Students enroll in our Career Transition Programs primarily so they gain marketable knowledge, skills and abilities they can leverage post-program to launch a new career. To better set expectations for interested candidates, we have compiled feedback from our most successful Software Developer Foundations students over the past two years to provide you with their tips for making the most out of their 10 week training program and landing an entry-level role in the software development field.
5 Tips For Gaining Key Software Development Skills In 10 Weeks:
1. Commit To The Program
The Software Developer Foundations program is intense. 50% hands-on workshops, 2 sessions of 8-hour all day coding and rapid lecture from multiple instructors every class. Additionally, the focus of this course is to learn practical aspects of the Python programming language and learning a new, highly marketable skill always requires persistence to master.
While students need to come with the initiative to learn, we provide significant support to help you learn well throughout the course. Every class, participants receive significant support from 2 or more instructors whose primary roles are to guide them along their understanding of how to code. When it comes to coding, an effective educational experience centers around a “trial and error” approach and that is the environment we support within the class, as well. Instructors create a collegial environment to learn how to code and facilitate students supporting one another, but our most successful students also plan out additional time between class sessions to practice coding independently.
To put it in perspective, the most talented new programmers at the end of every cohort described themselves as being nervous about coding in the beginning but felt like they reached a turning point by week 5. In programming, your code either works or it doesn’t, there is not much of an in between; this course follows a similar make it or break it philosophy but with some extra help along they way (see tip #4).
It is also important to note, that while this class focuses on how to read and write Python code, not all people in the Software Industry need to be developers. This class will also provide insight on how to read code and understand the outcomes of coding, both highly marketable skills. Nearly every job role benefits from an appreciation of coding and this class can provide that by introducing you to what it takes to solve problems using Python code.
2. Attendance Is Key
This tip falls in line with the first, but it is still important enough to reiterate. This program requires your full attention. If you know there are program dates that will conflict with other life events, we strongly suggest you postpone your training until a time that does not conflict or be willing to skip the events so you can attend class. As previously stated, this class is intense and it moves at a fast-pace with no significant downtime between class sessions so it doesn’t allow a great deal of time to make up lessons that are missed.
However, we also know that life happens and, in the event that a class is missed we do offer recorded lectures, cloud access to all course materials and resources and office hour support from instructors to help you catch up, if needed. Again, persistence and the will to learn is key when it comes to making up missed coursework or mastering hard to grasp concepts.
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3. Complete The Development Projects
In order to gain a Software Developer Foundations certificate, students must successfully complete 4 development projects. These projects list various software requirements. Students are then expected to provide a successful coding solution. The development projects can be completed outside of class time and/or within either of the 2 all day coding marathons. These coding sessions are designed to introduce students to the life of a professional developer, by giving them the experience of a full day of coding and the ability to collaborate with other students as they face development challenges and questions.
If you find yourself struggling with these projects, at any point, always ask for help. While, you are ultimately responsible for writing your code, our instructors will work through the problems with you until you understand the path forward.
4. Ask For Help
This program is meant to prepare you to join a workforce of other software developers and just like every other profession you will build working relationships that you can turn to for help when you get stuck. Software Development is a very creative field and you often build the most successful programs when you talk through the requirements with trusted peers or group code with other developers. We want you to build a similar support network in class with your fellow students and instructors. Additionally, never be afraid to simply “Google It.” Many answers are available freely on the internet and it is a resource we strongly suggest you learn how to leverage. Whether you are in class or in the workforce, the best developers know how to ask for help when they get stuck.
We also can’t stress this point enough, the instructors are here to help you. If you need to spend additional 1:1 time develop your understanding of specific topics or need help uncovering the answers to your coding problems, our instructors will guide you through the process. You just need to ask.
5. Set Realistic Post-Program Job Expectations
While some candidates have landed a Jr. Developer role immediately following this program, most students will not. More commonly, students get their start in roles such as:
- Quality Assurance (QA) Tester
- Technical Account Manager
- Customer Success
- Software Sales
- Sales Engineer
- Product Manager
- Product Owner
These roles typically demand a salary between $55,000-$60,000 annually and can work as a springboard into dedicated software development work. If you decide to take the technical path of QA Tester with the drive to land into a full-time programming role, you can expect that transition to take about 2-3 years at which time you can expect your salary to rise into the $100,000 range. Our most successful students know that the Software Developer Foundations course is not the end but rather the beginning step to unlocking highly lucrative and readily available roles in software development.
Through our career panel, we also expose students to many different roles within the software industry that utilize a variety of skillsets, including coding and problem-solving. There are many customer-facing roles to get started in where an appreciation of coding will be helpful and this class is a great start for students who want to migrate to a role within the tech industry. Here is a snippet from a previous Software Developer Foundations career panel explaining the jobs you can apply for after completing the program:
Still Not Sure Software Developer Foundations Is The Right Move For Your Career?
Request a free consultation with our Admissions Team to determine your best path toward a Software Development role!