How to Become a Developer: a Complete Beginner’s Guide
We have prepared a compilation of the most relevant modern development specializations and key skills required for those. Read this article and discover who is responsible for a web application’s features, what should one be skilled in for a mobile application or game development, and much more!
Any application or website has a “visible” part, which includes texts, images, and buttons. A front-end developer is the one who is responsible for elements layout and interface building. The developer doesn’t make it on their own, they build the front-end following the mock-ups provided by UI/UX designers. At this point, both specialists’ goal is to build a comprehensible interface, where their user is able to find all features intuitively.
Front-end developers also cooperate tightly with back-end developers. Why? Because the server should get a proper request to send a proper response to the client. Binding the server and the interface is also a thing front-end developers are responsible for.
What should one know to start as a Front-end Developer?
- CSS frameworks and UI libraries. Bootstrap, Foundation 3, Material UI, Semantic UI.
- CSS preprocessors. Sass and Less.
- Systems of application building. E.g., Webpack.
- Understand what happens after DNS-server requests sending.
- Use GIT.
- Know UI/UX design basics.
A back-end developer is responsible for features’ proper working, algorithms elaboration, side services integration, and much more. All of those ensure that a server will process the requests correctly, and the user will receive proper responses.
Back-end developers also work with data much. For instance, when a user enters their personal data into registration forms (on the front-end), the application sends those to the server, encrypts, and stores them there. Sometimes analysts require user behavior data to improve the application. For that, a back-end developer should retrieve the requested data and pass it to the analysts.
What should one know to start as a Back-end Developer?
- Back-end programming languages. For example, PHP, Node.js, Golang, Java, Python, and others.
- Databases properties. Usually, databases and programming languages come together. For example, MySQL is frequently combined with PHP, MongoDB with Node.js, etc.
- Use patterns. Frameworks like Nest, Express, Symfony, Django, etc.
- GIT version control.
- Web protocols (TCP, HTTP, HTTPS).
- Server setup, e.g., Ngnix.
- API and information passing using JSON (REST, GraphQL), Protobuf, XML.
- Product testing. This helps avoid bugs and increases code reliability.
Full Stack Development
A full-stack developer is one who knows the full technology stack: server, interface, operating systems, databases, etc. A full-stack developer shouldn’t necessarily be a senior developer. Nonetheless, the developer covers all technical processes. The responsibilities of a full-stack developer don’t differ much from those of other programmers.
Usually, companies hire full-stack developers when they require quick MVP realization, hypothesis testing, or developing a new product that often changes and requests refinement. In such cases, it is just simpler if all processes are executed by one specialist.
What should one know to start as a Full Stack Developer?
- Frameworks and libraries, e.g., Reach, Vue, Angular.
- Working with Linux.
- CI/CD methods.
- Product testing, to avoid bugs and increase code reliability.
Android is currently used by 2.5 billion people, while Google Play Store has 2.79 million applications. Android developers are involved in creating a product at the design stage, and after that, they build the application or program according to the layout provided by the designer. Testing, improving, and uploading the finished product on Google Play is also the developer’s responsibility.
The operational system is popular for a wide range of devices, from smartphones to microwaves, which is quite challenging for software developers.
What should one know to start as an Android Developer?
- Programming languages: Kotlin and Java.
- CI/CD framework usage.
- Android Studio software. That’s an official development environment where the code is written. It provides templates for various devices, a built-in mockup editor, and code testing features.
- File structure, application components. Libraries Android Jetpack, Retrofit, Java RX, and Dagger.
- Working with GIT.
- Understand data transmissions via HTTP(S), know REST basics.
- Properties of OOP, Solid, Clean Architecture, MVP/MVVM/MV, design patterns.
Apple has its own cloud storage, streaming service, and applications. Similar to Android developers, iOS programmers create applications, programs, and games. However, they work with Apple devices only; these include a large variety of devices, too: smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, etc. Just anything supported by iOS.
iOS developers don’t just build and test applications. They upload applications and programs to App Store. To do that, they should be aware of how to cooperate with the platform and how to build the documentation. After the application is released, iOS developers track users’ comments, edit the application, and add new features.
What should one know to start as an iOS Developer?
- Swift and Objective-C programming languages. The first one is a relatively new programming language that grew popular over the past few years, while the second one was in use earlier.
- Xcode. That is a development environment that was created at Apple for “their” programmers. It’s also great to know and use iOS SDK.
- iOS libraries and architectures, e.g., ImageViewer.swift, PhoneNumberKit, Gmenu, SideMenu.
- Projecting rules. MVC (Model-View-Controller), MVVM (Model-View-View-Model), and delegation pattern.
- Master App Store. As we have mentioned above, the developer is the one who’s responsible for product uploading and updating. Thus, it’s crucial to know the terms of using the platform.
Unity is not just a game engine, it’s a development environment. Developers work with assets (sounds, script, images, etc.), building, testing, object behavior development, and so on. The code itself is written in and in an external editor, e.g., Visual Studio.
Many popular games were built on Unity. There are many platforms for game creation; however, Unity remains one of the most popular ones. There are many reasons for that: the low entry threshold, a large number of educational materials (tutorials, guides, documents) available, using C #, a variety of tools, and the large developer community.
A Unity developer is a specialist who creates multimedia digital games for different platforms. First, the developer and the team come up with the concept of the game, then they build the idea and make sure that everything works properly. The developer not only implements the game from scratch but also participates in testing, supporting, and updating the created game.
What should one know to start as a Unity Developer?
- C# basics.
- Master Unity properties.
- Know the specifics of Android and iOS. Unity provides multiplatform possibilities, which means that the Unity developer should understand platform optimization.
- Hard science. For instance, trigonometry knowledge is required to set the trajectory of movements and rotations of objects correctly.
- Have a gaming experience. It’s easier to create better gameplay being an experienced gamer oneself.
DevOps stands for Development and Operations. Actually, DevOps is a methodology of software development; it appeared to solve department coordination issues.
DevOps specialists aim to release products quickly with no bugs in those, automate processes, and create a single operational environment for teams. That is to increase cooperation’s efficiency: the technical team is capable of solving the problems on time and releasing code faster.
First, a DevOps engineer evaluates the project infrastructure and decides how to optimize processes, integrates the operational environment into work, and helps deploy products. When the product is released, they track processes productivity.
What should one know to start as a DevOps Engineer?
- Linux and shell commands.
- Computer networks and protocols: TCP/IP (IP, TCP, UDP, HTTP/HTTPS), API (REST, gRPC, GraphQL).
- Master main services: databases, web servers, proxy, load balancers, storage services.
- CI/CD, SDLC. The most popular tools are Jenkins, GitlabCI, CircleCI, GitHub Actions; however, the full list is too large.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Code managing process. There are four main categories of it: containers (Docker, LXC), configurations management (Ansible, Chef, Puppet), container-orchestration (Kubernetes, Nomad), and infrastructures deployment automatization tools (Terraform, Pulumi).
- Log management and aggregation systems. The most widely used tools are Prometheus + Grafana and ELK (ElasticSearch, Logstash, Kibana).
- Cloud providers: WS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure.
Data scientists analyze data and “train” ML models that are able to determine pattern types. For example, recognize and classify objects in images and videos, recommend a good in online stores, or friends on social networks.
Data scientists also make business predictions. The specialists gather data and analyze users’ behavior, and “teach” the model to make predictions.
What should one know to start as a Data Scientist?
- Several programming languages basics: Python (Pandas, Numpy, scikit-learn, LightGBM, CatBoost, and TensorFlow libraries), R, and SQL.
- Discrete mathematics, statistics, and statistical analysis.
- Main machine learning algorithms: logistic regression, decision trees, gradient boosting.
Machine Learning Engineering
Machine Learning Engineer develops algorithms for computers to follow.
Most of the time, ML engineers work with data: teaches models analyze data, and make logical conclusions. Personal Assistants, such as Siri, Android Now, and Cortana, appeared thanks to ML engineers.
ML-engineering is a branch of Data Science. Data science relates to researching, constructing, and interpreting a created model, while machine learning is a tool for creating that model. ML engineering is not very friendly to newbies. It is possible to master the technologies from scratch, but this requires a thorough understanding of discrete mathematics, statistics, and programming. A beginner in ML should have a data analytics or Python development background.
What should one know to start as a Machine Learning Engineer?
- Mathematics: probability theory, applied statistics. It is necessary to use the knowledge for the product’s business goals.
- Programming languages: Python or R, and the libraries: Pandas, OpenCV, NLTK, spaCy, scikit-learn.
- SQL to work with databases.
- ML models. Focus on the main ones first: logistic regression, linear regression, KNN, SVMs, decision trees.
- Data modeling. Modeling patterns, iterative learning algorithms, models accuracy assessment strategies. That is where R/Python languages and NumPy/SciPy libraries are required.