Software Developer Boot Camp

Recommending Formal Traning Schools for Software Developers

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Our Software Developers Career Coaching answers challenging questions posted by computer programmers about their careers. Click here to ask your own question.

Here Is A Software Developer\'s Coaching Question

I have always been interested in becoming a software developer.
I have a bachelor of arts degree from many years ago and have begun taking courses at a community college with the goal of getting a degree in computer science.
My goal is not to get a job in corporate america, my interest is in freelancing or working for a small company.
I am interested in education but feel like learning Calculus may be a waste of time for me.
I would like to know if you have suggestions for getting formal training in software development.
I am good with learning on my own but would prefer a more structured program.
Do you recommend technical school for software development?
I look forward to your response... Thank You.


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Information Technology careers are not designed like other professional careers in the Legal, Medical, Financial industries, etc. Because of that, you have to be non-traditional in your approach. If that bothers you, then perhaps a career in information technology is not for you!

  1. Formal Educational Requirement For Computer Programmers

    You do not need a computer science degree to become a computer programmer. Your bachelor of arts degree is sufficient because it proves that you have a college education.

    If you want to become a medical doctor, you are required by the licensing organization for doctors to have a medical education. It is both a legal and professional requirement.

    However, if you want to be a computer programmer, there is no legal or licensing body that says you must have a computer science background.

    As a matter of fact, there are software developers out there who don\'t have the equivalent of a college degree and there are many software developers who don\'t have a formal computer science background or education.

    Read this post titled: \"Is a College Degree Required For a Career in Computer Programming?\"

    So, you are wasting time and money trying to get a computer science degree from your local community college!

  2. Computer Programmers Learn By Doing

    Becoming a computer programmer has nothing to do with formal accreditation because the Information Technology / Software Development Industry (IT) is more concerned about your ability to produce than it is concerned about your type of education (formal / informal), accreditation, certifications, college majors, etc.

    Think about this for a moment. When you want to hire someone to build a website, do you put up ask around for a computer science college graduate or do you ask for someone who has a portfolio of websites that they have built?

    Computer programmers are hands-on professionals and becoming a computer programmer has little to do with fulfilling some academic goals and much more to do with getting your hands dirty, building / creating things.

    Think about this for a moment, if you want to build a website, should you head to college to learn how to build websites or should you identify the building blocks of websites (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP / ASP.NET / C#, MySQL / Sql Server)?

    Those that get it, will simply take a course in ASP.NET, C# AND SQL SERVER or invest a few hundred dollars on web development books from and then start building their websites. Those that don\'t will spend tens of thousands of dollars learning computer programming in college, come out laden with debt, only to discover that they still have not learned how to build software programs!

  3. What Does It Really Take To Become A Computer Programmer?

    Here is what you really need to do: Download the software developers study guide here ... and either buy the books that cover the topics in the study guide from for a few hundred dollars or enroll in the training

    The study guide that I just asked you to download describes the courses, topics, concepts and skills that you will have to learn or master to become a Microsoft .NET Programmer. It contains information on the programming skills you have to learn or master like: CSharp (C#), ASP.NET, .NET Framework, SQL Server. There are also other career tracks out there for computer programmers. These career tracks include the Java Programmers career track, the PHP Developers career track, the Web Designers career track, the User Interface (UI) Developers career track.

    Regardless of which career track you choose, focus on learning / studying for that career track until you finish learning all the topics. Don\'t try and learn multiple career tracks at the same time (which you sometimes do in college) because all you need do: is to be skilled at any one of them to get a good job!

    After you finish learning the topics in that career track, spend the rest of your time, putting your knowledge to work by building web applications. Don\'t waste time worrying about getting a job or trying to make your resume look good with more college degrees ... \"these are all gimmicks and surface dressing of your skills that will not win you any favors with employers!\"

    I would also recommend that you read this post titled: \"How To Get Computer Programming Experience\"