How to become a Software Developer?

Software developers – or programmers – design, build and test computer programmes. If you're a natural when it comes to computers, love problem-solving and puzzles, then this might be the career path for you.

If this all sounds interesting – I'd take a read of this article from The Guardian “10 signs a career in coding and software development might be right for you

How to become a software developer?

Above any single qualification, the most important factors in cementing your place in the industry are desire, technical knowledge and critical thinking. To gain the necessary technical knowledge, there are a few different routes you could go down.


If you're in a position to get a degree of higher national diploma, then this is the most sure-fire way of securing a job in software development. These degrees are recommended by the National Careers Service:

  • computer science

  • information technology

  • software development

  • financial technology

  • software engineering for business

  • maths

If traditional universities and colleges aren't an option for you, it's worth taking a look at the courses available through Open University, such as this one.

Teach yourself

Unlike becoming a lawyer, doctor or teacher, it's possible to become a software developer without professional qualifications.

There are some amazing resources out there for you to begin learning programming in your own time, while maintaining your current job if possible, to become an expert ahead of job applications.

Software development covers a huge range of areas – depending on whether you want to develop mobile or web-based applications, front-end or back-end, the type of programmes you'll need to understand are different. If you're unsure of what specifically interests you, it's worth looking to free foundational courses in each area to see what peaks your interest.

Udacity is a fantastic resource, covering all areas of software development, from android applications to front-end web development.

Coursera is also a great educational tool, offering courses from top universities around the world. For example:

There are also an increasing number of coding bootcamps cropping up. Fast track courses set to prepare you for a career in programming. For example:

  • Makers – a virtual, remote bootcamp, where 89% of those who finish the bootcamp are employed on an average salary of £32k. 12 week, full time course that costs £8,000

Theses are just the beginning of your learning journey, but as you continue to increase your specialist knowledge, you'll become more and more attractive in the job market.

If you reach a certain level of expertise in a specific area, you could also look to freelance work to hone your craft, using services such as Fiverr or Upwork.