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What did you do to become a software developer and what was your salary because of that?

What did you do to become a software developer and what was your salary because of that. Im slowly getting pieces of what it would be like to be a software developer.

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Randy’s Answer

Ryan,

Great question!

I did not attend college for Computer Science; in fact, I didn't admit until later in my career that I actually wanted to work in tech.

To start my own journey, I attended a bootcamp in Austin, TX.
It cost ~$13k for that bootcamp experience.
I also moved my family out of southern Cali to Texas, just to attend this bootcamp.

My first role was an Associate Web Developer, for a small startup in Austin... I accepted an offer $52k annually, along with a full line-up of benefits and cool perks.

I'm pretty sure your starting salary will depend on the company, location, and how much you prove yourself in your application, as a candidate.

Best of luck as you continue to piece together your mental model of this role, and the industry.

Keep the questions coming, because that clarity will help you along the way!



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Lauren’s Answer

Like some of the other answers here, the salary will depend on a number of factors. I will say that a junior software developer role could net you about 75k from the start if you have a bachelors degree or recently completed a good bootcamp. As long as you can show the interviewers at the company that you can easily show your engineering/coding skills and pick up new technology, you will be well on your way to that salary.

When you up-level your skills and receive a promotion, that could increase your salary by thousands of dollars. Another way to see salaries in your area is through a google search, or using Glassdoor.com where users can anonymously submit salaries. It's a good place to go when you are looking for jobs at a specific company as well.
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Catherine’s Answer

I've known quite a few people like the other posters who didn't have CS degrees. One of the most talented software engineers I worked with had a Music degree and his career started in a non-tech role. I typically encourage folks to get their foot in the door with a company with a significant IT department. So, even if you don't have the skills to start, you may have opportunity for training and movement. The other thing is this: When you start a company say in a non-tech role, maybe as customer support you get a good feel for the company systems, their product(as applicable ect). What you will find is that sometimes it is easier to learn software development when you have an actual tangible challenge and can see the value your code will bring to an organization. As a manager, I have hired folks into our software engineering groups that understood the business systems and how they could be improved. Personally, I held various office jobs (customer support, billing, AR/AP) and then moved to slightly more technical roles. When I started my first real technical job, I was an entry level sys admin and then dba, I moved into programming several years after, but caught the programming bug by teaching myself Perl to automate a lot of the tasks I was doing as an admin. Best of luck.
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Francine’s Answer

Hello Fred!

My degree is in Electronics Systems Engineering and my first post degree job was as an embedded systems engineer.
I recently returned to the workplace after an 11 year career gap ( for family reasons) and although I have a lot of life experience, from a career point of view it's almost like starting over because the technology has moved on so much sine I first started.

While I was on career break, I used any spare time to study programming on Udemy. Java programming was something I wanted to learn as it is widely used and is object oriented. I started with that and moved on to learn about the Spring framework. I built a couple projects using what I'd learned. I was then able to list these skills and projects on my resumé and talk about the projects I had built at an interview.
I am happy enough with the salary so far. It is average for the region and the level I am at. I am continuing to learn more and apply what I learn in my job, so hopefully my salary will increase with experience and knowledge. It usually does.
My advice is to learn a programming language. It could be any language. Popular ones are JavaScript/TypeScript, Java, Python. An Object Oriented language is a good choice in my opinion. Then build a project. This is a really important step as it shows that you are able to apply what you've learned. There are lots of examples on the internet. Keep at it - persistence is key.
Best of luck!

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Fred’s Answer

My first job as a developer was almost 25 years ago, so what I made probably has little bearing on what you'd make today. And my salary today is based on my having almost 25 years of experience, so again, not entirely relevant to what you might make.

I had an unrelated degree. To get into IT, I then started taking many of the classes required for a CS degree - but just ones related to CS, not the broader ones like history or literature. I had almost taken all when I was offered a job.
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Atul’s Answer

I am retired now but if you have a degree in Computer Science or Mathematics - it will be easy to land a job
You have to have good analytical skills, patience and perseverance to be a good software developer.
My son who has Computer Eng degree passed with the honors and landed a job in Seattle making six figures salary from day one. This was 5 years ago.
Learn the computer languages and develop people’s skills to be successful.
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