Interested in becoming a software developer? Industry-insider provides top tips

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
"What we have found is that individuals who are strong at languages and have a practised logical ability make the best coders". (Getty Images)
"What we have found is that individuals who are strong at languages and have a practised logical ability make the best coders". (Getty Images)

Software developers have been dubbed "the 21st century's most in-demand professionals". 

And according to a UK survey, the position has been ranked as one of the top ten trending jobs teens are interested in pursuing. 

Considering that South African software developers earn between R 390 000 and R 618 346 per year, earnings in the top range of the national average salary, it's a job well worth considering by local teens. 

"Software is entering every facet of daily life. Nowadays, software runs not only our personal devices and applications but also our cars, TVs, fridges and entire homes," says Jessica Hawkey, managing director at the redAcademy, a local organisation offering an experiential learnership programme in software development.

The academy is run by retail software developer redPanda Software. 

"We are creating and operating in an area where there is a dire skills shortage," Hawkey said. 

According to the MD, software development is among the "most sought-after skill sets globally". Below she shares some tips for pupils interested in pursuing the job. 

Also read: 'Employable across the world': CEO shares free resources and tips for finding the right qualification 

'The learning landscape is changing'

A keen interest in technology along with "an inquisitive mindset" are the ideal traits of a pupil who'd fair well in this field, Hawkey says, adding that software development can either be studied at a university or college. 

Whichever course or institution you settle on, the MD stresses the importance of choosing a programme that combines theoretical and practical teaching methods. 

This will be crucial since the position does require a certain level of "real-world experience," she notes. 

And if you're wondering whether you need to have excellent maths and science grades to be able to pursue a career in software development, Hawkey says not necessarily. 

"Traditional academic institutions demand maths and science. However, the learning landscape is changing to be more practical. What we have found is that individuals who are strong at languages and have a practised logical ability make the best coders."

Short courses in software development may also be helpful for school leavers interested in the field, Hawkey advises. 

"These can be taken outside the school curriculum. This also gives a school leaver excellent insight into what coding is all about".


Costs and other considerations  

In terms of cost, Hawkey says this differs according to institution and can range from R50 000 to R300 000, with traditional universities being the more expensive choice. 

"There are shorter courses online that can be taken, but whilst cost-effective, it is very difficult to study such a practical subject in isolation," she says. 

Before settling, Hawkey recommends doing a deep dive into the choice best suited for you.

"It is not hard to study if you have the right lecturers and mentors with the most relevant and focused materials who guide students through practical implementation".   

Chatback:

Share your stories and questions with us via email at chatback@parent24.com. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Don't miss a story!

For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up to our free Parent24 newsletter.

Follow us, and chat, on Facebook and Twitter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 1888 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
49% - 8723 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
36% - 6437 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 629 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.46
-1.6%
Rand - Pound
19.84
-1.0%
Rand - Euro
16.72
-0.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.56
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-1.8%
Gold
1,778.03
-1.4%
Silver
20.23
-2.8%
Palladium
2,149.78
-3.5%
Platinum
934.99
-3.2%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
64,022
+0.0%
All Share
70,741
+0.0%
Resource 10
63,315
-1.2%
Industrial 25
86,967
+0.5%
Financial 15
16,154
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE