How to Become a Software Developer Without a University Degree
A Software Developer is highly sought for around the world and more people aspire to practice this profession. Usually, many individuals believe that getting a university degree is a prerequisite for practicing such professions. Well, this is not necessarily the case every time. There are some professions and opportunities you can easily take advantage of without having a university degree. One of such profession is becoming a software engineer.
Software engineers are always in high demand all over the world due to the fast rate of global technological growth. There are always abundant job opportunities for software developers that know their stuff. Therefore, the skills required can be learned by anyone even if they don’t have college degrees.
Who is a Software Developer?
Sometimes referred to a computer programmer or coder, a software developer is a person who creates and develops computer software and other related applications. This individual is also saddled with the responsibility of writing, debugging as well as the execution of source codes for computer related software.
A software developer acts as a very vital component in the process of building software. As a general rule of thumb, developers are usually well grounded in at least one proficient programming language and are very skilled in developing the software codes needed for building the software itself. Depending on the specification of work to be done or software application to be designed, a software developer may fall into the category of app developer, software developer, web developer, mobile developer, etc.
Traditionally, the primary responsibility and concern for a software developer is code writing, he/ she may also determine and gather the requirements for software, software design or overall architecture, documentation of the software, and other key processes that are vital to the process of software development.
Getting Skilled in Software Development
Software development entails the conceiving, designing, specifying, documenting, programming, try outs and the debugging involved in the process of creating as well as maintaining software, applications and other software related frameworks. It is the process of writing as well as the maintenance of source codes for software applications. In a broader view, it includes all steps involved right from the initial concept, to the early phase designs and the commercial production of software. It sometimes takes the form of a structured and planned out process.
As a direct consequence of this, software development further entails the research, prototyping, new development, modification, maintenance, reuse, reengineering and all other sub activities that result in a finalized software product.
When developed, software can serve a host of purposes. The most common ones being to address specific needs of specific clients, to address the needs of a set or group (usually seen with open source as well as commercial software) and for personal consumption.
Worldwide, there is an extensive need for better software development quality control. This in turn has given rise to the concept of software engineering which seeks to fuse the systems approach championed by engineering with Software development.
Reasons Why You Can Become a Software Developer Without a University Degree
Not having a degree should not deter you from achieving your dream of becoming a software developer. There are several high earning engineers out there that just like you don’t also have university degrees. The most important thing is being grounded in the relevant skills and you will be hired and constantly engaged. There are online courses you can take to improve your craft.
Moreover, it has been observed over time that most universities don’t teach their students relevant modern skills. Usually, they stick with an outdated curriculum. The problem is that they may be several years behind modern pace of technology and innovation. Therefore, the journey to becoming a software developer is one that usually requires a whole lot of self learning and extensive research.
Due to it’s broad and very technical nature, even top universities that teach it may not include absolutely every aspect needed. Therefore, you don’t have to feel bad for missing out on a university degree. As long as you put in the needed hours of research, then you’ll be able to match or even surpass your peers with university degrees.
10 Basic Tips to Become a Software Developer Without a University Degree
If you’re at this stage of the article, then you should know by now that the talk that revolves around not being able to be a software developer without a university degree is purely myth. As far as your willing and ready to put in the work, you’re good to go.
What’s more? Only 2.4% of those who study computer science or other related courses eventually go on to get jobs in IT related fields. As you can see, you’ve got absolutely nothing to fear.
Don’t have a college degree? Take these steps to become a software engineer;
- Be Clear About Your Goals
You have to be crystal clear about what exactly you have set out to achieve. Do you want to work with a start-up? Or you want to be more of a freelancer? Then make your mind and stick with it.
- Learn A Programming Language
When starting out, most people try to do too many things at once. They believe they have to be so proficient in all the programming languages at the same time. The truth is once you’ve mastered a particular programming language, learning others won’t be difficult.
- Practice Software Development
It doesn’t matter how much you’re able to learn in a short time. If you don’t continually practice and seeks to improve your skills/ craft, then it’s all not worth it. Constantly practice what you’ve learnt. That’s more or less the only way you can get better.
- Learn From Real Developers
When starting out, you might be drawn to some free and easy to use tools online. The truth is while these tools overly simply things for you, there aren’t what real developers use in real life. So be like real developers, use real tools. You’ll be better off for it in the future.
- Learn How To Read Other People’s Codes
This is a vital skill you need to learn if you want to go to the next Level. Sometimes, documentation might be wrong. However, source codes always reveal the truth. Through these codes, you can see how other programmers do their work. You can use GitHub repositories for this purpose. Learning this skill can aid you when detecting bugs in a software.
- Join A Community
For a new software developer starting out, its advisable to surround yourself with the right people. The road ahead might be tough but if you have supportive people you can lean on for support, then you are sure of progress.
- Undertake Actual Coding Projects
After watching all the videos and undertaking all the tutorials, you really need to put them into practice. Real developers do this and if you dream of being one someday then you have to do same. This way, you’ll have tons of proof to show for your expertise when you’re about to get employed.
- Build A Professional Network
In the midst of all your learning and practicing, you should also take out time to build a network. The reason for this network is so you can have job connections when the time comes. Sometimes, applying for job openings online is not worth it. Real software development might not be aggressively advertised. This is where your network comes in.
- Pre Interview Essentials Are a Must
Before you eventually start handing out applications for jobs, then you need to do some work behind the scene. Cover letters, online presence, learning how to write a good resume. These are all important skills you need to have before you land the job.
- Ace Your Job Interview
This is it. It all or nothing, now or never. Bring you’re A game to your interview. Show your past works, answer questions confidently, show the interviewer what you can bring to the organization and pass the interview like a pro!
Benefits of Software Engineering
Software engineering is a very much admired and lucrative profession. It attracts a whole lot of respect and prestige. Software engineers are among the highest paid professionals in the world because of their skills. With the advent of technological innovation, they still have a long way to go at the top.
You can gain the following by being a software engineer;
- In depth understanding of the workings of a computer
- Software development skills
- More lucrative career choices and options.
- Salary is at least 20% more than other industries.
- Huge demand of software engineers globally.
- Flexibility with latest technology
Job Opportunities for a Software Engineer
As a software engineer, you have the advantage of working in a wide variety of positions due to your skills. Software developers are in high demand because of their proficiency and what they can bring to the table.
As a software engineer, you can use your skills in the following areas;
- Applications developer
- Game developer
- Data base administrator
- Multi media programmer
- Web designer
- Web developer
- Software tester
- Software Developer
- IT consultant
- Application analyst
- IT sales professional
- IT technical support officer
- Sound designer
You shouldn’t be limited by your not having a university degree. You should still be able to compete, you should still be relevant to society, your skills should still be in demand. One of the sure ways these can happen is by becoming a software engineer. When you constantly improve and hone your skills, you’ll always be in demand in your industry a