Contrary to the notion that learning software engineering is hard, you can become a qualified software developer without a CS degree.
With an estimated median salary of $100,000, a low unemployment rate, and a high projected growth rate, coding is undoubtedly among the current lucrative careers.
As such, it is a good choice for those searching for better career development ideas or looking to change their initial careers completely.
For novice enthusiasts, software engineering involves developing codes that run behind software or applications.
These could be websites, video games, features, robotics, operating systems, and more.
If you had the passion and interest in coding, you don’t need a CS degree to achieve it.
Below are the steps to becoming a software engineer without sitting in a college class.
Article Table of Contents
Identify Your End Goal
Switching from one career to another is challenging.
However, it becomes easy once you have your priorities and goals set.
Pure determination will help you overcome the multiple hurdles you come along during this period of self-training.
Apart from monetary benefits, your goals could be working with a reputable company or starting your own coding company.
Start Learning with a Beginner Software Development Language
Most aspiring software engineers face difficulties when selecting the right introductory coding language to start learning.
This is probably contributed by the presence of many programming languages that software developers need to learn.
From Python, Ruby on Rails, Solidity, to Django, finding the right one can be difficult.
Regardless, your choice of programming language should be guided by your end goal.
That aside, you should learn the fundamentals of programming to get a solid foundation.
Getting a solid foundation can help you learn and advance on various programming languages with ease.
While most people prefer Python, others go for Ruby as their first language.
Choose one based on the ease to learn, library availability, online communities, and flexibility.
Read Codes Written By Coding Experts
With your preferred language chosen, proceed by identifying the best learning resources.
Among the commonly available resources include online classes, textbooks, and coding courses.
Apart from learning, you should also put in much practice.
Take some time to practice anything new you have learned.
You should as well make use of real software development tools used by experts for a better experience.
Part of your learning should involve reading functional codes written by other people.
This will help you identify the thought process and sequence guidance from the experienced developer.
You can achieve this by checking GitHub repositories and other documentation.
Learning how to read the codes will enable you to understand how various programs work, which comes in handy during debugging, as you can identify the wrongly written code.
Join a Software Community
Seeking guidance from software communities is often underrated.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals provides an automatic support system, especially when you feel stuck and need some motivation.
Fortunately, you can join various available in-persona groups or a general online community for great insights on how to advance your coding career.
Build Actual Projects
You shouldn’t focus on reading, checking tutorials, and watching coding videos only.
Occasionally, consider putting your skills to use by solving real coding problems.
This will foster your learning and build a portfolio that can come in handy when looking for employment.
You can opt to build solo projects or join a beginners group for project development.
Fortunately, some coding courses require learners to build more than nine real-world projects before graduating.
This provides an opportunity for students to practice what they have learned.
Some simple real projects you can build include an inventory app, simple games, and a stats tool.
Join a Coding Bootcamp
Those who want to become software engineers for career development should proceed by joining a coding Bootcamp.
Unlike self-training and online classes, coding Bootcamps provide an immersive learning experience.
The Bootcamps equip members with all the necessary programming skills they need to kick-start their programming career.
Graduating from a coding Bootcamp also increases your chances of getting good employment with a high paying salary.
Coding Bootcamps also make it easy to build your professional network.
Currently, finding a good job goes beyond making online applications.
Apart from the degree gained, connections come in handy in finding a good job.
Jobvite estimates that 50% of new hires come from an employee referral.
The only challenge with joining a Bootcamp is identifying one that suits your programming requirements.
However, some of the things to consider are the cost, language, and skills taught in the Bootcamp.
Advancing technology has uplifted several careers.
It has also made computer programming an important skill, as computers are increasingly being adopted into every field.
Careers such as software engineering didn’t exist some decades ago.
If you weren’t aware of this initially, you shouldn’t allow the lack of a CS degree to prevent you from becoming a software engineer.
While it can be hard to become a software developer, the guide below can help ease your learning curve.