In today’s digital age, a career in technology offers endless possibilities, opportunities to develop your career, as well as great pay to match (most of the time!). With so many tech niches and programming languages to choose from, how do you navigate this exciting landscape and set yourself up for success?
We’ll explore five top tips for anyone looking to break into the world of technology, covering everything from discovering your passion, to mastering the fundamentals of your chosen programming language. So, if you’re interested in a technology career and want to learn how to stand out from the crowd, read on for valuable insights and advice.
Top 5 Tips:
- Find your technology passion.
- Learn the fundamentals.
- Build a portfolio.
- Network, network, network!
- Continuous learning.
Tip 1 – Find your technology passion:
First ask yourself – Which area of technology excites you?
The world of technology is vast and diverse, with various sectors offering unique challenges and opportunities. Before diving headfirst into a career in technology, it’s crucial to identify your passion and understand which area aligns best with your interests and skills.
Some popular areas of tech include:
- Software development: Design, build, and maintain computer programs, applications, or systems.
- Web development: Create and maintain websites, focusing on either front-end, back-end or full-stack development.
- Data Science: Analyse and interpret complex data sets to identify patterns and trends, as well as generate actionable insights.
- Cybersecurity: Secure and protect computer systems and networks from threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): Develop algorithms and systems that enable machines to learn and improve from experience.
Spend time researching each area, consider what tasks you enjoy doing, and determine which field aligns with your long-term career goals. Remember, it’s okay if your passion is all of the tech areas for now, just pick one of the things you enjoy and work towards learning the language and technical skills for that particular area. The key point is being passionate about your work which will lead to increased job satisfaction and overall success.
Tip 2 – Learn the fundamentals of your chosen programming language.
Once you’ve identified your tech passion, it’s time to start learning the fundamentals of the programming language(s) relevant to your chosen field. The key thing to note here is understanding things such as programmatic flow rather than only memorising the syntax of the language you’ve chosen. Some popular programming languages include:
- Python: It’s versatile and beginner-friendly, perfect for software development, data science, and AI/ML.
- Java: Widely used for mobile app development, especially for Android devices, and enterprise-level applications.
- C#: Commonly used in game development, particularly with the Unity engine, as well as for Windows applications.
- Ruby: Known for its simplicity and ease of use, often used in web development with the Ruby on Rails framework.
There are numerous resources available to learn programming languages, including online tutorials, coding boot camps, and formal education. Dedicate time to mastering the basics and building a strong foundation to support your future tech career.
Keep going down to Tip 5 to see suggestions and resources.
Tip 3 – Build a portfolio
A strong portfolio is essential for showcasing your skills and expertise to potential employers. As you learn and grow in your tech career, document your projects and accomplishments to demonstrate your capabilities.
To build an impressive portfolio, consider working on personal projects, contributing to open-source initiatives, or volunteering for non-profit organisations. These experiences not only help you hone your skills but also provide tangible evidence of your expertise. Include a mix of individual and collaborative projects to showcase your ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
When creating your portfolio, ensure it’s easily accessible and well-organised. Use a platform like GitHub for your source code and create a personal website to host your projects. Additionally, make sure to include detailed descriptions and any relevant links, such as live demos or code repositories.
Tip 4 – Network, network, network!
Networking is an essential component of any successful tech career. Building a strong network can help you find job opportunities, connect with mentors and peers and learn about new technologies and industry trends.
To start networking:
- Attend events: Attend conferences, meetups, lunch & learns and other industry events to meet other professionals and learn new technologies and trends.
- Connect with people on LinkedIn and other social media platforms: Networking can help you learn from experienced professionals in the industry and may even lead to job opportunities.
- Join online communities related to your tech interests: This can be done on many platforms, from LinkedIn to Facebook to Discord. Finding like-minded people who have gone through a similar path to you in terms of getting into tech is invaluable in helping keep you motivated and excited. This is a great place to find your first mentor too!
Tip 5 – Continuous learning
Continuous learning is essential for a career in technology. Technology is constantly changing, and it’s essential to keep up with the latest developments. Take online courses, attend workshops and seminars, and read tech blogs and articles to stay up to date. If you’re still looking to get a foot in the door into the tech industry, have a look at apprenticeships as well as junior-level jobs, boot camps and academy roles.
Learning new skills and technologies will make you more valuable to potential employers and also allow you to expand your skill set. It’s crucial to have a growth mindset and be willing to adapt to new challenges and changes in the industry.
Some great resources for your learning when trying to get your foot into the tech industry are, but not limited to:
- Codecademy’s HTML and CSS course. There is nothing to set up here as you will type code into your web browser and don’t worry about the certificate which is only available with a subscription, we’re here to learn as much as we can for free to start off with.
- Forrest Knight, for general computer science/software engineering knowledge.
- Andy Sterkowicz, is a self-taught programmer who has very helpful videos regarding coding and becoming self-taught.
- Amigoscode, useful tips on what life is really like as a software engineer & various free tutorials & courses on programming.
- freeCodeCamp for free technical courses on a whole host of various topics in tech from mobile app development to machine learning.
Summary / Key takeaways
We hope this blog post has given you some tips with actionable information that you can take away and start to implement in your own journey towards a career in technology. These tips I wish I had when starting my career in technology, only knowing the formal university route rather than all the other ways you could get into tech.
Here at Nimble, we put the learning of our people at the forefront of their progression. We offer a learning and development budget that each person can tailor to their needs and interests as we know continuous learning, even for people who have been in tech for many years, is the most important way to keep up to date with the ever-changing technology space and enhance your career.
Keep an eye out on our jobs portal for any upcoming vacancies if you’re interested in supercharging your career and working with a consultancy at the forefront of the tech industry!
Hasib Ahmed is a Senior Software Engineer/Consultant at Nimble Approach.
“I’ve always been interested in how things work. For me this started, as cliche as it sounds, with computer gaming and tinkering with modifications for the game but not thinking much of it at the time. My “aha” moment and shift into the world of technology was seeing first-hand how easy and quick it was to manufacture something by giving a CNC (Computer numerical control) machine a couple of coordinates and measurements in the form of simple code, in comparison to the manual work it took to make the exact same thing by hand. This excited me at the possibility to make people’s lives easier by building great software that can be used by everyone. This “aha” moment made me switch my mindset and education from traditional engineering to software engineering.
During my tech career so far, I’ve worked on some really interesting problems and projects such as crunching and storing petabytes of data on the cloud from one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world dedicated to weather and climate, creating more easily accessible finance for small and local businesses, to upskilling and enabling client teams to perform at their best.
I am now an open-minded Senior Software Engineer/Consultant who loves a challenge and doing cool tech, as well as ensuring the people around me continue to learn and grow.”