Unlocking Success: A Beginner’s Guide To A Lucrative Coding Career

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Have you ever thought about the possibility of rewriting your career story, regardless of the decisions you made in your younger years? Many people believe that the choices we make during our teenage years shape our future.

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It is said that the subjects we choose in high school determine our university studies, job prospects, and ultimately, our career trajectories. But that need not be the case anymore.

Anyone can pivot to a career in coding, says Mvelo Hlophe, CEO of the online coding training platform Zaio. “Entering the rewarding field of computer programming is not determined by the subjects studied in school or the degree you obtained from university or college,” explains Hlophe.

A quarter of coders are self-taught, earning comparable and sometimes even higher salaries than their formally educated counterparts.

“At Zaio, we have seen inspiring success stories, including a security guard who made the transition to a full-stack developer and a former insurance call centre agent who is now excelling in the FinTech sector,” says Hlophe.

These are just two examples of individuals from unexpected backgrounds who successfully transitioned to the world of coding by learning it on an online platform such as Zaio’s.

Your ticket to a coding career

Embarking on a coding journey with a reputable online learning platform can lead to full employment in as little as six months, even for total beginners. Platforms like Zaio’s not only provide free courses in computer literacy and introductory coding but also offer practical learning experiences to apply your newly developed skills.

Hlophe emphasises the importance of offering free and practical courses at the outset of your coding journey, stating,

“We want you to experience coding to determine if it is the right path for you. This is why we provide free and practical courses, allowing you to create a website landing page or a virtual business card, for instance. Not only can you ‘try before you buy,’ but you also build a portfolio for the developer job market.”

Taking action can be daunting. You might wonder, “How do I take the next step to become a coder?” The solution is simple, explains Hlophe.

Steps to becoming a developer

Clarify your objective

Define your purpose for learning to code. Are you aiming for a side hustle, a career change, or pursuing it as a hobby?

Enroll in an online course at a reputable institution

Select a suitable coding course, sign up, and see it through to completion. Take advantage of the structured learning environment to build a solid foundation.

Engage with the developer community

Interact with fellow developers on platforms like Discord to expand your network, seek advice, and stay updated with industry trends and opportunities.

Apply your knowledge

Whether it is embarking on a job search for an alternative career path, launching a side project, or integrating your newfound skills into a personal hobby, take the initiative to apply what you have learned in practical scenarios. This hands-on experience will further solidify your understanding and showcase your abilities to potential employers or collaborators.

In-demand industries and programming languages

The most lucrative industries for developers currently span Cloud computing, Financial Technology (FinTech), Healthcare technology, and e-commerce.

“In 2023, JavaScript stood out as the highest paid programming language, commonly used for iOS and macOS app development,” explains Hlophe.

Despite its rarity and declining job listings, the competition for Swift roles remains fierce. For less competitive options, Python remains one of the most in-demand languages, while HTML/CSS offers the highest number of job opportunities among programming languages.

Thriving opportunities for developers in South Africa

The surge in remote work has unlocked international prospects for developers based in South Africa, says Hlophe. Fueled by the rapid evolution of technologies and escalating demand, the field of coding remains vibrant in today’s landscape.

“Despite the increasing prevalence of AI, industry experts emphasise that aspiring developers should not be discouraged from pursuing coding careers,” adds Hlophe.

View AI as a tool for enhancing workflow and improving efficiency rather than a threat.

For those considering a career in software development, the time is ripe. “The demand for software developers is on the rise, and online learning platforms are available to provide comprehensive guidance at every stage of the journey,” Hlophe concludes.

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Coding is a great career for many professionals because jobs include high salaries, flexible hours and there are plenty of opportunities available. Here is some information that may help your decide whether or not a career in coding is a good option for you.


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