How to Get into IT: Paths for Beginners
What should a junior do to get into IT industry, and what steps should they take? IT for beginners might be confusing to start with. You need to learn programming or the basics of software development along with many other subjects. In total, I have identified 9 basic steps that should be taken by every person who is just entering the programming industry. Here they are.
How to Get into IT
Before you learn to program to get into IT, start a blog
You might think, IT for beginners starts with programming. However, before you start to learn programming, the first thing to do is buy some hosting or use the offer of Digital Ocean and start a blog. This will allow you to be recognized from the very first days of your adventure with IT. You have no idea how often recruiters and other people find potential candidates from blogs. They look at the interests of a given person and what they represent and check whether it fits the organizational culture of a given company. Starting a blog costs pennies or nothing, so if you can, do it today. In the beginning, write about your thoughts on various topics, not necessarily related to IT itself, because you are just getting started. The next step is to describe what you are learning. This is extremely important in the next steps of the learning process. The blog allows both recruiters and potential employers to tell if you really know what you claim to know in your CV. Additionally, blogging can become an extremely profitable activity.
The programming language should be English
Even if you are from another country, the programming language should be English. And that’s the honest truth. English is the most important programming language today because it is universal. In order to communicate in the same language and use different learning tools, you should know English. Learning to program in English will enable you to easily communicate with other programmers, your boss or your client, prevent any misunderstandings while also allowing you to collaborate on a project with different programmers.
Meet Git or any other version control system
The times when the source code was sent via FTP or e-mail are long gone. Now, version control systems are in use and knowing at least one of them is now a basic requirement. SVN doesn’t make sense to learn anymore, now everyone uses GIT. You must use it too, and you must be well aware of how each command in the version control system works. Without this knowledge, you won’t be able to collaborate with other developers. I’ll say it out loud again: you need to know what GIT and git-flow are.
Take a look at several programming languages
I assume you want to learn programming, but you still have a vague idea of how certain programming languages work, so you should start by looking at a few of them. You should make a simple loop or logical condition in each of them, or at least rewrite a few code examples in a given language. Check out as many different languages and paradigms as possible. Only when you do so can you make a conscious choice about what you want to do and which language you really like.
Choose one specific language and start learning it
Now that you finally know if you like a particular programming language, you can start learning it. Start by writing simple algorithms and simple console applications. By the way, you can also check how projects are configured in a given language. If you are already learning a programming language, be sure to check how the software is tested. Unfortunately, writing tests is an inseparable part of a programmer’s job. Well-written tests allow you to quickly check whether a given code works and whether it behaves the way we want it to behave. This is extremely important throughout the software development process.
Learn the basics of software development
To start a team collaboration with other developers, you absolutely need to know what they are saying to you. You need to know the basics of software development such as tools, concepts and processes. You need to know what Scrum and Agile are. You need to know concepts such as Deploy or SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). This is also a good time to see how Jenkins works and how it integrates with git, and to learn about at least one Continous Integration system. This is extremely important because knowing the basics of software development will help you understand the basic language used by programmers on a daily basis.
Explore design patterns
Currently, there is a set of guidelines for writing source code. These guidelines are called design patterns. In order for your code to be accepted by others during code review in future work, you should know them. You should know what a strategy, abstract factory, command, or repository pattern is. Not only will it allow you to develop your own projects much faster, but you will also know how others code. Every good programmer recognizes the coding style, and today we strive to make the code as easy for others to read as possible. It is very important.
Create your own design
Create your own design that you can show off. I must admit that I have seen almost everything in this industry. I have seen complex projects that can take thousands of developer hours to decode due to clutter in the code. I’ve also seen simple APIs that are a masterpiece of software engineering. Guess who was more likely to find their first job? Today it doesn’t make sense to create simple html, js and typescript pages as the first portfolio. After you do something, write a library or software that will be useful for someone from a business point of view. This is the only way you can stand out from the millions of other juniors who get into IT industry.
Look for mentoring
IT for beginners can be daunting to learn. However, seeking s mentor should be the last step. Only when you have some programming basics and know what the processes look like, you can start to look for a mentor. A good mentor for a person who wants to get into IT should be someone who knows how to teach IT for beginners, who will guide you step by step through the entire process until you find a job. He will tell you what projects you need to do. A good mentor should also recommend you to a future employer.
Final Thoughts on How to Get into IT
We know, IT for beginners can be confusing and you may not know how to proceed with the whole process of learning. In this article, I have presented a few steps that will help everyone who wants to get into IT, find their first job and lead them through the beginnings of learning relatively painlessly. I used these steps myself and I teach using the same steps in Poland. It is these steps that allow you to quickly find a job and stand out from the n-number of other juniors. I wish you a nice day and good luck in finding a new job.
I’m a founder at SilenceOntheWire. The company was created from the will of realizing the passion about security in the field of IT. The founders of the company, whose domain is security, were united with shared goals and vast professional experience (safety audits, creating web applications and solutions, social media). The meeting of knowledge and experience resulted in the project containing a complex safety protection of companies running their business using cyberspace.
Our main priorities throughout are quality and professionalism of providing services and also following the various standards and laws, especially personal data safety, trade secrets and recommendations of EU and Polish Financial Supervision Authority.