Many people join the tech world by chance. Stories about famous technological entrepreneurs who dropped out of school are abundant on the internet. This begs the following question: is a computer science degree necessary for people looking for a tech job? Today, career transition is rampant, especially among young people because they wish to enter a career that resonates with their characters and busy lives.

The internet is invaluable to those who are willing to learn, because so much content is available for free. Individuals can take advantage of this to gain knowledge about coding. Coding is better understood through practice, as compared to reading or watching demonstration videos. Online teaching platforms have been swift in providing learners with an opportunity to practice and improve their coding skills. Individuals can take part in interactive tests, in-browser coding exams, and creative lessons. Individuals do not necessarily have to resign from their current jobs to implement these tips.

Joining the career

It is important to understand that what works for one person may not work for another. However, the following tips are aimed at guiding anyone interested in moving their career into the tech industry.

Pick a role

A tech company comprises of numerous technical roles. Entry level roles can be divided into engineers, analysts, and designers. Identifying the best role need not be a difficult task. With some thought and introspection, individuals can establish what they are interested in, and then pick a role that resonates with those interests. For example, people interested in statistics, numbers, or organizing their online games collection can take the role of a data analyst.

Pursue the simple tasks

Mastering simple tasks first provides individuals with the basis to learn more complex tasks. Becoming proficient in simple tasks is relatively easy, and the demand for them is always high. Competent individuals are likely to land jobs without much fuss.

Join freelancer.com to get a shot at some of the simple jobs posted by different people around the world.

Have good communication skills

The quality of work one produces is as important as the way they present themselves during interactions with other people. Having good communication skills is paramount in this industry, and individuals should strive to master them. What can one do to enhance their communication skills? Read non-fiction books covering the topic. There are plenty of videos online which can help one improve their communication skills.

Code regularly every day if possible

Regular practice is the best method of learning how to program and improving coding skills. Jerry Seinfeld devised the “don't break the chain” method to motivate himself in becoming a better comedian. He had a big wall calendar and a red marker pen. He used the pen to place a cross mark on the calendar every day he wrote new content. With time, he realized it was slowly becoming a chain. The longer it became, the more he wished to keep seeing it grow. Individuals wanting to learn to code can apply this strategy, and code every day. Ensure the chain is not broken.

Refrain from meetups

More often than not, tech meetups provide a perfect place for some individuals to demonstrate and often brag about how tech savvy they are. Many newbies are likely to leave the meet up feeling disheartened. This does not mean they should be avoided. There are a few technical communities that have received impressive reviews for promoting diversity. Individuals who want to gain more knowledge from a group of technicians can opt for conferences. They provide the perfect ground for promoting diversity when it comes to speaking line-ups. Additionally, the ability to choose from various stages provides attendants with better opportunities to find speakers that suit their individual interests.

Attend few hackathons

Hackathon participants are expected to work under poor conditions for no pay, and very slim chances of winning a prize. One should remember that nothing is worth compromising their health and time for. However, joining a few hackathons enables individuals make valuable connections, and develop impressive projects.

Make internships work for you

When presented with the opportunity to choose between internship and work, individuals with basic skills can ask the company to consider offering them a full-time job. However, it would not be sensible working in a tech company only to leave in less than six months. Remember, coding comes with a never-ending learning curve, and individuals need to be consistent to excel. If the company decides to offer an internship, go for it. Work hard, gain the relevant skill and become confident enough to ask for a full-time opportunity.

Access multiple projects at freelancer.com that are submitted by clients all over the world. This is a good platform to help build your skills.

Network online

The growth of social media presents individuals with a chance to connect with numerous people. It’s not surprising that more people today are connecting through social platforms than at real-world events. Having a social media account has become a requirement to everybody who can operate one. Individuals only need to post their requirements on their profiles and pin it. Also, social media users can follow people who are in the industry, or companies they are interested in working for. Posting completed projects online and asking followers for feedback is an ideal way of gauging progress and potential. There is power in sharing which is clearly explained here.

Build a personal portfolio

Before building a portfolio, individuals should know the following:

  • The type of tech job they are interested in.

  • Their goals in the field.

Knowing this will help them develop, and showcase their skills in relation to what they are interested in. Individuals should ensure all important projects are included in their resume, as this enables employers to establish their track record. Strive to develop beyond the easy task manager mobile app, or CRUD (create, read, update, delete).

The following tips can assist individuals in identifying projects to build.

  • Develop something that can be of use to other people.

  • Merge the project with other tools or libraries.

  • Do not make the projects unnecessarily complex.

  • Solve complex problems using your code.

  • Work together with other technicians on a project. This demonstrates an individual’s ability to work in a team.

Portfolio example

Personal website

Everyone working in the tech field must have a personal website to demonstrate their skills. This requires them to build up a server for their website and buy a domain name. It does not have to be professionally designed, but it should be well arranged to enable employers to understand the individual's history of work. It is important to include context such as date of completion, the technology used, the language used, and wherever possible, a link to a  repository to completed projects. 

GitHub

Every tech savvy individual should have a GitHub account. It’s a great place to display a person’s ability to handle a tech job.

Blog

Regardless of how experienced an individual is, a blog provides them with an opportunity to present themselves. One can write about new things they have been able to learn. This not only helps them grow their career, but it also enables their followers to learn from them.

As the demand for developers continues to rise, more people are finding ways to learn coding. These include online courses, conferences, and programming boot camps. A computer science degree is not a prerequisite to getting a tech job. However, individuals should work harder to enhance their skills and increase their chances of being hired. The future looks bright for people working in the tech industry.

Anything to add to the discussion? Do so in the comment section below!

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Publié 9 août, 2017

AliceDBianchi

Freelance Journalist & Reporter

Alice is a Community Correspondent at Freelancer.com. She drifts between London & Sydney.

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