Types of Software Developer Jobs in Startups - Read Time: 6 Mins

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.” 

Napoleon Hill

Introduction

Front-end, Back-end, Full stack, Data Scientist, UI/UX designer. If you had just graduated from school and was like me who would like to join a local tech startup.

The first hurdled you might encounter is what are the types of tech jobs you should apply as a software developer.

So I hope with this article it could explain and demystify the types of tech jobs which is normally found in Singapore startups. I’ll only be covering the web development side in Startups.

Which has the most jobs and is relevant to any aspiring software developer. Who would like to get their feet wet in being part of the startup ecosystem in Singapore.

Front End Developer - The face of website at every step

Essentially they develop software that is the face of websites which you browse daily. From the color of buttons, the placement of your tabs, loading screen or just the flow on how you use the website. They are with you in every step of the way.

Start as a Specialist for a JavaScript Front-end

As there's constantly new JavaScript based web technologies popping up daily, I would suggest if your starting out as a front-end developer to be a specialist. 

You can start off as either React or Angular or the new kid in the block called Vue to grow your depth with Javascript related technologies related to their own ecosystems.

Take for example the use of Typescript for Angular and ES6 in React. These technologies makes your life developing in Javascript much easier as it provides on the fly debugging of error or type messages unlike executing traditional Javascript.

Develop Mobile Apps using JavaScript

There is a rising demand for startups where Javascript developers are given work to build native apps using ReactAngular or Vue.

With the benefit of maintaining code for existing UI designs that spreads across multiple platforms. 

The ease of scaling by using existing Javascript developers to develop mobiles apps. Instead of employing mobile app developers for specific mobile  platform. 

A developer with this skill set that uses those javascript based technologies listed above to build mobile based Apps in either Android or iOS is highly sought after by Startups.

Prototype and Design Skills

As part of the nature of a startup, Front-end developers might be involved to create and design UI/UX prototypes in Sketch, Adobe Xd or Figma (My personal favorite) before coding the actual front-end of the web application.

It's great to have certain understanding of design systems, color schemes and user persona for building UI/UX design prototypes.

Lucky for you if your like me who is bad at design or using design tools. There's is a bunch of design tools and youtube tutorials that teaches you on how to get started to use those tools.

I would recommend both youtube channel LevelUpTuts and DesignCourse. Who teaches you these designs related skills. 

Learn the Business of Design Decisions

Lastly as a front-end developer you might need to learn to justify the business values. When your proposing design decisions for your front end designs.

Through usability research or design patterns that enable better experience, cost savings of users. So understanding what makes your users or non-designer folks tick is useful for you

Back End Developer - Improving Experience With Data and Speed of Access 

If front-end developers is the face of website then back-end is the meat of these website. Back-end developers deals with the various aspect of storing your data.  

Improving the loading speed, customizing your data to provide you a seamless experience while browsing your website. You could think of the examples like Facebook, Lazada, Redmart or Carousell.

Technology Stacks is your Playground

Learning to develop in certain technology stacks used for back-end is important. You should start off your journey with these technology stacks like MEAN (MongoDB, Express.JS, Angular and Node.JS) or LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP).

It could also be web technology that serves as part of both front and backend development which includes Ruby on Rails, Django, Flask or ASP.net.

Know Your Databases

With a workable knowledge of using and connecting databases to web applications. Most startups might use a form of  SQL based Database like PostgreSQL or MySQL. 

There's is a constant demand for analyzing or storing big data. Which is used for data analysis or data science related activities. Learning NoSQL or MongoDB could be useful to provide value to your data science team.

API Hungry Monster

To provides a better user experience or interactivity for the users. As a backend developer, you need to learn to build REST API endpoints for your front-end to consume. 

Understanding and building REST APIs with security in mind is key. Thus you might need to be familiar with JSON Web Tokens or OAuth. For authentication purpose to limit or authorise  the use of these endpoints to be consumed by the front-end.

Full Stack - Jack of All Trades and Master of One

This is the most commonly founded  jobs in startup related job listing like Tech In Asia, e27, StartupJobs, Angel List.

There's a reason for this as well, Startups at their early stages will tend to recruit full stack developers to lay the foundations of their technology stack.

This provides tons of opportunities for further growth of the full stack developers and the startup.

As a developer they are given opportunities to develop themselves as a specialist in certain aspects of software development as the startup matures. 

As for the startup, the full stack developers could get the ground running by shipping  prototypes. Which proves it's capability to deliver business values and market fit for their ideal users.

Never Let the "Full Stack" Scare You

Despite the job title, never be mislead by it. Cause most full stack developers are actually specialist in either front-end or back-end technologies.

Which given time you could actually pickup either front-end or back-end technologies by yourself during working hours or free time.

This was how i landed my job as a full stack developer in MicroSec. I'm specialized as a Django developer when i first started with them as a intern.

It was after i had been converted into a full time employee that i start to search for courses or workshops to plug my own skill gap for front-end technology.

Which i took up React Nanodegree from Udacity that gave me the confidence, i needed in working with other front-end technologies like Angular.

Conclusion

Ultimately regardless the type of job or technology you would like to pursue, What matters most is one's ability to contribute to provide value as a software developer. 

Therefore building one's foundation is important by accelerating one's learning. Surrounding yourself with people so that they could lift you up to perform at a higher level and provide job or business opportunities for software projects.

Lastly, do remember to brush up your soft skills. As they are key which is relevant for you when you are working with as a team, proposing ideas, talking to clients or leading software teams.

React Nanodegree

https://www.udacity.com/course/react-nanodegree--nd019

freeCodeCamp

https://www.freecodecamp.org

Angular

https://angular.io

React

https://reactjs.org

Vue

https://vuejs.org

ES6

https://medium.freecodecamp.org/write-less-do-more-with-javascript-es6-5fd4a8e50ee2

TypeScript

https://www.typescriptlang.org

Mean Stack

http://mean.io

LAMP Stack

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-linux-apache-mysql-php-lamp-stack-ubuntu-18-04

Sketch

https://www.sketchapp.com

Figma

https://www.figma.com/files

Adobe Xd

https://www.adobe.com/sea/products/xd.html

Json Web Token

https://jwt.io

OAuth

https://oauth.net

Tech In Asia Job Listing

https://www.techinasia.com/jobs/search?countryname[]=Singapore&jobcategory_name[]=Web%20Development

Angel List

https://angel.co/jobs

JobTech

https://jobtech.co/#

Startup Jobs Asia

http://sg.startupjobs.asia/sg/

Engineers.SG

https://engineers.sg

LevelUpTuts

https://www.youtube.com/user/LevelUpTuts

DesignCourse

https://www.youtube.com/user/DesignCourse