How to become a Software Developer without a Degree?

Today’s labour market is quite different from how it was 20 years ago. The traditional method of going to University and getting a degree is no longer the only option. There are now many school leavers programme which hires people who don’t have degrees. There are school leavers programmer in software development, accounting and many other sectors. Companies are always interested in hiring talent, but they are not basing talent on degrees or degree classifications anymore. They want people who have the right mindset and skills.

There are many successful people who have never been to University such as Richard Branson and Lord Sugar. Today, we will talk about how to become a programmer without a degree. There are many online courses where you can learn programming. A few notable paid courses include Treehouse’s Tech Degree and Udacity’s Nano Degree. Well, they are not really degrees; they are online courses that teach you how to program and give you hands on experience while only costing a fraction of a real degree. A degree costs £9000 in the UK and an average of $10,230 in the USA per year. The Treehouse Tech Degree on the other hand costs $199 per month and you can finish it in as little as 3 months. Well, that is $579 for a whole course compare to $10,230 per year. After completing the Treehouse Tech Degree, you should be ready for a junior programmer role and a lot of people have used these courses for moving into a programming job.

How to become a programmer without a degree?

  1. Firstly, you need to choose what type of programming you want to do. Is it front end, back end or full stack? Once you have chosen, you should learn the basics of HTML and CSS. This is always a good starting point regardless of what type of programming you want to do.
  2. Then, pick the type of software that interests you; it could be web development, desktop applications or even blockchain development. You could also be interested in making mobile applications or creating video games. The options can be limitless. The truth is you can switch it later, you can start with web development and then move to game development in a later stage of your career.
  3. Now you need to choose a programming language. You should choose a programming language that is useful for what you want to build. For example, PHP is built for web development so if you want to go into web development PHP is a good choice. If you want to create a mobile application for Android, then Java is a good choice. While theoretically you can use PHP for mobile apps, it is almost never done because the programming language is not built for that and you will run into a lot of issues. Choosing the right programming language is the key!
  4. Practice, Practice and Practice. Supposing you have gone online and have learnt a thing or two, the next thing is to create something. The best way to practise is to build a project and then ask for feedback. There are lots of open source projects you can participate in where people may be able to give you feedback on your code.

The mistake many beginners make when starting out is trying to do everything at the same time. There is a saying that “you can become anything but not everything”. The best advise we can give is focus on one area of prgramming. Learning is a lifetime thing so there is always something new to learn. Focus on one area and don’t rush things. Another useful tip is to break things down into smaller parts and try to understand them. Good luck with programming!

Happy Coding.

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