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Is it possible to get a job as a software developer without a degree?


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  • 3 weeks later...

I am glad you find it interesting Alphonse. I think I was driven mostly by desperation and that can't be the secret. The time I spent learning under very difficult circumstances was very valuable though.


Sending your resume will get you interviews, and showing your work will get you a job. When did you graduate?

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I find that software development is unique in this aspect.  I do know a great deal of individuals who learned relevant skills in other disciplines and then found work in software development.  The career itself often seems more focused on proving yourself and your capabilities, rather than necessarily where you learned those skills and under what program.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey gaboak,

Sorry if this is coming late, I didn't notice you replied till now.


I finished a bachelors degree in 2009. I went to graduate school for 3 semesters after, but I withdrew because I couldn't decide on a thesis topic, and because I didn't want to spend all that money on another degree without known what I wanted to do more specifically for work. So, I'd say I've been out of school since 2011. I've been spending the last few years pursuing different CS subjects -- embedded systems engineering, QA, etc, though without ever landing a job.


Right now I'm working on learning Rails 3/4, Ember.js, Backbone.js, jQuery and other more front-end/client side stuff. I'm still working on putting together a portfolio -- I just want to make sure everything is really polished before I show it to someone. I 'm also apart of a ruby on rails study group. I get called by recruiters from time to time, but I just tell them I'm still doing some self-studying and when I'm really looking I'll let them know. So that's where I'm at right now.


I think the reasons why I'm finding it so hard to get hired is because I didn't do enough internships while a student. I only did one, while everybody I know now who has an awesome job did a few before seriously looking for work. Also, I wasn't really sure of what I wanted to do specifically while an undergrad. I always knew I wanted to do something with technology -- that's my passion -- but there's so many thing I find interesting, I find it hard to focus on one thing.


In response to your article, you're right, you don't need a degree, but it really help you to save time. If you're in college, you need to do internships, meet people, have a way to show work that you've done before you're finished. It also helps to know what you want to do exactly, even though you might not end up doing specifically what you want. Even then, you can't really know -- if you graduate in economically hard times, when few people are hiring, you'll probably find it hard to get hired -- so I think it's often out of your control.


That's all the advice I have, but I'm still in the process of learning how all this works, so you don't have to take my word for it.

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Hi Alphonse


I am glad to hear you are learning all these cool new things. I think you are in the right  place. Most jobs in the web ask for Rails, Ember, jQuery and so on.


I think you are taking it a little too hard on yourself. Here is what i like to think: if you are following a course to learn JavaScript in 1 year, by the third month you know enough to start working in the field. You don't have to complete the full year to get started. We are in a very fast paced field, it can be intimidating but there are also a lot of myths. I was always worried that if i don't learn fast enough the latest technology i will be left behind and my skills will be obselete. This is a myth. If you have learned C++ and are proficient in it, you will have no problem tackling anything new that comes your way, no matter what language it is in.


Having graduated in 2009, I think you know more than you think you do. And most importantly, you have learned how to learn now it's time to apply that knowledge.


PS: No one created the perfect project on the first try. The key is to show it to the world and improve it incrementally.

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