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Unlock the code: Are you suited for a career in software development?

If you spend your free time designing websites, have a fascination for emerging technology like Adobe Illustrator, or just love coding, then a career in software development could be calling. As a developer, you’re responsible for creating, maintaining and improving software to improve lives. To be successful in this industry, you will need more than just technical knowledge, we spoke to Abhishek Agrawal, a healthcare software developer at Access Group, to find out more.

As a software developer, you could work for a major company, an exciting tech start-up, or for yourself as a contractor. While it is a thrilling prospect you should not go into the career blindly. It is important to have a clear understanding of why you are applying and what you want to get out of it so you can find the perfect role.

As you work through college, research the kind of roles and industries that appeal to you and meet your skills, and try to complete a work experience placement. This could be mobile app development, product testing, or data science.

Misconceptions about the tech industry

I’m pleased to say that the common myth of developers being ‘geeks’ and hiding away in cupboard rooms is not true. You will be a key player in the business, ideally, be able to communicate well with people in other departments and customers – with varying degrees of technical knowledge. This means you can quickly respond to requirements and carry out improvements.

Your experience

The most common path to a career in software development is a degree in a relevant subject like computer science or software engineering. If you don’t study at degree level, you will still be able to make your way into the industry by taking professional qualifications, apprenticeships or entry-level support roles.

There are a number of part-time courses available, which give you a solid foundation of knowledge and help you brush up on the skills needed.

A personality that fits the code

A software developer continually questions how their product improves life, or saves money, or even why they are making it. Teamwork is essential as agile software development is an important practice in the industry. This means you collaborate with other teams to respond to change quickly and work closely with customers.

Understanding the product in a wider context will help you push forward improvements for it, as well as your role in the business. Software developers need to be passionate, inquisitive and determined and should always be on the look-out for new and different areas to make upgrades.

A normal working day

As a developer, your day will be extremely organised and you will spend most of your time sat behind the keyboard, so you will need to have a great deal of concentration although you might not always be office based. Tech roles are known for being flexible, so you could work remotely too. One thing most developers value is peace and quiet, so it is important to find a quiet space to code.

Developers in big companies will usually work as part of a small team to analyse a problem or develop new features or products. Whether you’re working in the office, or remotely, software such as Slack or Trello help you keep up to date with colleagues.

Some final advice

As a developer, you will notice that the technology sector changes faster than any other, so it is vital that you do what you can to keep on top of it. Be willing to adapt and learn by subscribing to industry leader blogs and newsletters, study new skills where you can, and talk to other professionals by being an active part of the wider community.

To find out more about Access Health and Social Care, click here.

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