How to Have a Career as a SaaS Developer
Software as a Service (SaaS) is among the fastest-growing industries in the world, and SaaS developers are in high demand. As a SaaS developer, you will develop and maintain cloud-based applications accessed over the internet.
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Businesses typically use these applications to improve operations, so SaaS developers are highly valued for their expertise. SaaS developers are paid well, with the average salary in Australia ranging from AUD $65,000 to $120,000 annually. In the United States, the average salary ranges from USD $75,000 to $140,000 per annum.
According to SaaS Capital, it also commiserates with the growth in revenue per employee across the SaaS industry. However, becoming a SaaS developer requires specific skills and expertise.
Gaining a solid foundation in computer science
The first step to becoming a SaaS developer is gaining a solid computer science foundation. This can be achieved by completing a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a digital field. You should acquire knowledge of programming languages, data structures, algorithms, and software design principles.
Don’t have time or means to commit to full-time study? That’s okay. There are other options.
For example, sales professionals are crucial to SaaS companies’ success. For those working in Australia as a Salesforce Consultant, you will have the opportunity to identify new business opportunities, build customer relationships, and close deals.
Other niche opportunities in the SaaS industry include marketing and customer service professionals.
But, if software development is your true passion, and university is not an option, there are other paths to entry into this field.
Here are some suggestions for someone older and not in a position to attend university but still wants to pursue a career as a SaaS developer.
A vast array of online resources can help you learn computer science, programming languages, and software development.
Websites such as Codecademy, Udemy, and Coursera offer courses that can help you gain the knowledge and skills required for a career as a SaaS developer.
Participate in boot camps
Boot camps are intensive training programs that can help you learn software development quickly.
They are often led by experienced industry professionals and offer hands-on experience in building software applications.
Join coding communities
Software developers gather in many online communities to share their knowledge and experiences.
Joining these communities can help you learn from experienced developers and get feedback on your code.
Build a portfolio
Building a portfolio of software applications you have built can be a powerful way to demonstrate your skills to potential employers.
Preparing a good-quality portfolio is essential to showcase your skills and experience to potential employers in the SaaS industry. Here are three keys to preparing a good-quality portfolio.
- Showcase your best work. Your portfolio should showcase your best work demonstrating your skills and software development experience. Choose projects that showcase a range of skills, from front-end design to back-end development, and highlight the projects’ results and impact.
- Make it visually appealing. A well-designed and visually appealing portfolio can make a great first impression. Use high-quality images, videos, and screenshots to showcase your work, and ensure the layout is clean and easy to navigate.
- Explain your thought process. Employers are often interested in your approach to problem-solving and your ability to think critically. When presenting your work, explain your thought process and challenges and how you overcame them. This will give employers insight into your problem-solving abilities and approach to software development.
You can also build your portfolio by contributing to open-source projects or building your own software applications.
Consider internships or apprenticeships
Many companies offer internships or apprenticeships to people who want to break into the software development industry.
These programs offer hands-on experience and mentorship from experienced developers.
Network with industry professionals
Networking with SaaS developers and other industry professionals can help you discover job opportunities and gain invaluable insights into the industry.
Learning programming languages
SaaS developers must be proficient in programming languages like Java, Python, Ruby, and C++.
Having a good grasp of programming concepts is important, and you should practice writing code frequently to improve your skills.
Gain experience in software development
Building real-world software applications is an excellent way to gain experience in software development. You can gain experience by contributing to open-source projects or building your own software applications.
One of the best ways to get experience in software development is to work on personal projects. This allows you to practice your skills, experiment with different programming languages, and build a portfolio of work that you can showcase to potential employers.
You can start small by building simple applications and work your way forward to more elaborate projects.
Contributing to the open-source projects of other people is another great way to gain experience in the SaaS industry. This involves working on a project available to the public, typically on platforms such as GitHub.
By contributing to open-source projects, you can work with experienced developers, learn new skills, and showcase your contributions to potential employers.
Understand cloud computing
SaaS applications are built and hosted in the cloud. As such, it is essential to understand cloud computing concepts such as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Develop a strong work ethic
SaaS developers must be committed to delivering quality work on time.
Developing a solid work ethic, an aptitude for hard work, long hours, and the ability to work solo or as part of a team is essential.
Be adaptable and willing to learn
The SaaS industry is constantly evolving, and SaaS developers must be willing to learn new skills and technologies to stay ahead of the curve.
Being flexible and open to new challenges is important.
Network and seek mentorship
Networking with other SaaS developers can help you learn about new technologies and job opportunities.
Seeking mentorship from experienced SaaS developers can also benefit your career development.
The opportunities are there, but you need to be focused and committed. In short, you need to love what you do.
With so much competition for SaaS developer jobs out there, only those with a true passion and commitment to this form of coding are likely to succeed. You may be among them!
David is an Australian-born content creator and search marketing consultant with a background in small business. He also writes for GrowMap and Born2Invest.