The software development field has changed enormously over the past two decades. Today, there are hundreds of different programming languages for various uses, the focus is on cloud computing, and agile methodologies allow for faster, more collaborative development.
Naresh Nagandla has plenty of first-hand experience with these changes. He’s been working in the software field for more than 15 years, in both development and teaching roles. And he recently became an instructor for the software development program at Herzing College.
We caught up with Naresh to learn more about his career journey and what students can expect from the course.
Here are the highlights of our conversation.
Q. Naresh, can you tell us about your education and professional background in software development?
Naresh: I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and have been working in the field for 16 years. I’ve recently taken up a new role as a solutions architect, but my overall experience is in software development. My expertise is in developing web applications and deploying the applications to the cloud by implementing CI/CD, which is continuous integration continuous deployment.
Q. Do you have some experience as an educator, or will this be your first teaching role?
Naresh: I’ve been working as an educator for the last three years, teaching a full-stack web development course at Robertson College.
Prior to that, even when I was working as a developer, I used to explain concepts and teach my co-workers. When any newcomers joined up in an organization, I would help with any of the issues they encountered. So that involved teaching as well.
Q. What are the most valuable skills students learn in the software development program?
Naresh: They come out with the confidence to start developing a web application or creating an API (application programming interface) that can be consumed by different teams. At the end of the course, they can feel confident in their ability to do some hands-on programming.
Q. What kinds of assignments and projects will students do in your class?
Naresh: They have a daily coding assignment that they need to complete. On top of that, they have weekly quizzes. And then there is the six-week internship at the end of the course, where they get to apply their skills in a real work environment.
Q. The software development program is delivered entirely online. Is there much interaction between students?
Naresh: Students can utilize the discussion forums. So if one student is having an issue, another student can say, “I’ve found this same problem and this is the solution for that.” So they do have an option to interact with each other.
Of course, they can always come back to me if they are not able to resolve the issue.
Q. What would you say is the toughest part of the program?
Naresh: The biggest challenge is if they are not able to attend any of the synchronous sessions and then they don’t establish a direct connection with me. Some students find that difficult.
I do provide them with office hours where I’m available, and I’m always reachable by email. I’m here to help.
Q. What backgrounds do the students tend to come from? How much IT experience do they typically have?
Naresh: They might not have much of a background in IT, but they’re comfortable with computers. Most students already have some basic knowledge of programming, such as how to create a simple HTML page.
Q. What software development skills are most important right now? What are employers looking for?
Naresh: Employers are looking for a basic knowledge of object-oriented programming concepts. That’s the core of any programming language, whether you’re dealing with .NET or C# or TypeScript. Once you understand those concepts, you can learn any specific programming language.
If Amazon is interviewing you for a junior developer position, they don’t really look for which programming language you know. Instead, they give you an algorithm and see what kind of output you can write. So that’s all about object-oriented programming concepts and analytical thinking.
Companies are also looking for people who understand the complete software development lifecycle. Do you know how a particular project would be started? Are you familiar with the requirement, design, development, testing, and deployment phases? Those are the minimum things that each and every company is looking for.
Q. How important are soft skills for software developers?
Naresh: Communication skills are key. Companies want developers who can explain technical concepts.
If you create a program, you need to be able to explain how it’s going to work. What are the input parameters that we need to give? What are the output parameters that are coming out of the program you’ve written?
Q. What entry-level jobs could students get after completing this program? What roles would they be qualified for?
Naresh: They can get hired as junior software developers, web developers, computer programmers, etc. There are many different opportunities.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The software development program offered by Herzing College takes just 12 months to complete and includes a six-week internship. Training is delivered fully online.
Still have questions? An admissions advisor can walk you through the details of the program and help you determine if it’s right for you.
Click below to learn more about our software development training and chat live with an advisor. We’re here to help!