How to Learn Software Development: Best Courses to Master Application Software
Have you ever wondered how a program knows what actions you want to take? Or, how two pieces of software can perform the same functions, yet seem so different? Have you ever considered creating your own software?
The branch of
that deals with making the software you use in your everyday life is known as software development. Although it might sound difficult at first, with some effort, you can
become a software developer
Just like any other field, the process of learning software development depends on your patience and your ability to practice. You can develop these skills as long as you have the right education and tools, which we will direct you to in this guide.
What Is Software Development?
Software is everything that makes a computer work. Software is a set of instructions, and structuring these instructions in a manner that the computer can understand is known as software development. It is the process of developing these instructions for the computer to follow.
Developing software includes managing, manufacturing, debugging applications, and creating frameworks, system software, and operating systems.
If computers were human beings, the software would be the brain. Without the software, the computer can’t perform any functions because there is no communication between the components of the machine.
What Is Software Development Used For?
Software development is an integral part of science. Its uses are vast and limitless, but here are some of its most essential uses.
- Integration. Software development can help provide your company with an astounding level of integration, making it possible for employees to access materials from anywhere and on any device.
- Convenience. Software development provides a tremendous amount of comfort to a user by simplifying workflow and providing us with huge amounts of information in an instant.
- Better promotion and marketing. Software helps improve marketing and promotions by reducing expenses and saving time. It can facilitate the broadcast of advertisements worldwide in no time.
- Improved communication. Software developments allow for easier and quicker transfer of data and information, which leads to enhanced communication.
Types Of Software Development
Software development can be broken down into several different areas. So, as a software engineer, you can choose your area of focus according to your interests.
Software developers make different kinds of software to suit the needs of customers and consumers. Let’s take a look at the primary types of software development below.
Application Development is the development of applications that perform specific tasks on either a Windows or Mac operating system. These applications carry out day-to-day tasks ranging from basic jobs such as calculation to advanced tasks like editing in Photoshop .
Mobile Software Development
mobile app development
field has increased four folds in just the past decade. A smartphone is considered smart, largely due to its operating system, which enables it to perform many tasks that could not have been performed by basic phones.
With the rise in the number of smartphone users, the requirement of apps that can perform the tasks that a user would need a computer to execute is increasing every day.
System Software Development
System software is basically the software that runs a machine. It is also called an operating system. This is the most important type of software, as no machine can run without it.
Not only operating systems coordinate between different components of a machine but they also are responsible for executing other applications.
With the constant competition in the operating system market, companies are boosting their efforts to improve their versions of operating systems and hence they hire skilled system software developers.
Learning Software Development
There are some prerequisites to learning software development that will ease your journey to becoming a software developer. For example, if you are
learning to code
, you are already on your way to learning software development.
Likewise, if you already have many hours of testing and debugging software under your belt, you will be able to master software development in no time.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Software Development?
Even though software development is not difficult to learn, there are no shortcuts to learning it. Software development is not a theoretical subject and is more like a life skill that has to be acquired through time and practice.
So, if you are thinking of getting into software development, you should be prepared to commit to at least six months of study.
Many courses and resources can help you speed up your learning curve. Below, we have compiled a list of all of the courses and resources that can help you out.
How to Learn Software Development: Step-by-Step
Let’s break down your journey to becoming a software developer into five simple steps.
- Set a goal: Be very clear about your targets before you get started. You should have an idea of what coding is , why you are learning software development, and what you aim to get out of it.
- Learn a programming language : Choosing a good programming language is a very important step. Every person has a natural comfort with some programming language. Take some time to find which language you are most confident with and then work on it.
- Practice: Practice plays a vital role in learning any new skill, so the same goes for software development. The more you practice, the better you will get.
- Learn the software development life cycle : The software development life cycle is a process commonly used by software developers and project managers to provide top-notch software to the public. The more familiar you are with this process, the better your software will be.
- Work experience: Work experience can be a major boost to your resume. While you study, be on the lookout for internships so that you can gain valuable work experience.
The Best Software Development Courses and Training
Choosing a software development course that suits you and will ease your learning process is very important. Below, we have listed some of the most highly-rated software development online courses and training.
Best In-Person Software Development Courses
Some people choose in-person sources simply because they are more comfortable with it. Below is a list of some of the top in-person software development courses available.
University Of Pennsylvania
- Course: Computer Science Essentials
- Time: 1 week
- Prerequisites: None
- Cost: Currently closed
University Of British Columbia
- Course: Foundation of Software Engineering
- Time : 3 days
- Prerequisites : None
- Cost : Currently closed
This course is one of the best-rated courses available. It is a complete guide to learning Software development that will provide you with the right amount of guidance to reach an advanced level of software development.
Best Online Software Development Courses
There are many types of online software development courses out there. Choose one that will cover the specific skills or programming languages that you want to learn.
- Course: Software Engineering Essentials
- Time : 9 hours
- Prerequisites : None
- Cost : $75
This course by Pluralsight is very basic. It will cover all the fundamentals of software creation to give you a better understanding before you move on to more advanced classes.
- Course: The Python Bible
- Time : 9 hours
- Prerequisites : None
- Cost : $10
In the Python Bible, you will learn how to develop software using the programming language Python. This one-stop course is an in-depth guide to learning Python and will fill you in on everything you need to know to get skilled at Python.
Best Free Software Development Courses
There are many free online courses you can sign up for if you want to save your money. Let’s take a look at a couple of the best ones.
- Course : Learn to Program – The Fundamentals
- Time : 25 hours
- Prerequisites : None
- Cost : Free
This course is the highest rated free Coursera class in software development. It is a beginners’ course that aims to strengthen your programming capabilities. It will clear up any confusion you have about basic concepts, and prepare you with a solid understanding of Python.
- Course: Software Testing
- Time : 15 hours
- Prerequisites : None
- Cost : Free
Software testing is a very important skill for software developers, and this course will teach you all about it. Get started on learning the basics of how to test and debug the software you are creating.
Best Software Development Books
Even though software development is a practical field, books can provide necessary insight and perspective. Below is a list of some of the books that will help you get a better understanding of the field.
Soft Skills – The Software Developers Life Manual , John Z. Sonmez
This book is a bible for software developers. It not only discusses technology but also how software development skills and methods can be applied to real-life interactions. This is one of the most highly-rated software development books, so be sure to check it out.
The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide , John Sonmen
The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide is a must-read for aspiring software developers. In his book, Sonmen talks about career prospects in software development and reveals insider tips to the industry.
Skill Up: A Software Developer’s Guide To Life And Career , Jordan Hudgens
This book is essentially a combination of the two previously described texts. It aims to make you a better developer and contains many tips and tricks to succeed in the career. This book contains notes and specific steps that will help your learning process go smoothly.
Software Development Certifications
Certifications are an integral part of a software course because they are the only way to prove that you have actually completed the class.
Microsoft conducts this certification course, which is considered to be the best in the field. It is free, but if you choose to take the instructor-led version, you must pay $127. The course will cover fundamental information about operating systems and will enhance your overall technical credibility.
At the end of the course, you must pass an exam to receive your certificate.
This certificate course from Amazon is on par with the course offered by Microsoft. To take it, you must have at least a year of hands-on experience. The course costs $150 and you have to pass a 130-minute exam to get certified.
Best Online Software Development Resources
Utilizing online resources is a good way to practice the skills you’re trying to learn. Most of them are free and very reliable. Below are some of the most commonly-used and highly rated resources for learning software development.
Github is the world’s largest database site. It’s like a gold mine for a software developer. It contains everything a developer might need to practice and learn their craft.
This is also the largest active tech community on the Internet, with over 10 million active users. It is a huge marketplace to showcase your skill and learn from some of the best developers in the world.
YouTube is the largest video streaming service on the Internet. It contains hours and hours of free courses on every possible topic, including software development, compiled on playlists by developers all around the world.
All you have to do is find a tutor you are comfortable with and start going through their playlists as you learn and practice.
We recommend you to check out Edureca’s full 10-hour course on how to become a software developer . They have covered each and every aspect of software development which will definitely help you out.
Should You Study Software Development?
In a world where much of what we do involves some kind of software, be it your phone or a home appliance, learning how to develop it is a safe career choice.
Over time, the need for computers and software is expected to increase fourfold, and so will the demand for experienced software developers.
The average salary for a software engineer is around $200,000 annually, and better yet, it offers undeniable job stability. So, if you’re interested in programming and are looking for a new skill, software development is the right field for you.