You Don’t Need A Degree To Get A Developer Job
You don’t need a university degree to get a job as a developer.
Trust me, because I managed to do it, as did my senior colleague at Matter Solutions, my current employer.
Here are a few steps to follow that will guarantee you will get a job:
- Build a portfolio
Get stuck into some code and show it off. Put the source on GitHub. Show the world how good you are. The best way to accomplish this is to find a real world problem and develop a solution for it. Perhaps you can write a plugin or a core patch for your preferred CMS. Building a personal showcase site is also something every developer should do, even if you don’t have much to display.
- Find the problems that you solve
For me, I work well with data. This means that I work well with marketing teams, as I understand the metrics they need to see and take steps to cater for that. I identify inefficiencies in development processes and optimise them. I also am a well recognised figure in the local community and get regularly asked to represent my employer by speaking at events. Everyone is different, find out what you specialise in because that is what makes you valuable.
- Become involved in the community
You have to go to meetups. Building a network is incredibly valuable and I regret not doing it sooner. Put your hand up to volunteer and speak at local meetups, seminars and conferences, because that will instantly increase your market value. The first time I presented at a meetup, I was surprised at how many people, particularly developers who I rated as better than myself, approached me saying that they had learned something new, so the chances are you are better than you rate yourself. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, because that’s where the opportunities will come from.
Following these simple steps is how I have built my career so far and it works. If you are prepared to put in the effort to build some projects, find the aspects you specialise in and get involved with your local community, whether you have a university degree or not will be completely irrelevant.