In today’s tech age, aspiring developers have the luxury of choosing various paths to reach their career goals. While some pursue programming-related degrees, others take on the challenge of being a self-taught developer. But what are the pros and cons of each approach?
Many companies like Google, Apple, and Tesla are increasingly eliminating the requirement of a university degree in their recruitment processes. Instead, they look for demonstrated knowledge and skills in job applicants.
But is learning programming through a self-taught approach feasible? What are the challenges and benefits of doing so? In this blog, we’ll take a detailed look at self-taught programming to help you make informed decisions.
Learning on your own: A challenge worth embracing
No doubt about it, learning on your own can feel overwhelming. With seemingly endless information sources and technologies at your fingertips, it’s easy to get lost before you even begin. But self-taught programming is a legitimate career path for those unable to invest time and money in a traditional university education. And while getting started may be difficult, the process teaches valuable skills such as problem-solving and curiosity, alongside a sense of community. The key is practice and dedication. Embrace the challenge, and cultivate skills that will serve you well both personally and professionally.
Our simple advice?: Pick a programming language and start learning! The key to successful coding is practice, so dedicate plenty of time to both learning and practicing. Start with basic projects like a calculator, a random number generator, or a to-do list app, and then move on to more advanced topics such as algorithms, Concurrent Data Structures, or Image Encryption using AES algorithms. By putting in the hours, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a proficient coder in no time.
Embracing change: Advantages of self-taught learning in the tech industry
In the tech industry, change is constant. This means that being prepared to adapt and learn new things is a valuable skill, especially when it comes to landing a job in software development. Even seasoned developers find themselves needing to learn and apply new technologies, making self-taught learning an advantageous approach. Furthermore, with 69% of developers worldwide identifying as wholly or partly self-taught, joining a community provides an excellent opportunity for networking and finding mentorship. Online platforms such as dev.to, medium.com, and github.com offer a space to connect with others in the industry, exchange knowledge, and grow together. Don’t be afraid to embrace change and self-directed learning—it could pay off big time in your career.
Additional resources for self-taught developers
Udemy offers a lot of paid resources for learning programming and further developing your skills. Here’s an example of a complete web development course that teaches the basics of becoming a full-stack developer: https://gorillalogic.udemy.com/course/the-complete-web-development-bootcamp/learn/lecture/12288048#overview
Youtube is another excellent resource for learning programming skills and many of the courses are free! Here are a few we like:
Become a Full Stack Developer: A Roadmap for Beginners
Python Backend Web Development Course (with Django)
Node.js / Express Course – Build 4 Projects
Finally, freeCodeCamp.org is another great resource for getting started on your journey to learning to code.
Navigating the dynamic tech landscape
In summary, being a self-taught developer offers benefits beyond studying at your own pace. It cultivates valuable skills like curiosity, initiative, and creative problem-solving. With every new challenge or technology, developers of all backgrounds must inevitably adopt a self-taught mindset. This approach fosters personal growth, improvisation, and adaptability, all fundamental traits in today’s dynamic tech landscape.