Consider the device you’re using to read this right now. Is it an iPhone or Android? PC or Mac? Or maybe it’s a tablet? Regardless of what you’re using, you probably already have some idea that it’s powered by a programmer or software developer.
That person – or team of people – wrote the computer programs and software to add functionality to your device. They may have used programming languages like C, Objective-C, C++, C#, Java or Visual Basic.NET to design and write those computer programs. At some point, you’ve probably also had to run a software update on that device – which means that person or team is still working, probably on a daily basis, to enhance your experience and fix errors and bugs in the code.
I Want to Learn Coding. Where Do I Start?
You can start learning computer programming through a variety of methods – some programmers are self taught, while others prefer to go through a more formal program with experts on hand, readily available to assist. The second option is where we come in – Dallas Community Colleges offers affordable tuition rates with courses led by qualified professors.
We offer a variety of programming-specialized degrees and certificates within our Computer Information Technology program. These options can come in handy for a variety of learners, whether you’re trying to build up your skills by taking a few classes, you’re earning a certificate or associate degree to move into the workforce, or you’re interested in transfering to a four-year college to continue advancing your education.
Here’s a list of the programming awards we offer:
- Software Programmer/Developer Associate in Applied Sciences degree
- Software Programmer/Developer Assistant Certificate
- DBA Certificate
- .NET Programming Skills Achievement Award
- Object-Oriented Programming Skills Achievement Award
- Oracle Associate Skills Achievement Award
- Oracle Professional Skills Achievement Award
- Programmer Level 1 Certificate
- Visual Studio Developer Certificate
- Visual Studio Enterprise Developer Certificate
- Visual Studio Professional Developer Certificate
Even if you’re self-taught, certifications can be a valuable addition to your resume, says Brookhaven alumnus Eren Can. “I studied IT before and after the program [at DCCCD]. I already knew quite a lot also before coming to the U.S., and developed a lot of projects. However, it certainly made me love what I do more than ever before. I started having better understanding of the programming languages after studying them in the language they’re originated from. I started using online resources much more efficiently after improving my language skills. And it’s, of course, always good to have some fancy looking certificates attached to the resume.
“Normally, in IT business, they ask us what we know and what we’re capable of. Because it’s easy to evaluate the knowledge in an interview quickly, unlike most of the other jobs. But when they see all the listed certificates in my resume, they’re like, ‘Wow, you really have studied a lot, haven’t you?’ So, it is a plus to have them.”
Why You Should Learn Programming
You should consider learning to code if you’re naturally curious, enjoy problem solving and have an interest in not just learning, but also building new things. You might also consider learning to code because of the huge amount of growth expected in the industry over the next few years and how well programming jobs pay. For example, programming jobs in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area pay an annual mean wage of around $82,000, and the demand for software developers is expected to grow by nearly 20 percent nationally by 2024.
In practice, you’ll often find the terms developer, coder and programmer to be interchangeable, but the type of language you learn, your specializations, education level and even the job title can make a difference when it comes to your paycheck. While computer programmers in Texas can make an annual mean wage of about $80,000 like we mentioned earlier, a systems software developer might make closer to $100,000 and an applications software developer might also make close to that figure. Coder, programmer, developer. Those three little words can make a big difference!
You Can Start Learning How to Code By…
To write a computer program, students must first learn a new language. Every college is unique in choosing which computer language to teach students first, but the most popular choices among educational institutions are Python, Java, MATLAB, C, C++ and Scheme. When you look at job postings, you might also see employers asking for skills in various types of C (including C++ and C#) and Java. Among mobile app companies, employers may look for device-specific languages on your resume, such as Swift (a language created by Apple to create mobile apps).
Programming isn’t for everyone, but if you think you might be interested, you can start learning computer programming basics at DCCCD by taking the introductory class ITSE 1429, Programming Logic and Design. This hands-on course teaches problem-solving using structured techniques and representation of algorithms using design tools.
What About Coding for Websites?
Much like computer programming, Web development is all about learning different languages. If that sounds appealing, you might also be interested to learn about some of our Web/Internet Services programs:
- Web Production and Design Associate in Applied Sciences degree
- Basic Web Production Certificate
- Open Source Certificate
- Web Developer Specialist Certificate
- Web Development Certificate