The IT industry is developing rapidly with every passing year (or even month), and it is no wonder since we all live in the era of digitalization, and everything that surrounds us is influenced or outright created by it. Nowadays, the success and prosperity of any company, service, or brand on the market would be impossible without the use of technology.
Undoubtedly, there is a high demand for skilled IT employees, and it is growing exponentially with each passing year. But while it is certainly true that anyone can try their hand at IT, if you are a beginner and have zero experience in this industry, then you should give serious consideration to the following aspects, as well as answer some questions for yourself:
- Decide on what you want to be specialized in
First and foremost, you need to understand precisely why you are going into IT. Do you like to create websites or software? Do you prefer to think over designs or to test? Or maybe you are an artist who wants to work in digital media? This decision will be the starting point of your learning process. Depending on your choice, you will be able to determine the training program that is right for you, devise a strategy, and select the best sources to educate yourself: books, websites, online courses, etc.
- Brush up on your English
Most of the articles, textbooks, case studies, and news regarding the IT industry are published in English. Moreover, English is the universally accepted lingua franca for IT. Even if English is your native language, you still need to perfect your language skills, especially the industry-specific terms and slang. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to become an efficient IT specialist.
There are a lot of ways to do this: from self-study to online courses, to tutoring, and even reading scientific articles with a dictionary. Choose whatever suits you best, the main objective here is to improve your knowledge of English so that you can read Stack Overflow or any other resource without translation or anyone’s help.
If you are interested in technology and the way it works, pay attention to the devices and software that you are currently using and try to understand the clockwork behind them. If you see an ad about noise-canceling headphones, read about the algorithms that make it happen. If your mobile phone has wireless charging – look for videos explaining how the technology works and why the phone’s temperature increases considerably while using it.
Curiosity is the engine of progress. Most of the students who changed the technology world began their journey with curiosity and the development of their own ideas.
- Object-oriented programming
Regardless of the programming language that you choose and how exactly you intend to use it, it is always a great idea to familiarise yourself with the concept of Object-Oriented Programming. OOP is one of the most popular development styles, so you need to know more about it than just the definitions of basic concepts (inheritance, encapsulation, polymorphism). You also need to understand how they work to be able to implement them in the program code.
- Practice, practice, practice
It is a well-established fact that theory without practice can never ensure the desired result. After studying the general concepts and the science behind IT, you need to start practicing, at the very least through part-time employment. There are literally hundreds of thousands of vacancies for junior web developer internships that can help you begin accumulating experience for a better understanding of the industry and of your desired role within it.
Case Study: my own experience
My name is Daniel, I am 28 years old, and I have been working as a Java developer for four years now. I remember that when I was just starting my career in IT, I was constantly tormented by doubts – will I be able to handle it? It was the success stories of other people that gave me the motivation to carry on: if other people have succeeded, then it will work for me as well.
After graduating from the Prague University of Economics and Business in 2012, I got a job at a travel agency, but I quickly realized that it just wasn’t right for me. After a little reflection, I decided to try and become a software developer. I chose the Java programming language rather quickly after doing a bit of research.
Every day, from dawn till dusk, I searched for all kinds of information on Java. I downloaded several great books, read articles, watched videos on YouTube. I remember all too well my state of mind when I first started reading the “Philosophy of JAVA” – nothing was clear to me from the first pages. I had to re-read everything several times, but it got better as I moved forward.
My intensive training continued until January 2016. That is when I sent my resume to apply for several vacancies that I had found on Jooble. Although unbelievable to me at the time, the knowledge that I had from 22 levels at Code Gym was enough for me to qualify for an internship with a big company, while at the same time, I was hired as a full-fledged Junior Developer in another small software development company.
This is how my journey in IT began. I would like to advise readers not to be afraid and to keep trying. Yes, you need to work hard, do a ton of research, read, and practice a lot. But hard work always pays off!
Taylor is a freelance SEO copywriter and blogger. His areas of expertise include technology, pop culture, and marketing.