There is hardly any industry that is untouched by software development and Quality Assurance now. It means that no matter in which sphere you want to work, you will have an opportunity to be an IT specialist there with all the perks that come along (good pay, benefits, growth opportunities, staying in demand, etc.).
There is no secret, though, that Computer Science degrees become more and more expensive and (often) out of touch with software development reality at the same time. IT is developing crazily fast, and the format of college education doesn’t always produce the best results.
However, we are shaped to think that without a college degree you cannot move much forward in life or career. Well, while it may be true for many sectors, it is definitely a false, biased idea for the IT sector. Today, let’s talk on how to become a software developer without a degree.
Let’s Debunk the Degree Myth
Computer science education has evolved over decades from a niche discipline to a mainstream subject. Originally, degrees in computer science were the main route to gain industry knowledge.
They provided structured learning and recognition of skills. Now, as technology rapidly evolves, alternative learning paths like online courses and self-teaching are gaining popularity. While looking through IT-related job offers you may feel like they all ask for a degree, don’t get discouraged. They all are looking for a good fit and it is just in their “to do” HR list to mention college degrees.
What they are really looking for is someone ready to learn or someone who can solve their problems. The best way to become a software developer without a degree is to understand the problems companies have and learn how to address them to increase business value.
But what if you get stuck? That is a valid question. Self-education has its perks and its problems, and you should think about how you will solve the latter. One of the sure way options is addressing a programming homework service, such as AssignmentCore.
Here, you will find coding experts of all sorts, and get assistance with assignments in any mainstream and several indie programming languages. Lot’s of college students and self-taught professionals worldwide choose to pay experts from this company to excel in their studies or solve particularly intricate tasks.
Necessary Skills and Knowledge for a Software Developer
It’s about finding answers when things don’t work as expected. It’s like being a digital detective. You also need logical thinking. This helps you create code that does what you want in the simplest way.
Finally, creativity is important too. It helps you think of new solutions, and design software that’s easy and fun to use. Learning these skills doesn’t need a degree. Online courses, books, and projects can help you learn them.
And, the more you practice, the better you get. So, don’t wait. Start learning these skills today, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a software developer.
Learning Resources You Can Use Right Away
There are professions you cannot learn online. Obviously, you would not like a surgeon who only saw surgeries performed at YouTube courses, or a biochemist working on a new supplement combination who just read a few books on the matter.
However, software development is pretty different, and there are various resources you can use to study without jeopardizing the future work process and the results. First, there are online courses and platforms (such as Coursera, edX, Udemy, freeCodeCamp, etc.).
Be picky about the courses you buy from there and try to be as consistent as possible, which means don’t jump from one course to another, keep getting your certificates there. Yes, those are not college diplomas, but you still can use them on LinkedIn or as a proof of your educational path to the employer.
You may be surprised, but another source that will help you become a software developer without a degree are books. In the world which is close to totally digital, amazing tutorials are published on software development. Some are free, some are rather pricey — but they are really worth your time and money.
Another excellent source for what you want to achieve is open source projects and community engagement. There are many massive forums and other online communities where you can ask questions, look for help with bugs etc.
You can find a lot of interesting articles and tutorials about SaaS software development as well. Just don’t forget to give back to these communities when you become a real pro!
Getting Practical Experience
The big difference between self-learning and college, is that when you decide to become a software developer without a degree, you are much more flexible to plan your practical experience in the field that will later substitute for a degree. In the years you could have spent in college, you should focus on internships, apprenticeships, and freelance work. Don’t wait for years till you are “ready.”
Try to do everything in parallel — learning new programming skills and applying them in practice. Yes, it is difficult, and mostly paid nothing, but let’s face it, you would not get paid in college as well (and it is not talking about tuition, student loans, etc.).
The good thing is, in a few years you will have practical experience that is valued much more than a degree in this sphere.
Building a Promising Portfolio
A portfolio showcases your coding skills and projects, serving as a practical testament to your abilities. It can be as persuasive as a degree. Starting your portfolio is easy. Begin with small projects that demonstrate your grasp of basic concepts.
Then, gradually take on complex projects, showing your growth. This hands-on experience is invaluable to potential employers. Creating your own projects is crucial. It not only displays your initiative and passion, but also your ability to handle all aspects of software development.
From problem identification to solution design, you learn and showcase a comprehensive set of skills. These projects can also highlight your creativity and problem-solving abilities, traits highly sought after by employers.
We hope that these tips answer your “how to become a software developer without a degree” request. Of course, there are many twists and side quests in this story, but the main line goes as described.
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