The world is changing, from the development of self-driving cars to entire worlds that exist in virtual reality.
And it's all powered by code.
That fascinating but complex collection of characters, letters, numbers, and symbols that you've been brave enough to learn.
You may be wondering where your new skills will take you. I mean, that's why you're here, right?
The good news is that this global digital transformation and your decision to learn to code have opened up a plethora of new career opportunities.
This article explores the career paths you can get into once you've successfully learned to code.
1 Web Developer
Web developers work behind the scenes to create the functionality and aesthetic of websites.
There are 400 million active websites, and that grows by around 1500 an hour! Needless to say, web development is a highly coveted profession.
However, their role extends far beyond coding attractive websites. There are two key aspects of web development that differ substantially, front-end and back-end.
Front-end web development is all about the “client-facing” side of web development.
In other words, it is the portion of the site that users will see and interact with.
It is also known as the presentation layer.
On the other hand, Back-End Developers are focused on the core functionality.
This essentially means coding out all the under-the-hood mechanics, such as database interactions, user authentication, as well as server, network, and hosting configuration.
In practice, it's a separate application that your front-end interacts with. You could say that it's the website's brain, and like a brain, it consists of a working memory (data storage) and an awareness of how things should work - i.e., the business logic.
The expression business logic, or domain logic, refers to the part of a program that expresses the real-world business rules an organization prescribes in order to determine how their data is created, stored, changed, and managed.
But wait, there's also Full-Stack!
Some developers are full-stack.
A Full-Stack Developer is someone familiar with both front- and back-end development. They are generalists, adept at wearing both hats and familiar with every layer of development.
Other Key Responsibilities for web developers
- Plays a role at the start of a new project, analyzing what needs doing in order to capture project requirements accurately
- Regularly checks in with clients to assess their satisfaction
- Maintains existing websites, evolving them with the times and keeping them updated with the latest security features, so that client data remains secure
2 Software Engineer/Developer
Where web developers create web apps, software engineers create programs for hardware, operating systems, and networks.
Software engineers will chiefly work with languages such as C++, Java, Swift, and Python to build everything from well-known desktop applications such as Spotify and Microsoft Word to even the software that accurately lands rovers on the surface of Mars.
Please note that the role of Software Engineering can also encompass and overlap with web development. This article distinguishes between software that runs on the web (Web Developer) and software that doesn't (Software Engineer).
Software engineers use engineering principles to produce, sustain, test, and evaluate the software.
The average salary for software engineers in the US is $113,774.
Other Key Responsibilities for Software Engineers
Some of their other responsibilities include:
- Play an essential role in collecting client requirements to create the game plan for new projects
- Maintaining existing software, fixing bugs, and improving speed and adaptability
- Regularly meet and check in with clients to assess their satisfaction
- Brainstorm solutions with fellow engineers
- Protecting and shielding computer programs against CyberSecurity threats
- Review the code of fellow engineers
3 Data Scientist
Knowing how to code can also lead to employment as a Data Scientist, a role sometimes referred to as Data Analyst.
Data scientists analyze and collect data, from which they seek to derive messages, significance, and implications.
Their role is to investigate what happened in the past to anticipate and ultimately affect future outcomes.
They question why did x happen?
And that given x already took place, what is the likelihood of y in the future?
Before starting their investigation, they collaborate with key organizational representatives to pinpoint specific business challenges that could benefit from data analysis
Once the problem space has been identified, the data scientists need to gather the data they need to solve those issues.
Often this is data the organization already holds, but sometimes Data Scientists might need to either collect their own data or refer to publicly available data sources such as government portals and tools such as Google Trends.
Although data is often readily available, rarely can you start analyzing it straight away.
An essential task required before any processing is running algorithms and tools that clean up that data to extract only that which is relevant to the study.
Once the data has been purified, Data Scientists then start their search for meaning, employing statistical know-how to apply predictive modeling (a mathematical process), data sorting and mining algorithms, as well as machine learning.
These techniques then help to reveal secondary data, including patterns, tendencies, and regularities/irregularities that reveal new understandings of the primary data.
The next step is sitting down to properly interpret any findings and turn them into fascinating visualizations and reports to better illustrate trends to key stakeholders and put forth solutions and strategies for the future.
As you can see, the data-based professional can help make businesses more efficient while enabling them to establish a better service for their customers or clients.
- Develop, implement, and maintain databases on an ongoing basis.
4 DevOps Engineer
A DevOps Engineer specializes in the deployment and maintenance of software.
The DevOps role is relatively new.
Indeed, DevOps emerged to bridge the gap between developers and System Administrators, who were traditionally responsible for maintaining deployed applications.
The problem was that where developers were focused on the code and wanted to add new features, administrators tended to be tentative in deploying updates to the app in the spirit of prioritizing stability and uptime.
The DevOps approach is to unify and automate processes. They set up Continuous Integration pipelines that automatically test new code and deploy it to servers.
- Controlling, maintaining, and coordinating a secure database
- Write tests
- Produce documentation
5 CyberSecurity Engineer/Analyst
Cybersecurity Engineers are the guardians of computer networks, protecting them against cybercrime threats.
They create procedures and processes that protect private data across internal and client environments.
Everyday duties also include staying abreast of the latest threat developments, examining existing security breaches, and writing various reports.
The CyberSecurity Engineer plays a vital role in securing an organization's information and preventing theft. You'll find that large organizations with a genuine interest in protecting internal data will invest in offering this position.
You may also be tasked with offering consultation services to clients.
Although Software Engineers and DevOps are also involved in security. As the challenge of security grows ever more important, employers are increasingly on the lookout for tech specialists with this specialization.
Various certifications can help bolster your security credentials.
There's also the not-so-small matter of adherence to the laws such as the GDPR. Governments are increasingly introducing stricter legislation on business obligations to data protection. Therefore, Cybersecurity Engineers should possess some legal knowledge to ensure the code a company produces is compliant.
- Rehearsing and planning for cyber emergencies
- Upgrading existing security systems and conceiving novel ones
6 Games Developer
This is probably one of the more fun-loving occupations and most intriguing jobs for all of you avid gamers out there.
Video games developers design and develop video games for consoles, mobile applications, tablets, arcades, and PCs. They transmute ideas into a tangible gaming reality!
Many bodies go into developing a game, and you'll typically need to work with producers, artists, and designers in the design process.
You can help develop new ideas for this process and put visual concepts into code.
Needless to say, a fondness for gaming is a huge bonus, as well as the ability to work as part of a team.
- test the quality of code to find and resolve bugs
7 Mobile App Developer
On the other hand, one can also become a mobile app developer.
This type of developer will specifically work on mobile technology.
This type of developer will most commonly have to work closely with colleagues to consistently improve app design and how it operates and functions, develop APIs (application programming interfaces) to bolster mobile performance, and keep up-to-date with the field's latest technology trends.
They will also have to code out prototypes, discuss customer desires and check their code for defects to rectify any problems.
Mobile Application skills are currently in huge demand. With over 1,000 apps added to the App Store each day and 30 million daily downloads by customers, the mobile market is now brimming with opportunities.
8 Business Intelligence Analyst
The Business Intelligence Analyst gathers data on software trends and products to determine which software best benefits the business.
Programming is a bonus but not as much of a necessity for business intelligence analysts. This can be a great programming job if you enjoy the basics of coding but aren't sure you want to make a career out of it.
Business intelligence analysts typically work with: