How to Become a Programmer Without a Degree: Step-by-Step Guide

Looking for guidance on how to become a programmer without a degree?

It’s a computer world, and if you want to be a crucial part of it while also making a lot of money, a career as a programmer is the way to go.

If you’ve always wanted to be a programmer but never had the opportunity to go to school for it, or if you’re just starting out and considering a career in programming, you might be wondering if it’s possible to become a programmer without a degree.

The good news is that it is possible!

In fact, thanks to online learning platforms such as Udacity, LinkedIn Learning, and Skillshare, there are many successful programmers who don’t have a college degree.

Here’s what you need to know about how to become a programmer without a degree.


What is a Programmer?

A programmer is someone who writes code, which is a set of instructions for computers to follow. The code that programmers write helps to make computer software, apps, and websites work.

Programmers work in many different industries.

For instance,  in the gaming industry, programmers create code for video games.

In the financial industry, programmers might create code that helps to calculate stock prices or track investments.

And in the healthcare industry, programmers might write code that helps doctors and nurses keep track of patient records.

To illustrate specifically a typical work day in the life of a programmer, let’s say you work in the gaming industry.

You might start your day by reading and responding to emails from game developers, managers, and other team members. Then you might spend a few hours working on code for a new video game.

Later in the day, you might take a break to play some of the latest video games (yes, this is part of your job!) to get ideas for your code.


What Skills Do You Need to Become a Programmer?

Not everyone can thrive in a career as a programmer. Without certain skill sets, the demands of the job will be too much to bear. Here are the top required skills to become a respected programmer:

  • Technical skills. Programming requires specific knowledge of how to write code for computers. This includes learning different coding languages, such as Java, Python, and C++. Different languages are better suited for different tasks – so a good programmer will know when to use each language.
  • Analytical skills. Programmers need to be able to think analytically. They need to be able to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable pieces. They also need to be able to spot patterns and trends. This ability to think analytically is what helps programmers write efficient code. For instance, let’s say you’re a programmer who works in the healthcare industry. You might need to write code that helps doctors and nurses keep track of patient records. To do this, you’ll first need to understand how doctors and nurses currently keep track of patient records. Then you’ll need to identify patterns and trends in this data. From there, you can start to write code that will help make the process more efficient.
  • Creative skills. Programmers also need to be creative. They need to be able to come up with new and innovative solutions to problems. This is what helps programmers create code that is both efficient and effective. For instance, let’s say you’re a programmer who works in the gaming industry. You might need to come up with new ways to make game characters move or interact with each other. To do this, you’ll need to be creative and come up with code that is both efficient and effective.
  • Discipline. Programmers also need to be disciplined. They need to be able to focus on their work and complete tasks promptly. This is important because programming projects can often be complex and time-consuming. Also, it’s not uncommon to have more than one project going at a time. So being disciplined enough to focus on doing a good job on all of your projects is essential.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Programmer

Of course, having a college degree in computer science can give you a leg up when applying for jobs and can make you more attractive to employers. But if you have neither the time nor money, there are other ways to make your resume look appealing to potential employers.

Here are some tips on how to become a programmer without a college degree:


1. Take Online Courses to Learn the Basics of Computer Programming

Start by learning the basics of computer programming. Luckily, there are several easy ways to do this without paying to go to college.

You can sign up for computer programming courses on online learning sites like Udacity, Coursera, Skillshare, and LinkedIn Learning. These courses are taught by experienced professionals and can give you a good foundation in computer programming.

You can also find free resources online to help you learn the basics of computer programming.

Or, try watching YouTube videos or reading blog posts on computer programming. A quick search will give you plenty of results.


2. Choose a Programming Language to Learn

Once you’ve learned the basics of computer programming, it’s time to choose a programming language to focus on. There are dozens of different programming languages, so it can be tough to decide which one to learn.

A good place to start is by finding out which programming languages are most in-demand by employers. For example, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and SQL are the three most popular programming languages.

Or, try taking an online quiz. The quiz will ask you questions about your interests and skills, and then recommend a few programming languages for you to learn.


3. Join an Online Community of Programmers

One of the best ways to start a career in programming is by joining an online community of programmers. These communities are a great way to meet other programmers, learn from experienced professionals and get your questions answered.

Some popular online communities for programmers include Stack Overflow, GitHub, and Reddit’s /r/programming subreddit.


4.   Start Working on Personal Projects

In addition to taking courses and joining online communities, another great way to become a programmer is by working on personal projects.

Not only will this give you some real-world experience, but it will also help you build a portfolio of work that you can show to potential employers. If you’re not sure what kind of project to work on, try coming up with an idea for a simple app or website. Then, search online for tutorials that can help you build it.


5.   Get a Job

Once you’ve learned the basics of programming and built up your skills, it’s time to start looking for jobs as a programmer.

There are a few different ways to find programming jobs. One option is to search for jobs on job boards, such as Indeed, Monster, or Dice. Another option is to search for programmer positions on company websites. You can also try reaching out to companies directly and asking if they have any openings for programmers.


6. Keep Learning and Advancing Your Career

Once you’ve landed a job as a programmer, it’s important to keep learning and advancing your career.

One way to do this is by taking on more responsibility at work and taking on additional projects. Another way to keep learning is by taking courses and attending conferences. This will help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in programming and learn new skills.

Finally, don’t forget to network with other programmers. This can help you find new opportunities and make connections that can help you advance your career.


A Final Word on Becoming a Programmer without a Degree

A career in computer programming means having the opportunity to work in a variety of industries and on a variety of projects. It’s a challenging, yet rewarding field that offers plenty of growth potential.

Becoming a programmer doesn’t require a college degree. With the right skills and experience, you can start a career in programming without spending four years and thousands of dollars on a degree.

Start by learning the basics of computer programming with online courses on platforms like Udacity. This will help you get on the path to building a successful career in the field.

Do you have any questions on how to become a programmer without a degree? Let us know in the comments below!

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