Overflow can point you in the right direction if you’re feeling a little lost and inspire you to carry on with your coding career.

We wrote about this in a recent article, but the best way to get started in coding is to focus on frontend development first. Learning about HTML, CSS and Javascript before moving on to backend development.

The best way to learn to code is to actually start writing code. As you work through tutorials and examples, try to apply what you’re learning to your own projects. Learning to code is an ongoing process, and there will always be more to learn and new challenges to tackle. Don’t be afraid to try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. The more you learn and practice, the better you will become.

Hiring managers like it when junior applicants to have an internship under their belts. To get more experience in coding, you can participate in an internship program to get more practical experience in coding and to understand more about the trade.

An internship is an excellent way to get to know coding professionals and acquire practical experience in coding. Usually, internships enable you to work alongside a senior coding programmer who’ll train you in a computer programmer’s everyday tasks and duties.

If you’re seeking a financially rewarding career or simply desire a job that’s more of a passion than it is a chore, a coding career may well tick those boxes. A coding professional’s job contributes to our world’s advancement and progression — it’s a job that gets noticed. Thankfully, learning how to code is easier than ever before.

Looking for an engaging yet rewarding career that works around your lifestyle? Sign up to our newsletter (below) to get 4 day week jobs (32hrs) delivered straight to your inbox each week.

This article was originally posted on 4 day week — jobs with a four day workweek 🎉

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