Have you ever considered who’s designing the websites, software, and smartphone apps you visit or use daily? There’s a never-ending flood of web pages and applications, so someone must be creating them, right? Could that someone be you?
Coders create the online digital resources we all use. This article answers the question, “what does a coder do?” We will see what coding is, what coders do, the various kinds of coding jobs, the requirements for becoming a coder, and a way for aspiring coders to join this exciting, in-demand vocation.
The first step is defining coding. Let’s begin.
What is Coding Exactly?
Coding is the act of writing instructions so computers can understand them and know how to perform a particular group of tasks. The actual written code depends on the system’s goals and the programming language constraints the coder uses.
Coding is also called programming, and coders are also referred to as computer programmers, developers, or software engineers.
So, coders are the digital world’s construction workers of the digital world. They assemble the building blocks necessary to create websites, apps, and other types of computer software.
Let’s go more in-depth on what does a coder do.
What Does a Coder Do?
Coders are IT professionals who use various programming languages to talk with computers and software, making them perform specific tasks. Since computers and software are only as intelligent and versatile as the humans who program them, the job of a coder is to translate commands and information into a form that the IT resource understands and will act upon.
In summary, here is more about the job of a coder:
- First, they collaborate with departments, management, and customers to identify end-user specifications and requirements
- They write programs in various computer languages (e.g., Python, C++, or Java)
- They update, upgrade, and expand existing computer programs
- They test programs for errors and repair faulty lines of computer code
- They simplify development by creating, modifying, and testing software codes and scripts
- They observe user feedback that recommends improvements to existing software products
- They develop technical documentation that will guide future development projects
This collection of responsibilities is simple enough, but when you ask, “what do coders do?”, you must understand that the job can vary depending on the organization’s size, the coder’s experience level, and even the industry.
The Different Types of Coding Jobs
When figuring out what does a coder do, we must recognize the different types of coding jobs available. However, coders of all kinds have one thing in common: their essential role in the software development life cycle (SDLC).
The SLDC comprises seven stages (Planning, Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing, Deployment, and Maintenance). Typically, coders only do a little during the planning, analysis, or design stages, although they may occasionally offer input.
Coders can expect to devote most of their efforts to the implementation and maintenance phases. In the implementation phase, also called the development phase, the coders follow the design documentation and write the program. This phase will take up most of the coder’s time and energy.
The testing and deployment phases infrequently concern coders, although they may be called upon to deal with any unexpected errors on launch day. Coders are also busy during the maintenance phase since they must respond to user feedback to tweak the program, fix bugs, and create updates.
Regarding experience, junior coders typically report to senior coders and get assigned non-critical jobs. Mid-level coders, professionals with at least five years of experience, usually get assigned an entire piece of software for the development project. Senior coders, typically professionals with at least ten years of experience, generally are the project leader, with coding teams and managers under them. These professionals help build out the application and take a leadership role, handling delivery, assessing customer feedback, and suggesting future updates.
Coders vs. Programmers
Although the terms “coder” and “programmer” are often used interchangeably, they are different jobs. So, what does a coder do that’s different from a programmer’s job description? Actually, coding is considered a subset of programming. Although every programmer is a coder, not all coders are programmers. Programmers require a greater in-depth understanding of the different programming languages, using them to develop and execute various applications or functions. Programmers also typically solve issues that arise from code and employ more creativity and conceptualizing rather than coding.
Still, there’s no real issue using the two terms interchangeably. It most likely makes no difference in smaller organizations where people tend to wear more than one hat anyway.
What Does a Coder Do: Necessary Skills and Requirements
Now that we have a clearer idea about what coders do, we need to quantify what requirements and skills coders need to carry out their responsibilities. Here is a list of skills and requirements for coders. Not every organization will require every one of the following; needs vary. However, many of these items will appear in most recruiters’ wish lists.
- A bachelor’s or master’s degree in a field such as software engineering, computer science or something related
- At least three years of experience in application development
- An excellent understanding of the software development life cycle
- Strong problem-solving and communication skills
- Experience with development methodologies such as Agile and Scrum
- The ability to learn quickly and work as part of a team or independently
- The ability to think analytically and logically, understanding problems and breaking them down into logical pieces.
Can you become a coder without any prior experience? Luckily, yes, you can. We’ll elaborate on this later.
How Do You Start a Career in Coding?
Let’s look at the different paths you can take to secure the job of a coder eventually.
- Teach Yourself. For this path, you must engage in independent study, check out bootcamps and other educational resources, build a portfolio of successful coding projects, and apply for an entry-level position. This is an entirely self-motivated option, with no compensation or help from any organization.
- Get a degree. This option is ideal for the hopeful coder who has yet to commit to their career or higher education path. This strategy is a several-year commitment where you study a major such as computer science and pick up many other skills as well. But, of course, colleges are a significant investment of time and money. However, on the upside, you will graduate with a useful assortment of information and skills.
- Take a course. This option might be the most ideal and easy to do. In this case, you take a class or two at a university or via an online resource, such as a bootcamp. This path costs less than getting a degree, you get certification that shows employers your qualifications, and it doesn’t dominate your time, so you can hold down a job as you learn.
Speaking of bootcamps, we have just the thing for you if you’re going with that option for starting your coding career.
Here’s an Easy Way to Become a Coder
We noted that the easiest, most cost-effective way to become a coder is by taking a course or bootcamp, gaining the needed skills and certification, and proceeding from there. But there are so many offerings; which should you choose?
This online coding bootcamp will turn you into the kind of candidate recruiters are looking for. This intense program focuses on front- and back-end software development, providing hands-on projects while helping you build your own Git Portfolio from the ground up.
You will learn critical skills such as:
- HTML and CSS
Six months of applied learning, hands-on projects, and sandboxed labs will culminate in a capstone project that will validate your skills to top companies.
According to Indeed.com, software coders and programmers working in the United States earn a yearly average of $72,158, with a potential average maximum of $120,218.
So, if you are intrigued after learning the answer to “what does a coder do?”, and you want to get things off to a great start, check out this coding bootcamp and consider signing up.