Are you interested in breaking into the exciting world of software engineering, but don’t have a traditional computer science degree?
Well, you came to the right place!
The journey to becoming a self-taught software engineer is not easy. However, it has been done before and you can be the one to do it again.
In this 7-step guide, we’ll show you exactly how. From setting learning goals and finding online resources to networking and gaining real-world experience, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to succeed.
So if you’re ready to start your journey toward becoming a self-taught software engineer, read on!
Table of Contents
Why Would You Want To Become A Self-Taught Software Engineer?
There are many reasons why someone might want to become a self-taught software engineer.
Perhaps you’re drawn to the constantly evolving nature of the field and the opportunity to work on exciting, cutting-edge projects. Or maybe you’re attracted to the high demand for software engineers and the lucrative salary potential. Some of you may even have a penchant for games and game theory and want to develop your own!
Whatever your motivations, it’s important to remember that becoming a self-taught software engineer requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to constantly learn and adapt.
But for those who are up to the challenge, the rewards can be well worth it. As a self-taught software engineer, you’ll have the freedom to choose your own path and shape your own career.
The Only 7 Steps You Will Need To Become A Self-Taught Software Engineer
The road to becoming a self-taught software engineer can be long and often confusing. However, I have put together a definitive guide to help you get there with actionable steps. The 7 steps to becoming a self-taught software engineer are:
- Set clear learning goals
- Find online resources
- Practice, practice, practice
- Learn from others
- Get real-world experience
- Stay up to date
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Let’s look at each of these steps in detail and see how you can kickstart your journey to becoming a self-taught software engineer today.
Step 1: Set clear learning goals
Step 1 for becoming a self-taught software engineer is to set clear learning goals. This is important because it helps you focus your efforts and stay motivated as you work towards your goals.
As a self-taught software engineer, you have the freedom to choose your own path and set your own learning goals. These could include things like learning a specific programming language, building a certain type of software application, or even obtaining a certain job or certification.
By setting clear learning goals, you can create a roadmap for your learning journey and track your progress along the way.
Whether you want to become a full-time software engineer or just learn some new skills on the side, setting clear learning goals is an essential first step for any software engineer.
Step 2: Find online resources
Once you have set your learning goals as a self-taught software engineer, the next step is to find online resources to help you achieve them.
The internet is full of free and paid resources that can help you learn software engineering, such as online courses, tutorials, and documentation. Some popular resources for self-taught software engineers include websites like Coursera, Udemy, and Codecademy, as well as forums like Stack Overflow and Reddit.
When choosing online resources, it’s important to consider your learning style and budget and to look for materials that are relevant to your goals. With the right resources, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a self-taught software engineer.
Step 3: Practice, practice, practice
One of the most important steps for becoming a self-taught software engineer is to practice, practice, practice. The best way to learn software engineering is by actually building software, and this is something you can do on your own or with the help of online resources.
Working on personal projects and contributing to open-source projects can be especially valuable as a self-taught software engineer, as it allows you to apply what you’ve learned and build a portfolio of your work.
When practicing, it’s important to challenge yourself and try new things, as this will help you learn faster and develop a deeper understanding of software engineering concepts.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already an experienced software engineer, there’s always more to learn, so make sure to set aside time for practice and continue to build your skills.
Step 4: Learn from others
In addition to working on your own projects and practicing your skills, another important step for becoming a self-taught software engineer is to learn from others. There are many ways to do this, such as joining online communities, attending meetups and conferences, and seeking out mentors.
By learning from others, you can gain valuable insights, make connections, and get feedback on your work. Online communities like forums and social media groups can be especially helpful for self-taught software engineers, as they provide a place to ask questions, share knowledge, and collaborate with others.
No matter how you choose to learn from others, it’s important to be open to new ideas and perspectives and to be willing to seek out help when you need it. By embracing a community of like-minded individuals, you’ll be able to grow and learn as a self-taught software engineer.
Step 5: Get real-world experience
While working on your own projects and learning from others is important for becoming a self-taught software engineer, it’s also valuable to gain real-world experience. This can be in the form of internships or freelance work, and it can help you apply what you’ve learned, build your professional network, and gain practical skills.
Real-world experience can be especially valuable for self-taught software engineers, as it can provide an opportunity to work with others, solve real-world problems, and gain exposure to new technologies.
A great place to find real-world experience is to be part of the Linkedin Learning community, where you can interact with industry experts and network for positions.
Whether you’re looking for an internship or freelance work, it’s important to be proactive and start networking early, as this will give you a better chance of finding opportunities that align with your goals.
By gaining real-world experience, you’ll be able to take your learning as a software engineer to the next level.
Step 6: Stay up to date
As a self-taught software engineer, it’s important to stay up to date on new tools, languages, and best practices in the industry. Technology is constantly evolving, and as a software engineer, you’ll need to be adaptable and willing to learn new things in order to stay relevant and competitive.
There are many ways to stay up to date, such as reading industry blogs, subscribing to newsletters, attending conferences, and participating in online communities.
It’s also important to be proactive about learning new technologies and languages, as this will help you stay ahead of the curve and open up new opportunities.
By staying up to date, you’ll be able to continue growing and learning as a self-taught software engineer.
Step 7: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
As a self-taught software engineer, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you’re stuck or don’t understand something. As mentioned, there are many resources available to help you on your journey, such as online forums, community groups, and mentors.
Asking for help not only allows you to learn from others, but also helps you build connections and expand your network. When asking for help, it’s important to be specific about what you’re trying to accomplish and to provide any relevant details or code snippets that might be useful.
By being open to help and feedback, you’ll be able to continue learning and growing as a self-taught software engineer.
Wrapping Up and Conclusion
So there you have it – our 7-step guide to becoming a self-taught software engineer!
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced software engineer looking to learn new skills, we hope this guide has provided you with some valuable insights and ideas. Remember, becoming a self-taught software engineer requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to constantly learn and adapt.
But if you’re up to the challenge, the rewards can be tremendous. With the right mindset and resources, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful self-taught software engineer and shaping your own career path in the exciting field of technology.
Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is it possible to become a self-taught software engineer?
Yes, it’s possible to become a self-taught software engineer with dedication, hard work, and the right resources.
What are some good online resources for learning software engineering?
Some popular online resources for learning software engineering include Coursera, Udemy, Codecademy, and Stack Overflow.
How do I gain real-world experience as a self-taught software engineer?
Consider internships or freelance work to gain practical experience and build your professional network.
Can self-taught software engineers get hired by companies?
Yes, self-taught software engineers can definitely get hired by companies, especially if they have a strong portfolio of work and relevant experience.
Is it difficult to become a self-taught software engineer?
Becoming a self-taught software engineer requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to constantly learn and adapt. However, with the right mindset and resources, it’s definitely achievable.
Can I learn software engineering as a self-taught engineer in a short period of time?
It’s possible to learn software engineering relatively quickly as a self-taught engineer, especially if you’re highly motivated and have a clear learning plan. However, it’s important to be realistic about the amount of time and effort it will take to become proficient.