If you have read the entire book and you've solved all the problems from the exercises and reached the present conclusion, congratulations! You've already made the first step in learning the profession of a programmer, but there is a long way to go until you become really good and make software writing your profession.
Remember the four main groups of skills, that each programmer must have to work in the industry:
- Skill #1 – writing the program code (20% of programmer's skills) – covered to a large degree by this book, but you must learn additional basic data structures, classes, functions, strings, and other elements of code writing.
- Skill #2 – algorithmic thinking (30% of programmer's skills) – covered partially by this book and developed mostly by solving a large amount of diverse algorithmic problems.
- Skill #3 – a fundamental understanding of the profession (25% of programmer's skills) – acquired for a few years in combination with learning and practice (reading books, watching video lessons, attending courses, and mostly by writing diverse projects in various technological areas).
- Skill #4 - programming languages and software technologies (25% of programmer's skills) – acquired in a long period, by a lot of practice, consistent reading, and writing projects. Such knowledge and skills quickly get outdated and need to be updated frequently. Good programmers are involved in studying new technologies every day.
This Book is Only The First Step!
The present book on programming basics is just the first step in building the skills of a programmer. If you were able to solve all problems, this means you have obtained valuable knowledge in the programming principles with Python language on a basic level. You are about to start in-depth studying of programming, develop your algorithmic thinking, and then add technological knowledge regarding the Python language, Django ecosystem, front-end technologies (HTML, CSS, Angular, React, AJAX, HTML5), and many other concepts, technologies and instruments for software development.
If you were not able to solve all problems or a large part of them, go back and solve them! Remember that becoming a programmer requires a lot of work and effort. This profession is not for lazy people. There is no way to learn it unless you seriously practice programming for years!
As we already explained, the first and basic skill of a programmer is to learn to write code with ease and pleasure. This is namely the mission of this book: to teach you how to code.
What to Do After Reading This Book?
This book gives you solid foundation, thanks to which it will be easy for you to continue developing as a programmer. If you wonder how to continue your development, you have the following possibilities:
- to study for a software engineer at SoftUni and make programming your profession.
- to continue developing as a programmer on your own, for example through self-training or via online lessons.
- to stay at a coder level, without going more seriously into programming.
Study Software Engineering at SoftUni
The first option, which we recommend, is to enroll in a Software Developer program to master programming on a professional level. The SoftUni curriculum is carefully developed by Dr. Svetlin Nakov and his team, to provide you consequently and with gradually increasing complexity all the skills that a software engineer must have, to start a career as a software developer in an IT company.
Training Duration in SoftUni
The training in SoftUni has a duration of 1-2 years (depending on the professional track). A typical student with good grades starts a job around the middle of the training (after around 1.5 years). Thanks to the well-developed partners' network, the career center of SoftUni offers work in a software or IT company to all SoftUni students.
It Takes at Least a Year of Intense Code Writing to Become a Programmer
Keep in mind that to become a programmer takes a lot of effort, writing tens of thousands of lines of code, and solving hundreds, even thousands of practical problems, and this takes years! If someone offers "an easier program" with the promise of you becoming a programmer and landing a job within 3-4 months of starting the course, they are either lying to you, or providing a significantly lower-quality education that will not prepare you enough for even an intern position. There are exceptions, of course - for example, if you are not starting from scratch, or if you have extremely well-developed engineering thinking, or if you apply for a very low position (for example technical support), but in general, you cannot become a programmer if you haven't spent at least 1 year of intense learning and code-writing!
The SoftUni Curriculum for Software Engineers
SoftUni’s programs are designed as a sequence of modules giving you fundamental knowledge in software development and practical skills to prepare you to work as a programmer with the latest software technologies. The classes are divided into learning theory (30%) and doing exercises and projects (70%).
SoftUni for People Who Work and Study
We recommend to everyone who gets an excellent score at Judge Problems and is passionate about making programming their profession, to consider leaving the rest of their commitments aside to spend more time on learning the profession of a software engineer and start making a living through it.
We recommend to all who cannot get an excellent score at the Judge problems to spend more time on better learning, understanding, and most of all, practicing the material studied in the present book. If you cannot easily solve the problems in this book, you will not be able to cope with programming and software development in the future.
Online Communities for Beginners in Programming
Regardless of the path you have chosen, if you are seriously involved in programming, we recommend subscribing to specialized online forums, discussion groups, and communities, from which you can get assistance from your colleagues and track the novelties in the software industry.
If you aim to study programming seriously, surround yourselves with people who are involved in programming seriously. Join communities of software developers, attend software conferences, go to events for programmers, find friends with whom you can talk about programming and discuss problems and bugs, find an environment that can help you. In most large towns there are free events for programmers, a few times a week. In smaller localities, you have the Internet and access to the entire online community.
Here are some recommended resources, that will be useful for your development as a programmer:
- https://stackoverflow.com - Stack Overflow is one of the widest discussion forums for programmers worldwide, where you will find assistance for any possible question in the world of programming. If you are fluent in English, look up at StackOverflow and ask your questions there.
- https://www.meetup.com/ - search tech meetups around your town and enter the community that you like. More of the tech meetups are free and the newcomers are welcome.
Good Luck to All of You!
On behalf of the entire authors' team, we wish you endless success in the profession and your life! We will be really happy if we have helped you get passionate about programming and we have inspired you to go bravely towards becoming a "software engineer", which will bring you a good job that you will work with pleasure, give you a high-quality life, and prosperity, as well as amazing perspectives for development and possibilities for making impressive projects with inspiration and passion.
Sofia, October 19, 2018