CHOOSING A CAREER / FEB. 11, 2015
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How to Become a Software Developer Without a Degree

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According to Salary.com only about half the number of employed computer programmers hold a bachelor’s degree, which means that you still have a good chance of getting a job in software development without a degree. More recently, it has become easier to develop your passion and talent for this line of work so that you gain adequate knowledge to be employable in the field.

The following are ways you are guaranteed employment even if you lack the formal qualifications to complement your skills:

Establish a Good Foundation

Computer software programs apply a lot of mathematical equations. Most job interviews for programmers and developers involve reviewing data structures, algorithms and design patterns; therefore, constantly practicing mathematical concepts keeps you on your toes and ensures that you become a better programmer. It is essential that your mathematical knowledge covers areas such as algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry and graphing, at least at a high school level.

Seek Out Learning Opportunities

Today, learning is not just limited to the classroom. You can obtain useful information on software development, coding and unit testing even as a beginner on websites such as spring.io. The Spring website has a professional and community support system on hand to answer any questions you may have and give you guidance. Furthermore, it is full of short tutorials and enables you to be a part of open-source projects.

Build a Network

You could join virtual networks such as online group discussions where you get to meet and talk with other software developers and computer programmers. Ask to be part of projects they’re coordinating or to work under their guidance and mentorship so that you’re able to build a list of references. You can even start an application development club with a number of professionals and enthusiasts. Such a platform enables you to share your experiences and learn from one another. Joining industry-related organizations such as GitHub also gives you direct contact with professionals in the field on a regional and global scale.

Have a Passion for the Field

The most important input you can give in your career in software development is your passion and enthusiasm. Employers are interested in such positive qualities because they drive your abilities and give you the eagerness to learn; therefore increasing your aptitude.

Research and Stay Up to Date

The technology industry is fast paced and constantly changing. You need to keep yourself abreast with all these changes, anticipate technological needs and applications. To put yourself ahead of others in the industry, you should anticipate consumer needs and find ways to bridge essential gaps in the field by being innovative in the way you apply your skills.

Showing that you have taken initiative is likely to win over potential employers. It is essential that you choose the programming language you wish to learn (for instance C++) so that you’re empowered with the necessary tools of trade. Practise your preferred language by building programs and creating applications so that you’re also able to demonstrate your ability to apply your passion and skills. Gain more experience by taking up some freelance work or projects so that you have your foot in the door of the software development industry.

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