You are living through the dawn of the internet age !

Much of the wealth in the world was made by people who actively participated in the industrial revolution. The people today who actively develop web and mobile applications will have similar impact on the future. So if you’re exploring career options right now and you like technology and the impact its had on your life you should seriously consider learning to develop web and mobile software applications.

There is a clear path to learning what is necessary to participate in this field using free online learning materials. I recommend you dedicate one year to studying web and mobile development, one year to social service tech work ie. CodeForIndia Fellowships, at least one year working with the best Startup you can find, and then look around for opprotunities to start your own internet company.

Complete the Javascript, html/css classes on CodeAcademy, Get a badge on * , use a regular commit process to create a web or mobile application on GitHub that interacts with the user, talks to a database, works offline, and displays some local language text.

At this point you are eligible for a CodeForIndia Fellowship or an internship with a Startup. Optimize for personal growth, professionally working on challenging projects, developing skills, working with great people. The internship / fellowship should develop your portfolio, ideally with substantial open source code that can represent your capability. Expect to get paid minimally.

Now your portfolio is looking pretty solid. You have a substantial amount of code on GitHub that shows your ability to develop web and mobile applications. Start looking around for startups to work with. A great many resources are available online to help competent software developers connect with growing technology companies. Join the best startup you can and make a run for it with them. Work hard, believe in the startup mission. Keep your eyes open.

At some point start looking around for problems you see that can be addressed with new technology. Often times this will be localizing and deploying some open source technology to a new area. Gather some friends and strike out on your own.

While everything you need to know to successfully engage this path is freely available to you online, this life is not lived alone. Connect with people in your local community. Go to the conferences and meetups and hackathons that happen around you.

If you follow these directions with earnestness you will surely be successful and admired by future generations.

* working to define equivalents on other online challenge sites like HackerEarth and others.