17 Steps to Become a Software Developer Without a CS Degree

Many people love the idea of becoming a software developer without a degree. It may be because they think it is an easy process or because they want to avoid student loan debt.

In some cases, it may be because they mistakenly believe that a degree is not needed in the industry. However, the reality is that becoming a software developer without a degree can be difficult and can limit your job prospects.

If you are serious about becoming a software developer, the best option is to get a degree from a reputable school. With a degree, you can access more opportunities at companies.

You should also look into information technology (IT) boot camps, which are intensive courses that let you gain the skills you need to work as a software developer. Boot camps can be expensive, but they may be worth the investment if you are serious about a career in software development.

Another option is to find a job that does not require a degree. There are many companies that are willing to train their employees on the job. However, it is important to note that these jobs may be more difficult to find and may require more skills than those obtained from a degree.

If you are determined to become a software developer without a degree, here is the step-by-step process:    

STEP 0: Becoming a Software Developer Without a Degree POSSIBLE; or NOT

Becoming a software developer without a degree is possible? The answer is yes, but it will be more difficult than getting a degree from a reputable school.  

In most cases, a degree is required for a job as a software developer. You should look at the company’s website or LinkedIn page to see if they list a degree as a requirement or not. If they don’t, you can reach out to the company and ask for interview.

If you are looking for freelance or contracting jobs, the company may not care about your education. However, most employers of this type of position will want to see that you have some experience in the industry.

Let’s talk about the First step to Becoming a Software Developer Without a Degree.

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STEP 1: Define Your End Goal In Software Engineering

The first step is to define your end goal in software engineering. Do you want to be a front-end developer, back-end developer, or full-stack developer?

You can become any type of developer you wish, but it is important to know what kind of work you want to do.

Front-end developers design and code the user interface of a website or application. Back-end developers work on the back-end systems that make the application run. Full-stack developers do both.

STEP 2: Choose A Good Programming Language To Learn

The next step is to choose a good software engineering language to learn. You should look at each language’s popularity, read about its design principles, and find a few tutorials.

The most popular software engineering languages are Java, Python, and JavaScript. All three languages are good choices, but you should choose the language that best suits your end goal.

For example, Java is a good choice for back-end development because it is powerful and portable. Python is a good choice for data science and machine learning. JavaScript is a good choice for front-end development because it is easy to learn and widely used.

Once you have chosen a language, you should find a few tutorials and start learning. It is important to practice as much as possible so that you can get comfortable with the language.

STEP 3: Learn The Fundamentals Of Your Chosen Language

The third step is to learn the fundamentals of your chosen language. To become a software engineer, you will need to know how to code. Code is the language that developers use to create applications.

Once you have chosen a programming language, you should learn its syntax, semantics, and data types.

Syntax is the rules that govern how code is written. Semantics is the meaning of code. Data types are the different types of values that your code can work with.

STEP 4: Pick A Online Course or Bootcamp

The fourth step is to pick an Online Course or Bootcamp. Bootcamps are short, intensive courses that teach you how to write code to become a software developer.

Bootcamps are good because they teach you the basics of coding, give you practical experience in an industry setting, and provide job placement assistance.

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The only downside to Bootcamps is that they are expensive. If you can’t afford a Bootcamp, you can take an online course. Online courses are less expensive than Bootcamps, but they do not offer the same level of practical experience.

Once you have chosen a Course or Bootcamp, you should start studying. It is important to finish the Course or Bootcamp so that you can get a job in the software engineering industry.

STEP 5: Don’t Rely Solely On Your Course; Learn Something Extra from Internet or Books

The fifth and final step is to don’t fully depend on your course, learn something extra from Internet or books. Most people focus so much on getting a good grade that they never become truly skilled.

You should study hard and understand each and every point offered by your course. But you also have to learn about the things that your course does not teach you.

There are many ways to learn things outside of a course. You can read books, watch online tutorials, listen to podcasts, and attend meetups.

If you want to become a software engineer without a degree, it is important to learn and practice as much as possible.

STEP 6: Use The Real Tools That Professional Software Developer Use.

The sixth step is to use the tools that professional software developers use. In order to become a software developer, you will need to learn how to use a text editor, a code debugger, and a version control system.

Text Editor is a program that you use to write code. Code is saved as text files, so a text editor is essential for writing code. A good text editor will syntax highlight your code and provide useful features like autocompletion and code refactoring.

Debugger is a program that helps you find bugs in your code. It allows you to break, pause, and monitor your code as it runs. A good debugger will give you information about the values of variables and memory allocations.

Version Control System is a program that helps you track changes to your code. It allows you to save different versions of your code, merge changes, and revert changes. A good version control system will provide a history of changes in a readable format and automatically resolve merge conflicts.

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It is important to learn how to use these tools if you want to become a software developer without a degree.

STEP 7: Practice As Much As Possible To Improve Your Software Development Skills

The seventh step is to practice as much as possible to improve your software development skills. You can practice your software development skills by writing code, solving problems, and participating in coding challenges.

The more you practice, the better you will become.

Writing code is the best way to practice. You should write code in a text editor, run the code in a debugger, and test your code with a version control system.

You can also practice by solving problems. Problems can be found on websites like codewars.com and hackerrank.com. These websites provide programming challenges that you can solve to improve your skills.

Finally, you can practice by participating in coding challenges. Coding challenges are a way to test your programming skills.

STEP 8: Read Code Written By Other Software Developer

The eighth step is to read code written by other software engineers. This is a great way to learn how to write better code and it’s also helpful for debugging. Because doing this, you will know how to solve that problem in a better way.

You can find code on websites like github.com and sourceforge.net. These websites provide code written by other software engineers that you can read for free.

You should read code written by other software engineers when you have time.

STEP 9: Build Your Own Project

The ninth step is to build your own project. When you build your own project, you will be forced to solve problems and learn how to use new tools. This is a great way to learn how to become a software developer without a degree.

You can find project ideas on websites like hackerrank.com and codewars.com. These websites provide project ideas that you can use to practice your skills.

You must build your own project to learn and apply your programming skills. It’s also helpful when you apply for an Internship.

STEP 10: Try To Get An Internship or Contribute on Open Source Projects

The tenth step is to try to get an internship or contribute on open source projects. This allows you to practice your skills and also shows employers that you can write code.

An internship is a great way to get experience. You can find internships on websites like Indeed.com and LinkedIn.com.

Contributing to open-source projects is also a great way to get experience. You can find open source projects on websites like github.com and bitbucket.org.

STEP 11: Stay Update With Podcasts, News, Events, Social Media, etc.

The eleventh step is to stay update with podcasts, news, events, social media, etc. This allows you to stay up-to-date with new technologies and learn different development concepts.

To stay up-to-date, you should listen to podcasts like Software Engineering Daily, This Week in Startups, and The Changelog.

You should also read news articles from websites like Wired, Ars Technica, and The Verge.

To learn from others, You should also attend events like hackathons, meetups, and conferences.

You should also follow social media accounts from websites like Twitter, GitHub, and Reddit.

STEP 12: Join Some Great Software Engineering Community

The twelfth step is to join some great software engineering community to ask question. This allows you to get answers fast when you need them and also learn from others.

You can join software engineering communities on websites like Stack Overflow, GitHub, and Reddit. You can also join software engineering communities on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.

STEP 13: Try To Build A Strong Tech Network

The thirteenth step is to try to build a strong tech network. This allows you to have people who are able to help with your career.

To build a strong tech network, you should attend meetups, conferences, and events. You can also follow social media accounts from people who work at top technology companies.

STEP 14: Launch A Side Project And Market It Like Crazy

The fourteenth step is to launch a side project and market it like crazy. This allows you to get experience marketing your product and also learn about business concepts.

To launch a side project, you should build something that you are passionate about. You can find cool ideas on websites like Hacker News.

You should also try to get beta testers to try out your product. To find beta testers you can use websites like BetaList.

You should also create a website for your product and write articles about it. To get some more users, you should submit your product to websites like Product Hunt.

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You should also submit your product to marketing websites like Growth Hackers and Inbound.

STEP 15: Prepare For Software Engineer Job Interview

The fifteenth step is to prepare for a software engineer job interview. This allows you to get a job in the software engineering field without a CS Degree.

To prepare for a software engineer job interview, you should research the company and the position. You should also practice answering common interview questions.

To find interview questions you can use websites like Interview Cake.

You should also practice your coding skills by solving coding challenges and taking mock tests. You can find mock tests on websites like LeetCode and CareerCup.

STEP 16: Get Your Dream Software Engineer Job

At this point, you will have enough skills and experience to work in a small or medium size software company or startup.

To find jobs, you should check websites like Indeed and LinkedIn. You should also attend job fairs and meetups.

You can also try to network with people who work at top technology companies. To find people to network you can take the help of websites like LinkedIn and Meetup.

You can also try to get a job at a top technology company through a referral.

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STEP 17: Keep Learning And Become An Expert At Something

The seventeenth step is to keep learning and become an expert at something. This allows you to be a software engineering leader.

To keep learning, you should join communities that allow you to easily learn new things. You can find communities on websites like Reddit and Meetup.

You should also read books about software engineering. To Find the latest interesting books you can take the help of websites like Amazon and Reddit.

You should also take online courses to keep learning. You can find online courses on websites like Udemy and Coursera.

FAQs:

Q 1. How can I get experience in the software engineering industry if I don’t have a degree?

You can get experience in the software engineering industry by doing a Bootcamp, online course, or by finding a job as a freelancer.

Q 2. What is the best way to get a developer job if I don’t have experience?

The best to get a software developer job is if you don’t have experience,

  1. Work more on your skills, and practice as much as possible
  2. Make your our project
  3. Try to get some Internship
  4. Gain experience by contributing to open source projects
  5. Improve your social media presence

Q 3. What language should I learn to become a software developer?

The best language for you to learn depends on your end goal. If you want to be a front-end developer, you should learn JavaScript. on the other hand, If you want to be a back-end developer, you should learn Java. If you want to be a full-stack developer, you should learn both JavaScript and Java.

Q 4. How long does it take to become a software developer?

It takes approximately 2-4 years to become a software developer. This includes learning the language, taking a Course or Bootcamp, and getting a job in the software engineering industry.

Final Thought

Becoming a software developer without a degree can be difficult, but it is not impossible. The most important thing to remember is to be patient and persistent. If you fail, try again! It can take several attempts before you become a software developer, but the journey will be worth it.

Good luck!

Don’t forget to share this step-by-step career guide on Social Media.

by Anshu Patel
I’m a computer science student and also a Blogger, Digital Marketer & WordPress Web Developer.

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