5 Myths Debunked On What It Takes To Be A Software Engineer

From Nigeria to Kenya, South Africa to Ethiopia, tech hubs are growing fast. They have doubled in number last year alone bringing the total hubs and incubation centers across Africa to 314 as of July 2016. These hubs created to support startups, innovation and tech led businesses are consequently inspiring a generation of aspiring entrepreneurs, software developers and a rapidly growing tech community. This growth of interest in tech, programming and software development is more than mere aspirations fueled by growing investment in the sector.


There is a great need for software developers and tech talent the world over. The presence of household tech companies such as Intel, Google, Microsoft and IBM particularly in Kenya further affirms the opportunities available.  A good example is the $75 million 4Afrika project by Microsoft which seeks to drive technological innovation by supporting small and medium enterprises.


Lucrative as it may be like any other career path, software development requires hard work and mastery of skill to excel. But most people tend to think it requires nothing short of being a genius to crack its code. This is not true and one of the myths surrounding the field of software development.  So if you are aspiring to be a software engineer, here’s are 5 myths that we have busted for you:


Myth One: You have to be a genius to be a software developer

No, you don’t have to be a genius. Anyone with the passion and dedication can learn and grow into a software developer. There isn’t a specific group of people who are meant to be developers. It takes time and effort to achieve mastery as with any other industry. How awesome you get to become is determined by your learning path and the commitment you put in.


Myth Two: Learning code is hard

It’s easy actually and there are various resources online to help you learn. From courses, at Udemy and Coursera you can teach yourself how to code. What however is not easy is mastering the skill. The best way to master anything especially coding is by doing. Learn as you implement, do projects, test your skills, ask others to test you. Learning is not in the theory, it’s in the application and continually improving.


Myth Three: You need to have a university degree in Computer Science

Again no to both. We have awesome software developers who didn’t get to go to university. Others finished university but didn’t pursue computer science or anything IT related. Others still did computer science passed and became great software engineers. Each took on a different path and different time periods to achieve mastery of their skill. This is affirmed by tech companies such as Andela, Moringa and Hack Reactor whose programs offer aspiring developers coding and tech experience to jump start into the career.


Myth Four: One must be good in Math

You do not need to be a math guru or have done a math related course to be a software dev. You, however, need great problem-solving skills.


Myth Five: You must be young to be a coder

Attitude and aptitude is a key factor in learning code and growing into a software developer. You will be continually learning, failing sometimes then improving, and relearning. You need to have the will and desire to succeed. There are people who changed midway in their careers to becoming software developers, there are others who changed paths immediately after graduation and other started learning from when in high school. The path to becoming a software developer is open to anyone who pursues it relentlessly.



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