But what if you don’t have a degree in computer science or a related field? Can you still become a software developer without a degree?
Software development is one of the most in-demand and rewarding careers in the world. It offers a lot of flexibility, creativity, and problem-solving challenges.
So, the answer is YES! You can learn the skills and knowledge you need to become a software developer without a degree. In fact, many successful software developers are self-taught or have learned from online courses, bootcamps, or certifications.
According to a survey by Stack Overflow, 32% of professional developers do not have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field.
However, becoming a software developer without a degree is not easy. It requires a lot of dedication, motivation, and perseverance. You will have to compete with other candidates who have formal qualifications and experience.
You will also have to prove your skills and abilities to potential employers and clients. So, how long does it take to become a software developer without a degree? And what are the steps you need to follow to achieve your goal?
Check Out Which Skills You Will Need
The first step to becoming a software developer without a degree is to find out what skills and technologies are in demand in the industry.
Software development is a broad field that encompasses many different domains, such as web development, mobile development, game development, data science, and more. Each domain has its own specific tools, languages, and frameworks that you need to master.
On the back-end, you will need to learn how to create and manage databases, such as MySQL, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL, and how to use server-side languages, such as Python, Ruby, or PHP.
To find out which skills are most relevant and popular for your chosen domain, you can use online resources, such as:
- Codecademy offers interactive courses and projects on various programming languages and technologies.
- Coursera offers online courses and certifications from top universities and companies on various topics, including software development.
- Udemy offers online courses and tutorials on various skills and technologies, often at discounted prices.
- Stack Overflow is a community of developers who ask and answer questions on various programming topics and issues.
- Github is a platform where developers can host and share their code and collaborate on projects.
The next step to becoming a software developer without a degree is to start learning the skills and technologies you need. There are many ways to learn software development, such as:
Online Courses and Tutorials
This will provides structured and guided learning on various topics and technologies. Online courses and tutorials are often affordable, flexible, and self-paced, which means you can learn at your own convenience and speed. However, online courses and tutorials may not provide enough feedback, support, or accountability, which means you will have to be self-motivated and disciplined to complete them.
Bootcamps are intensive and immersive programs that teach you the skills and technologies you need to become a software developer in a short period of time.
Coding bootcamps are often expensive, rigorous, and fast-paced, which means you will have to invest a lot of time, money, and effort to complete them.
Self-learning is the process of learning software development on your own, using books, blogs, podcasts, videos, and other resources.
You can find self-teaching resources on websites, such as FreeCodeCamp, The Odin Project, or Khan Academy, which provide free and comprehensive curricula on various topics and technologies.
Self-teaching is the most affordable, flexible, and customizable way to learn software development, which means you can learn at your own pace, budget, and interest.
Self-teaching may also be the most challenging, lonely, and frustrating way to learn software development, which means you will have to be very self-motivated, disciplined, and resourceful to overcome the obstacles and challenges you will face.
The best way to learn software development depends on your personal preferences, goals, and circumstances.
You may choose one or a combination of these methods to suit your needs and preferences.
Start Building Projects
The third step to becoming a software developer without a degree is to start building projects that showcase your skills and abilities.
Projects are the best way to practice and apply what you have learned, as well as to demonstrate your creativity and problem-solving skills.
Projects are also the best way to build your portfolio, which is a collection of your work that you can show to potential employers and clients.
You can start building projects by following these steps:
Choose a Project
Start a project idea that interests you and matches your skill level. You can find project ideas on Codementor or Project Euler, which provide various challenges and prompts for different domains and technologies.
You can also come up with your own project ideas based on your hobbies, passions, or problems you want to solve.
Plan and Design
You can use tools, such as Figma or Sketch to create mockups and wireframes of your project. You can also use tools like Trello, Asana, or Jira to organize and manage your tasks and deadlines.
Planning and designing your project will help you clarify your goals, scope, and features, as well as avoid potential pitfalls and errors.
Coding & Testing
Code and test your project using the skills and technologies you have learned. Use tools like Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, or Atom, to write and edit your code.
Git, GitHub, & Bitbucket are best place to store and share your code. You can also use tools like Jest, Mocha, or PyTest to test and debug your code.
Coding and testing your project will help you implement and refine your functionality, as well as ensure your quality and reliability.
Deploy and showcase your project using platforms and services that make your project accessible and visible to others. Examples are Netlify, Heroku, Vercel and Firebase to host and deploy your web projects.
You can start building projects as soon as you learn the basics of software development, and continue building more complex and diverse projects as you progress.
You should aim to have at least three to five projects in your portfolio that demonstrate your skills and abilities in your chosen domain and technologies.
Find a Mentor and Grow Your Network
The fourth step to becoming a software developer without a degree is to find a mentor and grow your network. A mentor is someone who has more experience and knowledge than you in software development, and who can guide, advise, and support you in your learning and career journey.
A network is a group of people who share your interests and goals in software development, and who can provide you with opportunities, referrals, and recommendations.
You can find a mentor and grow your network by following these steps:
- Join online communities and platforms where you can interact and connect with other developers.
- Reach out to potential mentors who have the skills and experience you want to learn and emulate.
- Build and maintain a relationship with your mentor and network. You can do this by communicating regularly, asking for feedback, sharing your progress and challenges, seeking advice and guidance, offering help and support, expressing gratitude and appreciation, and giving back to the community.
- You can find a mentor and grow your network at any stage of your learning and career journey, and continue to do so as you progress.
Apply for Jobs and Showcase Your Skills
The final step to becoming a software developer without a degree is to apply for jobs and showcase your skills. This is the most challenging and rewarding step, as it will test your abilities and determination, as well as open the doors to your dream career.
You should aim to apply for as many jobs as possible that match your skills and interests, and follow up with your applications until you get a positive response.
Becoming a software developer without a degree is possible, but not easy. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. However, it also offers a lot of benefits, such as flexibility, creativity, and satisfaction.
If you are passionate about software development and want to pursue it as a career, you can follow the steps we listed in this article.