Choosing Software Development as a Career

I often get asked what caused me to give up being a professional accountant.

Well, discussing the reasoning behind some of my life decisions could be a conversation of its own. But for now, I’d love to share the story of my journey from having no idea what I was doing to landing one of the most amazing chances I could ever ask for.

I’ll spare you the life story, but I have to start somewhere so I’ll just say that when I decided to jump into learning web development…I was at a point where I had no idea what I wanted to do in life.

Why did I make the decision? Worldwide there is a skills gap in the field of software development. In Africa, we’re told that there will be a gap of about to so many million jobs in the ICT sector. Statistics indicate that 70% of African countries trying to recruit ICT professionals are finding it difficult to find eligible staff.

There is no denying it, being a software developer right now is a smart move. The current batch is in high demand. By looks of things, they’re in a better position than ever before.

Look around you, pretty much everything from your laptop to your smartphone, from your car to your TV, requires some input from a software developer. It’s true, take an example of the Ford F150 pickup truck, apparently, this is made up using over 150 million lines of code. Technology is all around us, and as we continue to invent and create things, technology and coders are going to become all the more important.

It is easier for software developers to climb a career ladder. This is because new technology is always required, and because so many industries depend on it, companies are constantly looking for software developers. Within a period of 5 years, your value increases and so too does your spot on the career ladder.

A career in software development does not require moving to Silicon Valley. Software developers can work remotely, so you don’t have to move to a tech hub like Silicon Valley to find work.

Now, I can’t stress this enough: The most important tool for success in your coding career is consistency. You might be super talented or work super hard for a month or two, but if you really want to greatly increase your chances of success, then work consistently — day after day, month after month. I am a witness to a shortfall of inconsistency.

It’s great if you start early, and I would surely recommend that everybody choose their path early and focus on it. However, there are great developers who started off in their 30s and even 40s. While I know programmers who started at age 6, I’ve also met programmers who started at 37 and are doing much better than the ones with years of formal education.

Having not started very early myself, all I’ve got to tell you about starting late is that it’s okay and that you are in a field where your age doesn’t matter.

It never will, as long as you are consistent.

Made of Africa