I've been a developer for 2 years at a wonderful company, and am leaving soon for trade school to develop my passion in masonry. That said, I don't want to go to trade school until I have a solid foundation and credibility in software development, and can move on to a decent job in either market.

That said, this was my first development job, and I had pretty much worked my way up from a data-entry position.

I have no college degree in software or computer science, and I'm working on a mostly unrelated degree.

So, onto the question. How many years of Software Development does one have to work before one is credible enough to hired onto another software development position without a college degree? Are there any credentials (certs.) that I should get to put on my resume? How can I best show that I know my nitty gritty coding practices?

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  • @DavidK I'll read up! – tuskiomi May 26 '17 at 18:33
  • The thing with software titles is they're relatively subjective for each company in that what they consider 'junior', 'intermediate' and 'senior' may vary quite a bit. That being said, with 2-3 years under your belt, I'm not sure I would be looking at 'entry level' positions at that point, at least 'intermediate'. But again, you could work at a better company being paid more under the 'intermediate' title as compared to a company that decides to refer to you as 'senior'. – pay May 26 '17 at 20:23

"There ain't nothin' to it, but to do it."

First, start off by making sure that your skills are actually in demand with what's going on in the market. Often, a job is going to have a certain technology "stack" that it implements: LAMP, WAMP, Node, .NET, Python. How competent are you with the stack? What else within the stack are you unfamiliar with, and happens to show up in job descriptions that you read? (You MUST read job descriptions!)

Secondly, you can use online skills assessments to figure out where your weaknesses are. They're inexpensive (I've used Brainbench). Then actually spend some time on those weak areas, on your own time, until you feel you can speak comfortably (and maybe -- competently) on them.

No one will expect you to know everything once you get out there interviewing, but if you can at least show that you've bothered to self assess AND remediate your weak areas, you're way ahead of people who on rely on certifications as a means to get over in interviews.

  • I find that most hiring managers don't know what the 'full stack' is when it comes to development. does this affect someone's chances? – tuskiomi May 26 '17 at 18:58
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    No one knows everything. They'll know buzzwords. Their senior technical staff know the details. The buzzwords get you past HR and hiring managers, but the detail-level interviews with the senior staff get you the job. – Xavier J May 26 '17 at 19:03

Honestly, I think it's all up to your frame of mind. If you think you have a good handle on the craft you are pursuing, then the next level of positions available to you should be applicable.

In my opinion, I've always felt that all employers over specify the requirements in the job description, so if you feel comfortable with the job description--go for it regardless of what the job description states you must have for the job.

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