A book you should read before you decide to learn to code

Should You Become a Software Developer - A book you should read before you decide to learn to code - Łukasz Marek Sielski Nowadays, wherever you look, you're told to learn to code. You can see people who earn good money by typing on their keyboards for days long. Our children are taught programming at school, and you start feeling left behind. You make a big decision: I want to become a developer. But how? I would argue that you should ask different questions. Why? What? Is it for me? What if I fail? What next?

This site is a resource that accompanies the book I'm working on that answers those questions.

Soon avaialble on Amazon and Kindle.

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About the author

Should You Become a Software Developer - A book you should read before you decide to learn to code - Łukasz Marek Sielski Łukasz Marek Sielski, Polish living in the United Kingdom. Professional Software Developer for over two decades. Lead and manager for more than 11 years. Experienced in startups and large organisations. Worked for Time Inc., Nokia, WAYN and MailOnline.

Preface to the book

When I took on the journey to write this book, I thought it would be a straightforward task. I knew what I wanted to say and what message to send. I sat down, drafted a plan, researched, and started to type. Then, suddenly, the whole world stopped. Worldwide pandemic has put everything I knew into question. Most of the data I collected was obsolete. The reality for many has turned upside down. People started to work remotely, and office politics faded away. The importance of communication zoomed. Industries that have avoided technology became desperate for digital transformation. In some sectors, redundancies hit the levels of the Dot-com bubble of the 2000ties. Some grew massively.

I started from scratch five times, but the world did not stop changing. Some already forgot about the pandemic, while it’s not entirely gone. War has erupted in Ukraine, transforming global politics, and a few paragraphs in this book. The world kept moving in an unknown direction. Finally, I got an idea of how far changes could go. Unlike many other sectors, not much has changed in software. IT departments were already leading in connectivity, asynchronous and remote work. Their skills were in insane demand before. Specifics might have moved a bit, but the essentials stood.

Perhaps the most significant change was a definite shift towards the remote and hybrid forms of working. But that could have been expected after people understood the value of a healthier life-work balance during the pandemic.

War has proven how resilient the market is. Ukraine was and still is a vital software house in Europe. You can see people fighting for independence in the daytime and coding for work in the evening from inside the bunker. Many talents have left Russia and Belarus, leaving a void. A void enlarged by the demand for local copies of services blocked over several dates. New ideas and markets emerged. When I started to write this book, blockchain was the cool kid on the block. Now it’s metaverse, NFT and Web3. IT and data will be good career choices for a long time, and last years have proven it.

I have read through the draft and was satisfied. But I still had some doubts. Do I deliver the promise? Does the title (formerly: Becoming a Software Developer, a prequel to learn-to-code books in a rapidly changing world) explain what I want to achieve? I wasn’t sure. Imposter syndrome kicked in, and I wanted to bin it.

Then my brother called me and asked me for some advice. He was about to change his job and considered a significant career move. As I’d tell you later, he greatly influenced mine. He had spent years providing IT support for various employers, yet he did not appreciate his experience and skills. He asked the question that usually much younger friends of mine asked: which programming language should I learn?

I wasn’t sure. I knew that it varies a lot. I wanted to think it through.

And then I got a moment of enlightenment.

The answer to the question in the current title of this book (Should you become a software developer?) for many would be: no. Should you learn to code? Possibly. Are there good alternatives in the IT-sphere alone? Absolutely.

I changed to order of the book to give a more accent on the variety of possibilities. Thanks to that (I hope), no matter which answer will suit you most, you may find the rest of this story valuable. Multiple professions use the same situations and tools. Knowledge of others may help you work with developers, even if you won’t peruse their path.

For most, I hope I will help you decide if it’s worth putting much of your time, effort and possibly money into a career that may or may not be best for you.

Book facts

  • Paperback: 6' x 9', about 280 pages.
  • Ebook: about 280 pages.

Table of Contents 🔗

  • PREFACE
  • INTRODUCTION
    • Who this book is for?
    • How to read this book?
    • About the author
    • PART 1 - DESTINATION
      • Why people learn to code?
      • Professions in the IT
      • Software Developers
      • Software Engineers
      • Quality Assurance and SDET
      • UI and UX
      • Project, Product and Account Management
      • Applications Administration
      • Application Support and Monitoring
      • Hardware and Networks Maintenance
      • DevOps and Systems
      • Security and Audits
      • Search Engine Optimisation, Social and Traffic
      • Data Analytics
      • Ads, Sales, Commercial and E-Commerce
      • Hardware Engineering
      • Other jobs in IT
    • Classifications of Software Developers
      • Experience and responsibility
      • Technology
      • Environment
      • The past and the future
    • Who a software developer is not?
    • How becoming a developer may secure your future?
      • Market before the pandemics
      • Remote work and remuneration before pandemics
      • Work in IT during the pandemic
      • Contracting and freelancing
    • How becoming a developer may help you in other trades?
      • Automating and documenting processes
      • Analytical thinking and problem solving
      • Improving communications
    • What is beyond?
  • PART 2 - MY STORY
    • Early beginnings
    • We are worth more than you think
    • Every time you learn from the beginning
    • Taking on responsibility
    • Keep reinventing yourself
    • Join me on the journey
  • PART 3 - THE PATH
    • What does it take?
      • Myth about memorising
      • Myth about working hard
      • Need of a context
      • Equipment
      • Time and money
    • Who can help you?
      • Pay to win. Is it worth it?
      • Charities and the community
      • Mentors
    • What makes you a good hire?
      • Where to apply first
      • Demand
      • Forms of engagement
      • MVH and ROI
      • Accountability
      • Skill set, experience and presence
      • Counter argument: Personal brand
      • Mandatory, but irrelevant
      • Preparing for the interview
    • What are typical career paths?
      • A “regular” developer and senior developer
      • Lead, Principal, and Head of
    • What lays ahead?
      • How do you stay relevant?
      • What barriers you may find?
  • PART 4 – THE WORK
    • Minimum technical background
      • Code fundamentals
      • Changes
      • Systems and their layers
      • Security
      • Real system examples
    • Organising the work
      • Waterfall
      • Agile
      • Developers Anarchy
    • Requirements
      • Proactive tasks
      • Reactive tasks
      • Horror stories
    • How does the work actually look like?
      • Day of a software developer
      • Week/2 Weeks of a software developer
      • Year of a software developer
  • PART 5 – THE ENVIRONMENT
    • What to expect
      • From the company
      • From the manager
      • From your colleagues
      • From the market
    • What challenges will you face?
      • Lack of understanding
      • Imposter syndrome
      • Burnout and tiredness
      • No silver bullet solutions
      • Making vs Doing
  • THE FINAL WORD