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Declaring that the digital sector is dynamic is truly an understatement. In 2020, this sector represented a turnover of 56 billion euros. This is not surprising when we know that since 2009, digital technology has experienced growth of more than 20%! At the heart of this boiling market, one profession in particular stands out: that of computer developer. The most sought-after profession by recruiters in 2021, it offers many and varied career opportunities.

Therefore, if your professional project is to become a developer, we can only encourage you to follow your desire. Especially since there is no typical profile to become one. On the contrary, there are many ways to reach the profession of developer, corresponding to a multitude of different personalities and talents.

The most important thing is to find a way to train that corresponds to your background, temperament, desires, and goals. For this reason, we offer you this complete guide to the training available in 2023 to become a developer. You will find practical advice for passing all the steps and starting to write your first lines of code as soon as possible.

Les dév chez Alice's Garden - Quelles formations suivre pour devenir développeur ?

Developers are highly sought after by companies, like here at Alice’s Garden

Is it essential to take a course to become a developer?

Before presenting the different existing training courses, we would like to insist on a point that may seem paradoxical with regard to the subject of this guide: taking a course is by no means necessary to become a developer.
Indeed, it is entirely possible to learn to code on your own. By acquiring specialized books or following tutorials on YouTube, you can gradually learn programming languages. Certainly, it takes a lot of rigor to succeed and not count your hours, but it’s possible.

Nearly 36% of developers are self-taught. Some are even famous. We can mention Bill Gates for example. Although he was a student at Harvard University in 1973, he quickly dropped out of his studies to devote himself entirely to learning programming. This is also the case with Xavier Niel who at the age of 14 started programming independently on a Sinclair ZX 81 that his father had given him.

Why should you consider taking a developer training?

Acquiring skills through a dedicated computer programming training is highly relevant.

Training provides a framework for your learning. This may seem insignificant, but it is actually an essential point. Coding can be very demanding when you start out, and discouragement can quickly set in. However, it would be a shame to give up on your projects. The contribution of specialized training is to allow you to seek advice from experts, be supported or work in a team with other students. This way, you can stay motivated thanks to group emulation.

In addition, within the context of training, learning is often done through projects. You then set goals, overcome certain obstacles and establish a precise schedule. These are all methodological assets that will ultimately enable you to become a skilled and, above all, quickly operational developer in your future profession.

Finally, a school or training center is also a place for networking. By getting to know your professors or following their advice, you will thus build up a network. This network is essential in the long term to find the best job opportunities and work on exciting projects. It is also likely that the teaching team will accompany you in your search for your first job.

Therefore, taking a training course is ideal for saving time while being supported and assisted in succeeding in your professional project.

How do you know if you are meant to be a developer?

You are ready to embark on a developer training, but you are wondering if this profession is really for you? While there is no typical training or profile, certain skills or aptitudes for certain tasks can contribute to the appeal of the profession.
To put it simply, we can list the essential elements in two groups: the advantages on one side and the disadvantages on the other. Of course, it all depends on each individual’s experience and feelings, but this will give you a first idea.

The advantages of the developer profession

One of the main advantages of the developer profession is undoubtedly the lack of routine. The workdays of a developer follow each other, but are not the same. This is explained by the heart of the dev profession: solving problems.
Indeed, an excellent developer is the one who succeeds in finding solutions. This need arises at all stages of a development project. From the algorithm design to bug resolution, the goal is to analyze a particular problem or situation and develop an adapted solution. This approach removes any monotony from the work of a developer, as each issue is different.

Moreover, technologies are evolving every day. New languages and frameworks emerge and are opportunities to learn, evolve and become passionate.

Finally, it is a sought-after profession and relatively well-paid. You can therefore embark on a developer career with peace of mind.

The disadvantages of the developer profession

However, the profession has certain constraints that can discourage some people. The first is naturally the constant need to learn. This can be both an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your temperament.
In any case, it is essential to maintain permanent technological watch. New technologies, new work methods are subjects that should hold your attention.

Moreover, it is a profession where pressure can be quite high. On the one hand, some managers may have difficulty understanding the work done by the developer, which can create misunderstandings. On the other hand, deadlines can be tight and require more intense work to complete projects.

Developer’s Qualities

To summarize these strengths and weaknesses, we can list some essential qualities for developers in 2023:

  • Logical thinking: The heart of the job is problem-solving. It is therefore important to be able to analyze situations calmly and tenaciously.
  • Patience: Developing a feature or solving a bug can sometimes be difficult, so it is essential to be able to take a step back.
  • Autonomy: This quality allows you to look for the solution yourself by surfing specialized forums or consulting documentation.
  • Team spirit: Developers are always part of a team. It is therefore important to be able to exchange with your colleagues constructively.
  • Curiosity: Finally, it is essential to have a certain curiosity. It will allow you to always learn and search for solutions with a certain pleasure.

These qualities are those found in many developers. However, habit is not the rule. If you have a passion for development, you should not question your project by reading these few lines if you do not entirely fit into this list of qualities.
The idea is simply to give some tips for working on certain skills that could serve you in your future profession. However, as we said, the developer is not a monolithic archetype and the sector has everything to gain from discovering original personalities.

What is the salary of a developer?

If you don’t become a developer for the money, it’s still nice to make a good living, isn’t it?
According to the 2023 salary barometer, the median salary for a developer is around €40,000 per year. Of course, there may be disparities. If the top 30% of salaries are at €45,000 per year, the top 10% goes up to €60,000 per year. These data come from salaries provided by more than 20,000 developers working in France, so they are reliable and representative of the job market in France.

It is clear that salary varies depending on experience and the type of technology used. Thus, developers with solid expertise in LISP, Ruby or GO can currently hope to reach heights in terms of income.

However, your goal should be to find one or more computer languages that you enjoy and feel comfortable with. It is by loving what you do that you will succeed in gaining competence and eventually becoming an expert in coding.

Le baromètre des salaires sur W3D - Quelles formations suivre pour devenir développeur ?

A developer in France earns an average of 40k per year

Are all developers web developers?

On the internet, web development training courses are multiplying to the point where it is possible to systematically associate the profession of developer with that of web developer.
Let’s start at the beginning. If you’re here, you most likely know what a computer programmer is. However, let’s take a few moments to define this profession. In a few words, a developer is a technician who builds systems, programs, and applications. This can be a website, a mobile application, a video game, or the system of an ATM. To do this, they analyze the client’s needs and propose solutions. Their tool is computer code.

As you can see, the developer can design very diverse elements. For this reason, they can use different languages and tools to achieve their objectives.

The web developer, on the other hand, builds solutions for the web. This can be websites or web applications, for example. In any case, their creations are hosted on the internet. They can specialize in front-end, which is the visible part of a website (interface, menus, etc.) or back-end, which is the invisible part (databases, servers, etc.), or both if they are a full-stack developer.

As part of their profession, the web developer learns the programming languages of the web. These are the essential HTML and CSS, which are often complemented by the JavaScript and PHP languages.

In summary, the web developer is a branch of development in general. Note that you can of course switch from one branch to another depending on your desires and skills. There is nothing stopping you from starting out as a web developer and then becoming a mobile developer for iOS or Android, for example.

What training to choose to become a developer?

To allow everyone to become a developer, we wanted to present different courses in this guide. You can thus have a relatively precise idea of the types of schools or training centers that are able to train you for this profession.
We will be delighted if this section helps you master the programming languages you want to learn. However, these institutions or degrees are only possibilities among others. The most important thing is to find a solution that is adapted to your personality.

Follow your aspirations to achieve your goals

The priority is indeed to find what suits you best. There is no perfect training. Each one meets a particular specification that allows them to train a certain type of candidate by offering them the opportunity to acquire specific technical skills.
For this reason, when consulting this section dedicated to training, your main concern should be to identify the one that fits your background, schedule, and ambitions.

The ideal training for you can:

  • Short or long duration;
  • Can be taken remotely, in-person, or in a hybrid format;
  • Paid, eligible for personal training account, or free;
  • Offers desired programming languages;

Thus, it is based on your own criteria that you will be able to identify the best training course, i.e., the one that will allow you to achieve your personal and professional objectives.

Long courses

To train as a computer developer, you can first consider a long course. These are very relevant, as they are particularly suitable if you want to acquire a solid computer culture. Some theoretical teachings such as machine architecture are indeed absent from shorter and more practical courses.
Long courses also allow you to follow important mathematics courses. These, although not required to become a developer, are nevertheless perfect for working on your reasoning abilities that help solve problems. Subsequently, a mathematical and logical background is also a plus for creating and understanding algorithms or loops.

Depending on the level at which you join the long course, a BAC, a BAC+2, or preparatory classes for top engineering schools (CPGE) may be required.

Engineering schools

Engineering schools will allow you to acquire various skills and create a strong network. The course of study is quite generalist and mathematics occupy an important place. During your training in such an institution, it is necessary to choose a specialization according to your professional project.

We can notably mention the INSA (National Institute of Applied Sciences), Ensimag (National School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics), and the ISEN (Graduate School of High Technologies and Digital).

Note that obtaining a degree in an engineering school allows you to acquire the title “Graduate Engineer” which is protected by the French engineering degree accreditation agency. You should not confuse this title with those from the Anglo-Saxon professional world which are less regulated within the European Union. This is notably the case for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) or the Master of Science (MSc) degrees.

L'ISEN, une école d'ingénieur spécialisée dans l'informatique

ISEN, a specialized engineering school in computer science – photo credit: Sébastien Jarry for La Gazette Nord-Pas de Calais

Content of engineering school programs

These degree programs are comprehensive. For example, the computer science engineering program at INSA includes the following courses:

  • Scientific learning;
  • Technical learning;
  • Humanities;
  • Project management;
  • Languages.
Advantages and disadvantages of engineering schools

+ Comprehensive education with diverse courses;
+ Quality of teaching and facilities;
+ Creation of a network of alumni;
+ Wide range of job opportunities upon graduation.
– The cost of the training can be high;
– The training is more general and theoretical;
– Less hands-on experience upon graduation.

Computer schools

It is important not to confuse engineering schools with computer schools. As we have seen previously, the former allows obtaining an engineering degree. Computer schools offer a 5-year program that ends with the attainment of a BAC+5 degree.
In the case of Epitech, for example, at the end of the program, students obtain a professional certification called “Expert in Information Technology”, which is a level RNCP 7 professional certification. RNCP, or the National Directory of Professional Certifications, includes certifications that are regulated by the Ministry of Labor in the context of vocational training.

Epitech and Supinfo are among the recognized computer schools. Compared to engineering schools, they are perfect for jumping straight into development. For example, in the first year, Epitech offers a “swimming pool” to promote the acquisition of fundamentals and students’ autonomy.

However, since the degrees are less monitored, it is necessary to choose your school carefully to obtain a serious professional certification. Otherwise, you could end up paying for an expensive training that will not provide you with the education you expect.

Content of computer school programs

Let’s take the example of the “Bachelor of Engineering” program in 5 years offered by Supinfo. In the first year, you can follow the following courses:

  • Logic for computing;
  • Python developer;
  • C developer;
  • Fundamentals of systems and networks;
  • English;
  • Management.
Advantages and disadvantages of computer schools

+ Highly specialized path on development;
+ Creation of a network of alumni;
+ Profiles leaving the program are operational.
– Need to carefully choose your university;
– Tuition fees;
– Less versatile training.

The University

Accessible to many, as tuition fees are affordable and admission requirements less strict, the university is the default choice for many students. It is possible to pursue computer science studies there from a bachelor’s degree (BAC+3) to a doctorate (BAC+8).
You can choose a relatively theoretical path with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or pursue a professional bachelor’s degree that will allow you to graduate with a BAC+3. This is notably the case for:

If you wish to pursue a longer path, it is possible to continue with a Master’s degree in computer science or in engineering sciences to obtain a BAC+5. This is a higher education diploma resulting from the Bologna Process.

However, university studies are largely theoretical during the years of the bachelor’s degree. While this is ideal for obtaining a foundation in mathematics or algorithms, it generally takes a few years before you really start learning computer programming.

Content of university programs

In a computer science bachelor’s degree at the University of Paris-Saclay, the courses taught include, among others:

  • Imperative, object-oriented, and functional programming;
  • Operating systems and information;
  • Mathematics;

Going further, within the framework of a Computer Science Master’s degree at the University of Lille, for example, it is possible to learn:

  • Algorithmics;
  • Software engineering;
  • Security and networks;
  • Databases.
Advantages and disadvantages of university

+ Accessible to a large number of people;
+ Wide diversity of institutions;
+ Favors student autonomy.

Training can be too theoretical at times;
Not very operational upon graduation;
Lack of project-based learning.

Short programs

Do you want to start working in the development field as quickly as possible? Then you should choose a short program. They are perfect for quickly becoming operational. Moreover, some programs are offered in alternating periods of work and study. You can then build up solid professional experience while also earning a salary.
This type of program is suitable if you have a well-defined professional project in mind.

BTS or BUT (formerly DUT): What is the difference?

It happens that these programs are confused. However, the BTS (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur) takes place in a vocational high school while the BUT (Bachelor Universitaire de Technologie), formerly DUT (Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie), is offered at an IUT (Institut Universitaire de Technologie). That’s a lot of acronyms…
The important thing is to understand that these two programs take place in different environments and have different purposes. While BTS programs are highly specialized, BUT programs are more general and students have more autonomy.

Bachelor Universitaire de Technologie (BUT)

Directly accessible after the BAC, IUTs allow you to follow BUT programs in computer science, such as the “Réalisation d’applications: conception, développement, validation” track at the University of Lyon 1.
Some IUTs also offer professional licenses. This is notably the case of the Professional License in Mobile Development (Full Stack/IOT) at La Rochelle or the Professional License in Computer Science: Software Design, Development, and Testing at the University of Le Mans.

Content of information in BUT

The BUT program at Lyon 1 offers diverse teachings that allow you to acquire your first development skills, including:

  • Developing applications;
  • Optimizing computer applications;
  • Managing information data;
  • Working in an IT team.
Advantages and disadvantages of BUT

+ Short and professional training;
+ Good quality teaching;
+ Financially accessible;
+ Possibility of apprenticeship.
Lack of theoretical foundations;
Not suitable for building a network.


Once you have your high school diploma, you can enroll in a BTS program. However, we do not recommend it because these diplomas are not meant to prepare you for a career as a developer. On the contrary, they effectively train for technical jobs such as networks or telecommunications.
There are two types of IT BTS programs:

  • BTS SIO (IT systems for organizations);
  • BTS SN (Digital systems).
Content of BTS training programs

At Félix le Dantec high school, the BTS Digital Systems, option Computer Science and Networks, includes various courses such as:

  • General culture and expression;
  • English;
  • Mathematics;
  • Computer science and networks;
  • Physical sciences.
Advantages and disadvantages of BTS

+ Short and professional training;
+ Ideal for specialized career projects;
+ Student support;
+ Possibility of alternating work and study.
The BTS SN is not suitable for becoming a developer;
Does not allow for building a professional network.

Fast-track training to become a developer

Finally, we have short training courses. They are often done in the context of professional retraining, but not exclusively. Indeed, some students from other fields take these courses to discover programming and broaden their skills. Their strength is in welcoming students from all backgrounds and ages. Perfectly suited for a quick career change, such an intensive training course is often short and can be funded by a personal training account or employment agency.

Are you considering a career change?
We have written a comprehensive guide on “Becoming a developer after a career change”

Furthermore, these courses are very practical. For this reason, they often provide development skills in a very short time. However, note that due to the short duration of training, students only acquire basic coding skills, which should be improved later on.


These courses are short and accelerated. Organized by project, they are perfect for quickly becoming operational.
Among these bootcamps, the training programs from Le Wagon, Ironhack or La Capsule are well-regarded.

Le Wagon school in Paris, a bootcamp to become a developer

Le Wagon school in Paris, a bootcamp to become a developer – photo credit: Madyness

Content of bootcamp training

Like other bootcamps, La Capsule offers various courses, including ” Web & Mobile Developer ” bootcamp. During this 10-week bootcamp, students have the opportunity to learn:

  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript;
  • React and React Native;
  • Database basics;
  • Agile methods.
Advantages and disadvantages of bootcamps

+ Adapt to individuals already employed;
+ Interesting return on investment;
+ Fast and concrete training.
– Teaches coding basics without going into detail;
– Requires strong motivation.

Online training

If you prefer to take your time or not to travel, then you can count on online training. Many schools have trained thousands of students remotely. The most famous are Openclassrooms, Udemy or the 3W Academy.
These courses are convincing if you want to adapt your training to your personal constraints. A course at Openclassrooms, for example, can be paid monthly and can be entirely followed remotely. You will be accompanied by a mentor throughout your training and will carry out projects such as designing websites or applications to ultimately obtain your RNCP title.

Note that not all courses are equal. On Udemy in particular, you can take many online courses. However, the certification obtained is not comparable to an RNCP title offered by Openclassrooms or the 3W Academy.

Content of online training

Let’s take the example of the Openclassrooms Web Integrator course. This is a course that lasts on average 9 months and allows you to obtain a BAC+2 RNCP title.
You can learn, among other things:

  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript;
  • Algorithms;
  • Git and GitHub;
  • Agile project management.
Advantages and disadvantages of online courses

+ Easily accessible via the web;
+ Possibility to learn from anywhere;
+ Adapts to your schedule.
Complexity in maintaining motivation;
Uneven quality of courses.

42 School

We can also mention 42 School founded by Xavier Niel. The school was created to revolutionize computer development training. Entirely focused on learning operational skills, the training is centered on group work and projects. Theoretical teaching is abandoned in favor of a quick entry into the job market.

Xavier Niel's 42 School

Xavier Niel’s 42 School – Photo credit: Madyness

Content of the 42 School training

42 School has no training program. The idea is to allow students to learn only through projects.
The method is as follows:

  • Test a program;
  • Identify errors;
  • Correct errors;
  • Go further.
Advantages and disadvantages of École 42

+ Students become quickly operational ;
+ Concrete training based on projects ;
+ Open to all profiles.
Demanding training with significant pressure ;
Little structured pedagogy ;
Lack of theoretical teachings.

Developing your personal project to become a developer

Do you still want to get into web development or create the video game of your dreams? Great. The important thing is to evaluate your project well before getting started.
Start by identifying the budget you want to invest in your training or the assistance you may be eligible for. Then, assess the time available to devote to your coding learning. If you have certain weaknesses, it is also important to take them into account to revise these specific points.

All of these criteria are important to identify the training that best suits your background and current situation. In addition, we want to highlight the necessary motivation to learn development. To maximize your chances of success, do not hesitate to seek the support and encouragement of your loved ones. By sharing your successes and milestones with them, you will stay motivated until the end!

We hope that the information and advice contained in this 2023 guide will help you achieve your goals. We wish you good luck and invite you to consult other guides that we offer on our website. They will allow you to perfect your knowledge of the sector and become a developer too.

David Gerard

Author David Gerard

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