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How to start a new career as a developer without a coding background

Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

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There are many reasons why someone might want to switch careers to become a developer. One major reason could be how the current pandemic has affected the lives and businesses of many people.

Being a developer in different fields enables you to work from home, earn a decent income, and it’s likely to be in demand for a long period of time. You could even build your own product and start a business. Having said that, learning how to code and doing the job can be challenging.

There are many different types of developer roles that you can take up, and you should find something that interests you and keeps you motivated in the long run.

If you’re looking for a new career path and want to become a developer, then this post will start you off in the right direction especially if you have no programming experience at all. Let’s get started.

Start with the right mindset

There’s a common misconception that programming is an activity that does not require creativity. This is far from the truth.

The beauty of knowing how to code is that it allows you to build great applications, solve problems, and express your creativity by solving problems in creative ways.

So, before beginning to switch careers, try to figure out why you want to take this up. You also want to consider the area you want to specialize in.

If you like designing, then front-end web development may be the right choice for you. Are you into gaming? Then that can be a great area for you to explore. Data security, data science, and exciting areas of growth. While AI and machine learning roles are in great demand and will drive the future.

So, start by boosting your motivation levels and focusing on what you want to learn and why you want to make it your career. Once you have this down, you can take the next step, which is to start learning.

Find online courses

When you’re new to coding, your best bet to find video courses. If you have the time and the ability, a full-scale college course is also a good idea, although it’s not necessary. There are many reputable online platforms that qualify you to become a developer. And you get the advantage of getting a fully rounded, foundational education with networking possibilities.

There are a large number of free resources online. You can follow blogs, learn on YouTube, or use free repositories to pick up a language. Some 37% of people rely on YouTube to build skills for a job. Also, 38% of people use it to become motivated and inspired, making it a helpful platform to support your career change.

The concern here is that it won’t be as organized as a full-fledged course. And you may not be as motivated as you would be if you worked in a more interactive environment like in a structured online course.

I suggest finding affordable online classes with practical examples and good reviews. Of course, you need to make it a well-rounded learning experience by reading books, following thought leaders, and joining forums where discussions take place. This very platform has a cool article on how you can master VR by working just five minutes a day. 

Gain practical experience

One of the biggest challenges you can get from switching career tracks is convincing clients or employers that you have the experience and skills to do the job. In fact, you may even have that same question for yourself.

It’s important to build up practical experience to demonstrate your knowledge and to apply what you know. Consider these tips:

  • Build a freelancing profile on sites that support freelance development work. Take up small projects to gain experience and build a portfolio.
  • You can ask your current workplace to get you involved in any tasks related to programming and development.
  • Work on your own side-project and come up with solutions for gaps that you experience in real life.

When you have real-life examples of projects, you’ll convince potential clients or employers and even yourself that you know your job.

Build interview skills

One important step that you can take is to practice your interviewing skills. Job interviews for developers are oriented towards practical knowledge, logical reasoning, and analytical skills.

When doing an interview it helps to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure that you highlight that you’re willing to grow and learn because this is a field where it’s essential to stay updated with the latest developments.

Also, look up a list of common questions that are asked during interviews for web developers.

With preparation, you should be able to make a positive impression and land a great role.

Back to you

So, we’ve covered an overview of how you can make a career shift into programming and development in general. It’s no easy task but it’s a worthwhile one that gives you many options with regard to your career. Use the tips given here and remember that if you have a keen interest, then you can build your skills at any stage of life and start something new.


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