Ways to Start a Software Development Career


Whether you are a fresh graduate of any computer studies, maybe computer science, computer engineering or BS. Information Technology or you are passionate in software programming & development, then you have all the options and sky is the limit.

First of all, you have to decide whether you want to start as an employee or you want to do business of your own.  Some may try employment initially as their training ground and then eventually shift to their own venture.  But in any case, its not always about software programming and problem solving.  One should be business & marketing-oriented, meaning focus on the end-users’ need than product features because most likely those features aren’t needed at all.

So what are the ways to start a software development career?  Below are some suggestions:

1. Join an MIS team – this is probably the easiest.  Many of newly graduates opt to work and join an MIS department of a company or industry not necessarily in IT/software business.  You will work on in-house development projects, desktop and server support and even hardware troubleshooting, they may enroll you to some skills training and use you to develop internal software applications or middleware and application support.  This maybe ideal as a training ground but you might want to consider other options especially if the company you will work for do not innovate enough to have a sustainable MIS team.

2. Work for an IT software company – Many talented Filipinos prefer to work in an IT company after graduation for the obvious reason of working in an industry related field.  But instead of developing applications for internal use, you will have to work for their clients.  Depending on the company’s culture and methodology, for small companies, you’ll be a jack of all trades, meaning your tasks will vary from requirements gathering, to analysis and design, development, testing and deployment.  For bigger companies, you’ll be assigned of a specific task or module alone.  I suggest that if you are confident in your programming skills, one should pursue working in a smaller company because not only you will learn a lot, you’ll be a pioneer and when the company meets its breakthrough then stock options will most likely happen.

On the other hand, bigger companies will give you formal training, by-the-book software methodology and will make your CVs attractive then working outside the country is the next step, which I discourage because of the lack of senior analyst in the Philippines.

3. Work as a freelance programmer or your own company – this one is too risky but just like in any other risky actions, the rewards and opportunities are infinite.  This occasionally happens when a friend of a friend owns a business, then will offer you to work on a project that will give you instant $$$.  The thing here is, assuming you are successful with the first project, but most of the time its not with lack of experience and naivety, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a new project.

Being knowledgeable in software development doesn’t mean you can design an accounting program.  In working for yourself, we suggest that you have a niche, there are lots of options: ERP, CRM, front-end solutions, middleware, programming tools, your own database, your own web server, a web-portal, a social-networking site, web design, SEO, cloud computing, etc but ensure that you are also thinking the business side of things.

The good side here is that this may give you the opportunity to be the next great software company specially if you invent something extraordinaire.  You may opt to selling the product’s intellectual property or the company itself after a long run or pursue it as a built to last company.

Just don’t be confused between software development and software implementation.  If you want to be a hardcore developer then be in a software development job.  Software implementation is fundamentally the delivery of the end-product, it involves implementation planning, installation, training which is a totally different thing.
So that’s it, you might try one or all but in the end, its the journey and living your dream and passion that matter.

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