How do I become a software developer without a computer science background?

Watch
Eleonore
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
I recently graduated in Biological sciences and I decided that I want to something I am more interested in, like Software developer/engineering. I researched on it and watched a lot of videos on Youtube and I feel like it would fit me. The problem is that I have little to no coding experience, I graduated with a 2:2 in a science degree, from a non-russell group university which I feel doesn't help also.
I did start the freecodeCamp course and I also just started the Codefirst:girls programme, but I feel like thats not enough. I was thinking of using the graduate programme pathway as way to get in but most of them want a good background knowledge. I recently tried applying on one that said having a computer science degree wan't required but yet as part of the application you had to sole a coding challenge and I still haven't reached that stage.
I am so lost, I am passionate about tech but then I feel like it's too late to actually get into what I really want to do.
Any advice appreciated
0
reply
0le
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
(Original post by Eleonore)
I recently graduated in Biological sciences and I decided that I want to something I am more interested in, like Software developer/engineering. I researched on it and watched a lot of videos on Youtube and I feel like it would fit me. The problem is that I have little to no coding experience, I graduated with a 2:2 in a science degree, from a non-russell group university which I feel doesn't help also.
I did start the freecodeCamp course and I also just started the Codefirst:girls programme, but I feel like thats not enough. I was thinking of using the graduate programme pathway as way to get in but most of them want a good background knowledge. I recently tried applying on one that said having a computer science degree wan't required but yet as part of the application you had to sole a coding challenge and I still haven't reached that stage.
I am so lost, I am passionate about tech but then I feel like it's too late to actually get into what I really want to do.
Any advice appreciated
I also had similar feelings for a while. What I learned is that you have to demonstrate your programming skills through projects on places like Github. Start contributing to other projects if you can. If you have a list of projects that you have completed or are part of, the background may not necessary be so important. But you may have to go via an indirect route (get into the company first and then transfer roles after a few years) because many of the jobs will want some computer science degree.
1
reply
kkboyk
Badges: 21
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by Eleonore)
I recently graduated in Biological sciences and I decided that I want to something I am more interested in, like Software developer/engineering. I researched on it and watched a lot of videos on Youtube and I feel like it would fit me. The problem is that I have little to no coding experience, I graduated with a 2:2 in a science degree, from a non-russell group university which I feel doesn't help also.
I did start the freecodeCamp course and I also just started the Codefirst:girls programme, but I feel like thats not enough. I was thinking of using the graduate programme pathway as way to get in but most of them want a good background knowledge. I recently tried applying on one that said having a computer science degree wan't required but yet as part of the application you had to sole a coding challenge and I still haven't reached that stage.
I am so lost, I am passionate about tech but then I feel like it's too late to actually get into what I really want to do.
Any advice appreciated
There are plenty of ways. One being that you enrol in a master course for those without any background (Nottingham, York, Cardiff, Newcastle, City are some who accept a 2:2). Another is applying for grad scheme that will teach you this. There are plenty out there that provide training, though having a 2:2 will deter you, but some may take you in depending on your background (Sparta Global, Ten10, though their contract are dodgy).

The other is to learn coding and self teach yourself, build a portfolio for experience. You can start by learning fundamentals in comp sci ( Harvard's free, online 2016 CS50 "Intro to CS" is a good start). Once you've got a good grasps of the basic you can start doing projects such as these.

Edit: if you're stuck to know what to learn have a look at this roadmap.
Last edited by kkboyk; 1 year ago
1
reply
winterscoming
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by Eleonore)
I recently graduated in Biological sciences and I decided that I want to something I am more interested in, like Software developer/engineering. I researched on it and watched a lot of videos on Youtube and I feel like it would fit me. The problem is that I have little to no coding experience, I graduated with a 2:2 in a science degree, from a non-russell group university which I feel doesn't help also.
I did start the freecodeCamp course and I also just started the Codefirst:girls programme, but I feel like thats not enough. I was thinking of using the graduate programme pathway as way to get in but most of them want a good background knowledge. I recently tried applying on one that said having a computer science degree wan't required but yet as part of the application you had to sole a coding challenge and I still haven't reached that stage.
I am so lost, I am passionate about tech but then I feel like it's too late to actually get into what I really want to do.
Any advice appreciated

It's definitley NOT too late (there's no such thing as "too late", particularly not in a field like IT where all the skills are very self-teachable, and the demand for competent, skilled people is high). You're already doing a lot of the right things by trying to teach yourself from sites like freeCodeCamp.

As you're already finding, there are plenty of jobs which don't have any requirement for a computer science degree, but they will thoroughly grill your coding ability before or during the interview process. You don't need any more formal education to be able to cope with those interview questions, but more time learning and putting your skills into pracitice will go a long way! (Don't forget that other people applying to these jobs, regardless of whether they've studied computer science at university, probably have spent at least a year learning - either in their own time, or on a degree, or maybe a Masters conversion course, etc -- you obviously aren't as far down that path as those people yet, but with more time and persistence you will get there)

There's a couple of great learn-to-code communities here which might be useful for motivation/support:
https://www.codenewbie.org/
https://codebuddies.org/

Also, you can get a lot of excellent free online courses for learning the core software engineering skills on EdX and Coursera (All the courses there are from global top universities and tech giants - nearly all of them are available for free if you choose to 'audit' the course when you enrol on it). There are some really excellent free programming and compsci modules/courses on those from universities like Harvard, MIT, Duke, University of Michigan and UBC which would cover a great deal of the kind of content that you'd get on a typical undergraduate CompSci course.

If you don't mind a moderate monthly subscription fee, there's some decent structured courses on TeamTreehouse here: https://teamtreehouse.com/tracks although it's worth pointing out that everything you might learn on a paid course will be things which (with enough google'ing and research) you'd be able to get for free online.

I'd also recommend looking around your local area for tech-related meetups and events. Sites like meetup.com are excellent if you live in any of the major cities because there are loads of 'tech groups' where you can learn more, see some talks, do some social networking, and get involved in things like hack days or hackathons.

Lastly, when learning it's a really good idea to keep a project/goal in mind to work towards. Something which will help a great deal when you're applying for jobs will be to have had some personal experience of building a large, non-trivial project by yourself. Try to think of something equivalent in size/scope to an undergraduate final-year programming project (e.g. something which would take you 6 months to build, with a fair bit of complexity involved). You might not feel ready for that yet, but if you choose something that interests you then it can be something to trigger your own learning and research into different topics.

For example, some of the really useful and important topics that you should probably explore in preparation for a job could be:
  • Creating your own Web API 'back end' server
  • Building complex web server logic to handle things like validation and querying a database
  • SQL, relational databases, normalisation and data modelling
  • Working with "git" source control
  • Hosting a web app on a cloud platform like AWS or Azure
  • Learning how HTTP works
  • Creating web apps which communicate with other peoples' web APIs
  • Using some front-end web app frameworks to build more advanced/sophisticated apps - e.g. Bootstrap CSS and ReactJS
  • Learning some back-end software design patterns to create neatly-structured code
  • Automated unit testing (This is an extremely important topic for most software engineering jobs)
  • "good" habits such as following coding standards, writing consistent/clean/readable code, knowing how to write code which is robust against errors/failures/bad data/etc.
  • Knowing how to apply well-known software design principles to be able to improve the overall structure and quality of the code you write.


Good luck
Last edited by winterscoming; 1 year ago
1
reply
riverpath2
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
Hey Eleonore,

I'm not a software developer but here are some resources I've come across that might be helpful for you!

https://medium.com/free-code-camp/my...i-4a7fd2ff5503
https://bit.ly/faang12
0
reply
SkeeWiffQuiff
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
Hi Eleonore,

Have you looked into if there are any software engineering apprenticeship programmes in your area? I am 35 and nearly a year into an apprenticeship with a large company. I came from having no coding experience whatsoever. The application and assessment and interview were all skills based rather than experience based. I would highly recommend it as a way into the industry
2
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Poll: What factors affect your mental health most right now? Post-lockdown edition

Anxiousness about restrictions easing (30)
5.32%
Uncertainty around my education (65)
11.52%
Uncertainty around my future career prospects (66)
11.7%
Lack of purpose or motivation (75)
13.3%
Lack of support system (eg. teachers, counsellors, delays in care) (32)
5.67%
Impact lockdown had on physical health (28)
4.96%
Social worries (incl. loneliness/making friends) (60)
10.64%
Financial worries (35)
6.21%
Concern about myself or my loves ones getting/having been ill (22)
3.9%
Exposure to negative news/social media (34)
6.03%
Difficulty accessing real life entertainment (15)
2.66%
Lack of confidence in making big life decisions (56)
9.93%
Worry about missed opportunities during the pandemic (46)
8.16%

Watched Threads

View All