How to transition to a career as a developer from a non-tech field

October 20, 2020
4
min read
How to transition to a career as a developer from a non-tech field
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There’s a reason the tech industry boasts several records when it comes to employment opportunities. In fact, there is a significant shortage of IT talent. According to this survey, 59% of companies have had problems hiring tech professionals. Although there is a high demand for IT workers, the supply is lacking. Therefore, if you want to become a developer, you’ll probably have many opportunities throughout your career. 

However, if you come from a non-tech background, you’ll probably think that switching careers is challenging. And it probably is. Nobody would ever say that changing careers is easy. Yet, there’s still hope. Regardless of your career experience, you can dive into the tech world. Here are some tips to consider when switching careers to become a developer.

Take advantage of your experience 

Consider being a career changer a blessing, not a curse. People with diverse career backgrounds can add value to any organization or company. You’re not just a software developer – you’re also a nurse, a teacher, or an ecologist. 

People usually learn coding skills and look for a company that operates in a field similar to their previous niche. For example, doctors or nurses with software development skills can easily find a job in HealthTech firms. The same happens if you’re a financial advisor and work on a FinTech product. 

Don’t underestimate your experience and your background. Having diversified experiences can add a lot of value to your career. Use general job boards like Jooble that are on the intersection between those skills.

Coding bootcamps as a training method 

Career changers have three options. They can teach themselves using resources on the Internet, study a bachelor’s degree in computer science, or join a coding bootcamp. Self-learning is excellent if you are the type of person who likes to study and explore a topic autonomously. If, on the other hand, you lean more toward formal education, there is nothing wrong with pursing a bachelor’s degree. 

However, if you don’t want to commit to a four-year degree, there are alternatives. A coding bootcamp is a short-term education method to learn the fundamentals of any tech field, including web and software development.

Online coding bootcamps focus on practice and results. Instructors use real-life examples that you will encounter as a developer. There are many great coding bootcamps out there. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Thinkful: Thikful’s one-on-one mentorship coding bootcamp promises to boost your coding skills. You’ll learn how to code with the most popular programming languages, such as JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and Python. Classes come in two formats: online and in-person. The price of a coding bootcamp at Thinkful is $4,500, but keep in mind that the school offers flexible payment methods.
  2. Flatiron: Flatiron’s coding bootcamps boast a 73% employment rate, which gives you an idea of the quality of the courses. At Flatiron, you can study software development, web development, and even cybersecurity, with a curriculum that is in line with the latest tech trends. Aspiring developers can learn front end, back end, and full stack development.
  3. General Assembly: General Assembly offers different coding bootcamps, from software development to web development. Students can choose to study online or in-person. General Assembly offers flexible payment methods such as monthly installments. The school also provides a “Learn now and pay later program”.

Join tech meetups

Once you are certified, you should start meeting influential people in the industry. The best way to do this is by attending tech meetups. Networking is an excellent strategy to meet personalities in the industry. By going to tech meetups you’ll learn new things and have a chance to showcase your skills.

Networking is relevant for most industries, and the tech sector is no exception. Tech meetups are usually pretty fun too. Indeed, networking can be an exciting experience – it doesn’t have to be a boring box to check as part of your job search.

Find a mentor

Having a mentor can make your life easier. Mentors guide you throughout your career by pointing you in the right direction. Find someone who is not judgemental and is willing to help you on your journey. Not all people will be interested in guiding you; that’s why finding a mentor is often hard. It might take some time, but once you find the right person, he or she will catapult your career.  

Find tools online

Taking advantage of the many tools available online is crucial when it comes to learning how to code. Spending hours in front of the computer writing code can be incredibly exhausting. This is particularly so when you are just starting to learn and your code is not clean. 

However, coding doesn’t have to be boring. There are many online tools to practice coding. Sololearn, Mimo, and Programmer Hub are some of the most popular coding apps out there. These tools have gamified the coding experience so you can practice and get rewards when you do well.

Which app you choose depends on the programming language you’d like to practice. Some of these tools are oriented to web development, while others allow you to practice a particular language like JavaScript. 

Wrapping up

No matter your background, you can always start a career in the tech industry. Being a career changer isn’t easy. There will be ups and downs – the best thing you can do is stay focused on your goal. Learn as much as you can, and practice every day. If you ever feel bored, there are great tools out there to improve the experience. Lastly, try to stay active within the developer community.

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