Software developers are the backbone of any great software or application. Developers write the code for programs in addition to tackling bugs and fixing issues. Software developers that know a number of different languages are in high demand, which is why it's important to learn as many programming languages as possible when seeking a career in software development.
So what is the best programming language to learn? It really depends on the position you're seeking. Not only is it important to have the right degrees but it's also vital to have experience working with various languages. Code writing is a skill that requires hands-on experience. Programmers usually spend hours writing practice code both in a work environment and during “off hours."
Software Developer Salary
The amount of money you can expect to make as a developer will vary based on both skills and experience. Entry-level programmers can expect to earn around $40,000 annually (depending on the location and size of the company) while experienced programmers can make upwards of $80,000 annually. Most software developer careers begin by earning a degree in computer science or another closely-related degree.
Finding an Online Computer Science Degree
There are various online computer science degree options worth considering if a traditional classroom setting isn't what you're looking for. The University of Florida, Mercy College, California State University at Monterey Bay, and the University of Maryland are some universities offering complete online degrees in computer science.
There are also some courses specifically designed for beginners; these courses won't earn you a computer science degree, but they will let you explore the world of coding before committing to a bigger, and more expensive, program. Take a look at these beginning options:
- Skillshare: the Intro to Programming course through Skillshare is free and will introduce you to basic programming concepts. This site also offers an app development course designed with beginners in mind.
- Udemy: Udemy's “Beginner Web Development" course promises to introduce newbies to programming concepts while also teaching some basic coding.
There are literally hundreds of programming languages that you can learn and plenty of free and low-cost online coding courses. If you're aiming for some basic skills without delving directly into a bachelor's degree program, you'll find many different sources by scrolling through the Internet.
List of Programming Languages
- Java: Java is, arguably, the most popular programming language. Java is used widely, is noted for its security, and is often touted as a “general purpose" language. Unlike some other programming languages, Java commands can be written using English (other languages require numeric codes).
- Python: Python combines symbols (or code) with various English words and commands. Programmers tend to like Python because it is efficient requiring a few lines of code to complete complex tasks. Why learn Python? Python is also widely used and is relatively simple to learn. There is a current high demand for Python programmers because it is user-friendly and simplistic. The average experienced Python programmer can expect to make around $100,000 annually.
- HTML: this is probably the type of code that you have heard the most about if you are just starting out in the coding world. What is HTML used for? HTML is responsible for most website pages. This is the basic code required to create a site page. As such, HTML is often the first type of language taught. HTML is simple to learn and to practice (just set up a free website and go to work). Arguably, HTML is the easiest programming language to learn.
- C++: this programming language is typically used in computer engineer but is also frequently used in other fields (such as the medical field). C++ is one of the oldest programming languages and is often considered a useful dinosaur that has adapted well to modern environments. Because C++ is not as widely used as some languages, the average salary for a C++ programmer is $60,000 annually.
- PHP: have you ever wondered how forms pop up on website pages? PHP is responsible for things like usernames and passwords and other fill-in forms that you see regularly on websites. PHP often compliments HTML and is taught in conjunction with HTML. PHP beginners can expect to earn around $60,000 annually while experts in this language can earn around $90,000.
- SQL: SQL is the language you need to know if you want to work with data. Pronounced “ess-e-quel" SQL allows programmers to extract specific details from large databases using specific codes. Since data is such an essential part of our world today, SQL programmers can find lucrative positions with larger companies.
Where to Find a Software Developer Job
Since there are hundreds of programming languages, the best way to find a software developer job is to determine which language (or languages) you want to learn. If you want to work with a bigger company in the data world, SQL might be the best option. If you want to create basic websites, HTML is a good place to start.
If you know what language you want to learn (or are already fluent in that language), programming positions can be found on our job listing page here. Not sure what kind of programming job you want? Take a look at our job descriptions here.
Software Developer Job Interview Questions
You can prepare for a developer job by taking note of these popular questions often asked during interviews -- or, hire the right candidate by asking these questions:
- What languages are you familiar with? You should be able to explain the language that you know the best, what it's used for, and how you use it. If you are asking this question, ask a candidate to explain what the language is used for and why it's important to the current job opening.
- Do you work on code in your spare time? Anyone truly invested in coding will have a side project. If you don't code in your spare time, begin practicing on your own site or somewhere else on the web that you can show a potential employer.
- How would you fix this line of code? Present a line of code that is incorrect and ask a candidate to fix it. If you're interviewing for a position, be ready to spot bugs in code.
- Can you create your own code? Experienced developers will be able to generate unique code and may even be able to demonstrate how the original code was used in a project.
Stay On Top
When it comes to programming, the world is constantly evolving. Stay up to date on programming news, skills, and language developments by Modis Academy where you'll find a plethora of resources to help you become a better coder.