My father was a computer consultant and taught me programming when I was 11.

I m 30 now and have since self taught myself PHP, mySQL, Javascript and VB and have done several of my own projects including making a database and applications for a company.

I have no degree in IT or any actual experience working for anyone else in this industry and my previous employment has been in sales and marketing.

I want to make a career change and get into IT in software or web development with a focus on PHP which is where most of my skills are.

How would I go about getting job as a trainee software/web-developer if I m 30, not a graduate and without any experience being employed in such a role before?

marked as duplicate by Telastyn, user8365, Jim G., Jan Doggen, gnat Jan 3 '15 at 10:21

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  • 1
    For me, it involved a lot of email spam and a lot of patience. – Telastyn Jan 3 '15 at 2:35
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    Have somebody review your code so that it's clear you know your stuff, then apply for internships. PHP seriously sucks but then 80% of the sites on the Web run on PHP - that legacy code needs to be maintained. The caveat is that you'll be competing against people who have years if not a decade of experience in PHP. Your best bet is an internship that feeds directly into a junior developer position. I despise VB but your knowledge of VB may work for you, as there is a VB codebase out there. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 3 '15 at 3:00
  • self taught is different to the years of experience its related but not a duplicate. – Pepone Jan 3 '15 at 12:47
  • Do you have a degree in anything? – user9158 Jan 5 '15 at 3:54
  • I don't have a degree in anything unfortunately. I did go to university when I was 18 to study IT, dropped out after a year to take up Business Studies, dropped out after 2 years and went into a sales job. – Folder Hold Jan 6 '15 at 11:35

The best way to demonstrate that you have off-the-job experience is to set up a github account or other source repo and link to your (open source) work. This will demonstrate your knowledge to the potential employer and the fact that you are working on things off-the-job shows a passion for the work.

You can also seek out a certificate program that is available at some universities. This is typically much less cost and time than a full degree, but can demonstrate a dedication to the new line of work.

You could also seek out a PHP specific certification. This is a lower investment in time, but with questionable reward.

Ultimately, you will be limited in what positions you can acquire without a degree, and this will not go away with experience. I've worked for one place that wouldn't hire someone with 30 years experience without a degree and a B+ average (I'll not start ranting about that place though). You might think about eventually going back to get your bachelor's degree, though maybe part time after landing that first position. You don't actually know if you'll like this new profession until you've experienced it after all.

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