For American University What Are The Skills And Qualifications Required To Become A Software Developer?

According to the latest US News report, the position of a software developer remains the most lucrative and popular among all the top technology jobs. A software developer is required to blend creativity and technical skills in order to execute innovative computer application solutions. Recent technological advancements have meant that software developers are in high demand now more than ever. The aforementioned report also estimates a thirty percent employment growth for software developers in the next ten years.

Within the software support field, the title of a full-stack web developer is considered one of the most popular. A full-stack web developer is required to be adept at dealing with all layers of web development — from the front-end (the user interface and the portion of an application that consumers interact with) to the back-end (the logical functions, instructions and machine code that form the underlying part of many computer programs). Clearly, this job requires very special skills and tools in order to be carried out competently. Many beginners may find it challenging to pinpoint a good guide to help them find out what skills are needed to be a software developer in pursuit their dream career.



This article lists a set of software developer required qualifications, skills and certifications that should enable American University students to become a qualified full-stack web developer. Once you acquire these tools, you should be able to be hired in your dream position even if you possess little to no prior experience in the field. You can also try for CPA exam prep courses online.

1. Learn HTML and CSS
Perhaps the most basic and important software developer skills, learning HTML and CSS will give you the best foundation you need to begin a career in full-stack web development. Nearly all web programs are built on HTML and CSS, making them an unavoidable starting point. HTML provides the markup language for most web content while CSS adds styling and customization to the content. A combination of both can be a great bridge to other software developer skills. Both HTML and CSS are updated almost yearly; it is therefore important to ensure that you are learning the latest versions to help you stay ahead of the curve.

Recommended Certifications
A good starting point is to join a short-term coding bootcamp which should enable you to acquire these skills without spending a lot of resources or time. Udacity provides a thorough three-week program. Among other reputable programs are Lynda, Coursera and Thinkful.

2. Learn Javascript
Whereas HTML and CSS can be considered to be essential foundations for building websites, Javascript is the equivalent if you want to build dynamic web applications. In the modern age, where websites are required to meet both performance and aesthetic demands, it is just as crucial as any other programming language. Plenty of web frameworks that may later become useful in full-stack development — such as Angular, React and Node — require some core understanding of Javascript. Therefore, it is very important to pick up the fundamental concepts of Javascript early on your path to full-stack development.

Recommended Certifications
Udacity, Lynda and Thinkful all provide beginner courses that teach the most important aspects of Javascript as part of their program that is geared toward preparing students for the best front-end web development practices.

3. Learn Front-End Frameworks
Front-end frameworks help to optimize the functionality and execution of web applications. They are among the most vital software developer required qualifications since they form a structure from which the developer can build their website. Here are a few important front-end frameworks that you may find useful:

Angular – Considered one of the most popular front-end frameworks, Angular makes it easy for the developer to build otherwise complex applications. Mostly applied in single-page designs, it is easy to learn, affordable (open-source) and guarantees that your user interface is easy to structure and manipulate.

React – A crucial Javascript library for front-end development, React simplifies the process of developing an interactive and effective user interface. It is written in a declarative manner making it easy to learn and troubleshoot.

Vue – Often mentioned as an alternative to Angular and React, Vue has fast become a popular choice for front-end developers. It is easy to see why: it is one of the easiest frameworks for beginners to understand, and it is flexible enough to be implemented with existing templates.

Recommended Certifications
Udacity, Coursera and Thinkful all offer essential front-end web development courses. Angular proves to be the most popular framework being taught — coinciding with its high demand.

4. Learn Back-End Frameworks
Having felt comfortable enough with your grasp on front-end development, learning to be astute with back-end frameworks is the next step toward becoming a well-rounded full-stack web developer. Back-end frameworks should enable you to specify how different components of web applications work. These include functions of applications, servers and databases. Here is a set of important back-end frameworks that are important to learn:


Node – Since Node is written in Javascript, it is quite easy for beginners to pick up once they transition from front-end languages. Usually used with the Express framework, it can prove to be an imperative tool for back-end programming. It is well suited to real time applications, and dynamic and scalable environments.

Django – Django requires some rudimentary knowledge of Python before beginners can delve into it, but offers a powerful platform on which to build the foundations of a web application. It is known for being flexible (can be used to create almost any kind of application from dynamic content management systems to simple single-page websites), secure and scalable.

Recommended Certifications
Udacity and Lynda offer useful back-end developer courses that should help keep you competitive in the industry.

5. Learn About Databases
Lastly, a good web application will also need to optimize how it uses and stores data. It is therefore important to learn languages such as SQL and NoSQL that should enable you to access and manipulate databases according to the needs of your application.

Recommended Certifications
The full-stack web developer nanodegree course at Udacity offers important courses on relational databases. Meanwhile, Thinkful has an effective SQL bootcamp to introduce beginners to important database concepts. Finally, Lynda has an in-depth course on relational databases that could be useful to potential full stack web developers.

The tools listed above should answer your questions about what skills are needed to be a software developer as well as propel you into the field whether you have some previous experience or not. They provide all the necessary tools needed to be adept, competitive and qualified in full-stack web development.

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