Key Requirements to Become a Coder & Land the Moon

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Lately, there’s a lot of buzz around coding as Indian edtech startups continue to force-feed coding skills to children as young as 6-year-old. You get the drift and the reference. But let’s flesh it out for you a bit so that you have the right lenses to assess your potential in this field.

No doubt that to get started in any discipline, you start with simple steps. And this article will, for sure, cover those steps for you as you continue to read. However, it is worth mentioning that no career is easy, and coding is an aggressively competitive domain, albeit promising for those who can ace it.

Every year, India produces lakhs of engineers, and then a fat percentage of this youth is unemployed. It is not only colleges and universities with poor placement capacity that fail but also established computer science universities. Coding is an exciting opportunity in technology but mostly ends up in a short term relationship than a lifelong one.

No, the point of this article is not to dissuade you from pursuing coding as a career but to bare it from any false expectations. If you do not have any ambition with coding as a tool to bring about change or make an impact of great seismic force, a career in coding will end up as a flash in the pan.

So, let’s get to discussing how to kickstart a career in coding in five simple steps. Thereon, it’ll be your diligence and curiosity to make way for noddy. On pursuing coding, you can be a full-stack web and front-end developer. That’s a wholesome skillset in-demand with technology recruiters. If you are just a front-end or back-end developer, your opportunity will be limited.

Code Comprehension

Your patience determines your success with any discipline. Coding is no exception. In fact, you need a lot more patience as a coder to comprehend pages of coding that builds a program. It is one thing to write a new piece of code from your mind in your style, and a different thing to assess pages of coding scripted by another developer. 

When you join a new company if it is not a startup but an established firm with established software programming, your task is to routinely audit, test, and edit the language. So, the skill to comprehend, read a piece of code by another developer is the key. Not only comprehend the code in terms of its flow but also the intention of the original coder. 

Understand Data Structure & Algorithm

While data structure is a named location used to store and organize data, an algorithm is a composition of directions required to fulfill an action. In addition to your comprehension of an existing piece of code, your foundation in data structure and algorithm will help you write efficient and optimized computer programs. You have to script as a new code or edit an existing code in a way that will help your business dominate a significant digital presence. 

Recently, Dr. Timnit Gebru, an Artificial Intelligence expert at Google, got fired because she objected to Google’s algorithmic bias. You can infer from this move from Google’s end the level of expertise required to get employed in any reputed organization. You aren’t successful as a coder or developer until you have figured out flaws and made amendments to improve them. Developing new code is not as cost-effective as editing and improving existing ones.

Programming Linguist

If there’s any shortcut to become a coder overnight is to dream it. Otherwise, it is a grind and fails even the most determined. Please note that coding is a skill across various programming languages such as #10. Kotlin, #9. Swift, #8. Objective-C, #7. R, #6. C/C++, #5. PHP, #4. C#, #3. JavaScript, #2. Java, #1. Python, etc.

Like human languages, machine languages also evolves with time. Sometimes, some components become vestigial, and some new additions and practices come to practice. If you have to be in demand and be indispensable in the industry, you have to constantly work on your industry relevance; you have to be a programming linguist.

GitHub & Open-Source Contributions

Unless your motivation is the 150 Cr salary as a 12-year-old as advertised in a WhiteH*tJr ad, you must be passionate about coding whether or not you land that monstrous package. Your passion for coding is seen through your involvement in the coding community and how you keep up-to-date with the latest developments.

To demonstrate the above characteristics, you should have a GitHub account and contribute to open-source repositories for community impact. You should engage with your community in active feedback exchange and help develop existing repositories in the public interest. It establishes that you are full and will never run dry.

Command on Communication

Knowledge is available to all with access to basic Internet. In a scenario like this, you need to possess excellent communication skills for you to stand out. While your professional degree helps your conservative employer accept your merit as a coder, your communication skill helps you receive and determine a programming brief.

In most cases, developers and coders run dry of creative spark in a year or two. Such acquired dullness impacts interpersonal relationships with colleagues and peers. It also becomes a hindrance in effective communication and taking necessary help from fellow coders for maximum workplace delivery.

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Linda Ashok  
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