Coding is the most important skill for a career in development or data science. Development jobs can be split into web development and software development, which can also be combined at small startups. Data science jobs are broken down into multiple categories including data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
Software Engineers and Web Developers use coding to create web applications, websites, and desktop software. These are high-level positions that work with the whole stack and understand all of the major principles of engineering and web development.
Websites are built from multiple different technologies which are usually referred to as a stack. A stack is essentially the layers of technology that make up a website or web application. Within web development and software engineering, coders can find more specific positions that specialize in only the front end or the back end of the tech stack. Full Stack Developers work with the entire tech stack, front end to back end.
A Product Manager or Software Project Manager usually oversees the projects that developers work on. Because they’re overseeing complex projects, they need to know how to code along with their management skills.
It takes more than simply knowing how to code to get a job in development or engineering, but coding is where you need to start for these career paths. While you learn how to code, you’ll learn best practices through experience. Coding is the foundation for any job in this field.
There are three main categories of jobs for developers: front end (the part that users interact with), back end (which powers the front end), and mobile development (which is the creation of applications for mobile devices).
Back End Developers use coding to build the back end of the website, which powers the front end. They connect the front end technologies to the back end, tell the website how to communicate with servers and other external components, and implement security measures. The back end is usually built with Java, Python, or Ruby alongside SQL.
.NET Developers can code both the back end and the front end of websites in the Microsoft framework, .NET. VB.NET is combined with the language C# to build the front and ASP.NET is the back end framework.
There are specialized jobs for each of these languages and pieces of the tech stack. You’ll find that with practice and experience, you’ll probably have a favorite aspect of coding that you want to specialize in.
Coding is also utilized by data science professionals. Data Scientists and Data Analysts utilize coding to access data stored in a database and to use frameworks for languages like Python or R to efficiently analyze that data. A Machine Learning Engineer codes and deploys complex, large-scale products that train a computer to recognize patterns or analyze data on their own.
Coding Career Options
Here are a few career paths for which you’ll likely need Coding skills in order to succeed. We also include additional info about their average salaries, their day-to-day responsibilities, and a link to learn more about each career.
Software engineers use their extensive knowledge of user experience design, operating systems, and programming languages to develop software. They can create different types of software, from games to operating systems. After analyzing a client's needs, they design, develop, and test software to meet that need. Software engineers can be divided into two distinct career categories: application engineers and systems engineers.Learn about becoming a Software Engineer
Product managers guide product development from ideation to market. Starting with consumer and market research, they use their understanding of customer wants and needs to inform product development and go-to-market strategy. They will work closely with engineering, marketing, sales, and other teams to launch products. After launch, they solicit and analyze feedback on the product to inform future iterations.Learn about becoming a Product Manager
.NET developers use the Microsoft framework to design, develop, and maintain software applications. Working with computer scientists and web developers, .NET developers create original code to meet client needs. After development, .NET developers analyze the user experience and iterate as needed.Learn about becoming a .NET Developer
Software Project Manager
Software project managers lead software development projects from concept to completion. Using their deep expertise in scheduling, budgeting, sequencing, and resource allocation, software project managers are critical in a software project's success. Software project managers must be able to understand and interpret customer and client needs and deliver a completed, functioning product. After development, they will continue to solicit and incorporate user feedback into future iterations.Learn about becoming a Software Project Manager
Back End Developer
A Back End Developer builds the server-side of a web application and integrates front end development components.Learn about becoming a Back End Developer
Python Developers typically choose to focus on back end web development, data science or analysis, scripting, or product development. They build the server side of websites, processes for data analysis, and create automation scripts.Learn about becoming a Python Developer
Full Stack Developer
Full Stack Developers build web applications for both the visible front end that users see and the back end that powers the applications.Learn about becoming a Full Stack Developer
Java Developers are responsible for designing and developing desktop, web, internet of things (IoT), or mobile Java-based applications.Learn about becoming a Java Developer
Ruby Developers write server-side web application logic, usually around the framework, Rails. They also connect the applications they work on with other web services and integrate the Front End Developers’ work.Learn about becoming a Ruby Developer
SQL Developers design and build databases and applications. They can find work at a wide variety of employers including software development firms, online retailers, information technology organizations and consulting firms, staffing companies, healthcare organizations, data companies, universities, and banks.Learn about becoming a SQL Developer
Computer Scientist is an umbrella term for anyone who works with computers, technology, and software. Computer Scientists understand the theoretical side of computer systems and develop hardware and software. Most Computer Scientists pick a specialization, such as: theoretical computer science, computer systems, software engineering, or computer applications.Learn about becoming a Computer Scientist
Front End Developer
A Front End Developer builds the front end, also called client-side, of a website or web application. Some Front End Developers will update current websites to meet modern standards, create prototypes from wireframes, and use design comps to satisfy the needs of their employer or client.Learn about becoming a Front End Developer
Mobile developers are software developers who specialize in creating apps for mobile technology. Working with iOS and Android, mobile developers learn the programming languages specific for their chosen platform. They work with clients to identify the appearance and functionality required, and then use their development skills to create a functioning app. Mobile developers can work for organizations in business, healthcare, retail, entertainment, and much more.Learn about becoming a Mobile Developer