Working as a programmer or web developer in Nigeria requires the necessary coding experience, if not all. Every employer wants experienced employees that don’t need constant monitoring to get a job done. Having adequate tech skills helps you stay relevant in the industry.
To become skilled and experienced in coding and programming like the programmers you admire, you need constant practice. So, you'd need to practice a lot, make mistakes, learn new things, and seek help when necessary. Doing all of these will help you gather the required work experience in the programming field.
When learning to code, you shouldn’t be dependent on what you’re taught alone. Instead, you need to be exposed to other resources to gather more knowledge and experience.
This article will give you details on all that is required to start coding with little or no experience. Ready? Let's dive in!
How to Become Skilled in Computer Programming
Programming, coding, and software development have always been complex and demanding jobs requiring a lot of exposure, practice, and experience. However, in the world of technology, where tech skills are in high demand, it’s a great idea to learn to code.
There are several ways to learn programming and software development, and we’ll discuss a few different ways of getting coding skills to become a pro in programming.
Most of the programmers we have in Nigeria have a degree in computer science. Therefore, going to school is an effective way of gaining knowledge in programming.
Going to school is your best bet to get all the proper knowledge and experience to become a skilled developer. Depending on the school, you can get a computer science degree within 4-5 years.
Getting a degree in computer science is worth the money and time since different experienced lectures will train you. In addition, you’ll be taught everything you need to know about computer science and various programming languages such as Python, Java, and more!
On the other hand, you should be prepared to read, do personal study, research and training. In addition, there are things your lecturer might ask you to do yourself.
A degree in computer science or other related courses such as mathematics and statistics gives you an edge in the Nigerian labour market. This is because tech companies tend to hire employees with a degree over those without a degree, even though they have no work experience.
Programmers with a bachelor’s degree are always paid more, especially if they study at renowned institutions in Nigeria.
Another effective way of learning programming is by attending a tech academy as a student. Many people who don’t have the time to go for a bachelor’s degree in computer science always opt for a tech academy.
There are a lot of tech schools and academies in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria where they do weekday and weekend courses. You can choose the best one for yourself. In tech schools, you pay tuition fees like a regular school. Although quite expensive, you can always learn whenever you’re free.
Some of these tech schools include:
- Decagon, Lagos
- Spark IT Academy, Lagos
- Anchorsoft Academy, Lagos
- Andela, Lagos
- GNT Nigeria, Ibadan
Online Courses and Tutorials
If you don’t want to go through the regular school process or the tech academies, you can always go for online courses. Then, depending on how much self-discipline you have, you can decide to be self-taught.
If you plan on going down the programming journey on your own, then online courses and resources should be your best pals. Technology has made things easy, and you can access different information worldwide. You can sit in your space and learn with people from other parts of the world.
Furthermore, getting private tutorials from experienced tutors is another way of training to become a programmer. You can easily learn programming as a new skill while doing other things in your free time.
If you want to use this method, you can visit the Superprof website, a tutoring platform that gives you access to trained and experienced teachers.
You can find a programming tutor on the platform at any time!
Areas Where Coding is Needed
To decide on learning to code, you want to make something out of it. However, before going into coding, you must be familiar with the different areas of programming to narrow down your interest.
Programming is a vast field, and there are a lot of areas you can choose to specialise in. All you need to do is be good with coding and the relevant programming language.
We’ll show you the different areas where you can put your coding skills into good use.
Web and App Development
Web and app development is focused on creating user-friendly websites and mobile applications that run on internet browsers and mobile devices, respectively.
Software developers are usually focused on creating programs using programming languages for desktops and smart devices.
The use of code in software design transforms a system design into a language the computer will understand. It is associated with translating design specifications into source code to help programmers in software implementation.
To work as a data scientist in Nigeria, you need to be able to code with different programming languages. You must be familiar with SQL, Python, Java, and C++. Programming helps data scientists organise the unstructured data they are working with to give them a helpful result.
Machine learning involves code implementation, and it is essential to be good with code to know how machine algorithm works and how to optimise them.
Business Intelligence Analysis
This involves business analysis as well as data analysis. This helps to make data-driven decisions in business. It consists of the transformation of data into helpful information for business management. Python is the commonly used programming language in business analysis.
What cloud engineers do is write code and configurations. They use coding to build, host, and manage applications on the cloud.
Python is an essential programming language in cloud computing. However, other programming languages used in cloud computing include Java, PHP, ASP.Net, Ruby, and Golang.
Finding Coding Jobs Without Experience
You might have all the knowledge and programming skills without proper work experience. So, the question here is: is it possible to land a good programming job without appropriate work experience?
Nigerian companies are fond of attaching years of experience as one of the criteria for hiring an employee. It happens in almost all industries. Is this also the case with the tech industry? We’ll be finding out in this section.
It is pretty challenging to work in any company in Nigeria without work experience. Most of the time, coders with no work experience tend to be paid lesser than they deserve. So, what can be done to avoid this after spending money and time to get programming skills?
To avoid being underpaid as a programmer, one thing you would want to do is step up and gather work experience. You can do this by doing voluntary jobs, offering to work for free, working on projects with other programmers, and working on your projects.
To land a good programming job, you can focus on programming areas that other programmers pay less attention to. With this, you can easily land a good coding job while you learn on the job.
Aside from the thrills that come with it, participating in coding challenges helps you develop your programming skills as you build experience. Moreover, you get to solve problems relating to a real-life situation which you can apply when you eventually get a suitable job.
Another way of getting a good programming job is to prepare adequately for online or in-person interviews. Do your necessary research about the company and their products before the interview. You can also talk to one of your programmer buddies to help you with a mock interview.
When going to the interview, be calm and don’t fidget because you don’t have work experience. Just be the best you can.
If you don’t want to go through the ‘you need years of experience’ anthem, you can opt for remote jobs. Working remotely requires the skills and projects you’ve done so far. You can always show your project to them. You don’t need to have worked somewhere before you can work remotely.
Having an excellent online presence in this age of technology will give you an advantage. To work remotely for Nigerian companies, you must have a solid online presence because they always do their background check on their prospective employees.
The platform that connects tutors and students