For a long time, it has been established that a college degree is the best way to procure a high-paying job, in any domain. Concurrently, school kids are taking to code and build applications/websites, many being self-taught, hunting for knowledge resources, and teaching themselves what is required.
They aspire to become coders one day.
So, it is safe to say that this aforesaid generation is slowly coming to wonder— Do I really need to go to college to become a coder? Do I have to be exceptional at math, or pursue computer science engineering to get a job as a coder?
Well, it largely depends on the job posting you’re hitting ‘apply’ on. You will come across three probable situations while looking for a job wherein ‒ a degree or a certification is not a requirement, is a plus but not required, or, is a must requirement.
Doing is Learning
A formal course like engineering will essentially introduce you to algorithms, debugging, good software design, databases, among other things. But when you start going hands-on, that’s when actual learning begins. And, although you get acquainted with various methodologies in your engineering course, none of them are set in stone as musts to become a good coder.
Explore Your Potential
Fortunately, a lot of entities have accepted the fact that having a university degree does not make one a good coder, just like having a license doesn’t make one a safe driver. They just need to establish a connection between your knowledge and their problems. So it is up to you to communicate how your self-learning has framed you as a coder. The development industry is a fast-paced one―their concern is your capability to create solutions.
A Boot Camp Way
Budding coders now have the option of IT boot camps if they don’t or can’t take up a full-fledged engineering course. These boot camps are not only suitable for acquiring in-demand technical skills but also hands-on experience in coding. Typically, you might not know the theory behind the history of binary or the Big O notation, but you’ll be very well fit to join an organization because of your practical and interpersonal forté!
Practice to Perform
Coding as a skill is similar to playing an instrument or running a marathon. The more you practice, the better you get. You have to possess the knack of it, of course. With the optimum level of input through adeptness and effort, it is not impossible to achieve an output of high value.
Coditas CEO, Mitul Bid says, “Anybody who holds the right attitude and is passionate about coding can be molded into a good coder, and that’s a morale we strongly abide by in our team .”
So, does it mean that a degree is irrelevant?
Of course not. To have or not to have is too trivial a concern. Either way, there will be challenges. And there will also be limitless possibilities to learn from.
While certification isn’t always the way to go, some basic skills are good to have:
Logic— a certain level of aptitude, as well as problem-solving ability, are necessary to learn how to write clean code.
Concentration— since you have to spend long hours writing detailed code, you need to keep your focus.
Detail-orientation— minor errors can knock out an entire application, hence it is essential to keep an eye on the little things.
Communication— the ability to discuss ideas and clarify doubts with teammates as well as clients goes a long way.
As a new coder, it is not unnatural to feel inferior to IT folks who have followed the traditional path. You may avoid applying for jobs whose postings say that a certified degree is preferable. Or, you can think of the difference that your unconventional background can bring to the table and just go for it!