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Hi! How can I become a software engineer, without spending years in computer school?

I am about to be 16 and in the 10th grade! I want to become a private pilot, but also love the idea of becoming a software engineer as my career!! Any answers about how you got started would be great!

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Ryan’s Answer

Hi Corinne, looks like you already have a bunch of answers, but I would still like to chime in. To become a software engineer without spending years in a traditional computer science program, consider alternative learning paths such as coding bootcamps, online courses, and self-directed study. Coding bootcamps like General Assembly, Flatiron School, or Le Wagon offer intensive, short-term programs that teach you the necessary skills to start a career in software development. Utilize platforms like Coursera, Udacity, and freeCodeCamp for comprehensive online courses in various programming languages and software engineering principles. Build a strong portfolio by working on personal projects, contributing to open-source projects, and participating in coding challenges on websites like LeetCode or HackerRank. Networking with professionals in the field through meetups, online forums, and LinkedIn can also provide valuable insights and job opportunities. This approach requires dedication and self-discipline, but it can effectively prepare you for a career in software engineering.
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Kim’s Answer

That's awesome that you're interested in becoming a software engineer. You don't necessarily have to spend years in computer school to pursue this career. Here are a few steps you can take to get started:

1. Start learning programming languages: There are plenty of online resources and tutorials available where you can learn programming languages like Python, Java, or JavaScript. Websites like Codecademy, Coursera, and Udemy offer free or affordable courses to help you get started.

2. Practice coding: The more you code, the better you'll become. Try solving coding problems and challenges on websites like HackerRank or LeetCode. You can also work on personal projects to apply what you've learned.

3. Build a portfolio: As you gain coding experience, create a portfolio to showcase your projects. It could be a website, a mobile app, or any software you've developed. This will demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

4. Networking and internships: Attend tech meetups, join online coding communities, and network with other software engineers. Look for internships or part-time jobs in software development to gain real-world experience.

5. Continuous learning: Technology is constantly evolving, so it's important to stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in software engineering. Keep learning and exploring new technologies to enhance your skills.

Remember, becoming a software engineer takes time and dedication. But with passion and perseverance, you can definitely achieve your goals.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Kim. Corinne
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David’s Answer

Becoming a software engineer without spending years in computer school is entirely feasible, especially given the wealth of resources available online and the flexibility to learn at your own pace. Start by immersing yourself in programming languages such as Python, Java, or JavaScript through online tutorials, courses, and coding platforms like Codecademy, Coursera, or freeCodeCamp. Focus on mastering the fundamentals of programming, including data structures, algorithms, and problem-solving techniques, which are essential skills for any software engineer. Additionally, consider participating in coding competitions, hackathons, or open-source projects to gain practical experience and showcase your skills to potential employers.

As someone about to turn 16 and in the 10th grade, you have a valuable advantage of starting your journey towards becoming a software engineer at a young age. Embrace this opportunity with enthusiasm and determination, and don't be discouraged by the prospect of not attending a traditional computer science program. Instead, leverage your curiosity, resourcefulness, and passion for learning to explore various aspects of software development, whether it's web development, mobile app development, or game development. Stay focused on your goals, stay open to new opportunities and experiences, and believe in your ability to carve out a successful career in software engineering, even without spending years in a formal computer school. With dedication, persistence, and a growth mindset, you can achieve your dreams and make a meaningful impact in the dynamic and ever-evolving field of technology.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the answer! It was very helpful!! Corinne
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Corinne,

I've been programming since 1972. I taught myself the programming method. I started with Fortran and computers at university before the advent of the personal computer. I became a dietitian in 1988. I began writing nutrition education software in 1994. I combined dietetics and programming. I am self-taught and work programming 100+ hours a week.

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How to Become a Software Engineer Without Spending Years in Computer School

Becoming a software engineer without spending years in traditional computer school is possible through self-study, online resources, coding bootcamps, and practical experience. Here are steps you can take to pursue a career in software engineering:

1. Self-Study:

Start by learning the basics of programming languages such as Python, Java, or JavaScript. There are numerous online resources like Codecademy, Khan Academy, and Coursera that offer free or affordable courses.
Utilize online tutorials, forums, and coding challenges to practice your skills and deepen your understanding of programming concepts.
Build small projects or applications to apply what you have learned and showcase your abilities to potential employers.

2. Coding Bootcamps:

Consider enrolling in a coding bootcamp, which offers intensive training programs focused on practical skills needed for software development roles.
Bootcamps typically last a few months and provide hands-on experience with industry-relevant technologies and tools.
Research different bootcamps to find one that aligns with your goals and offers job placement assistance upon completion.

3. Internships and Projects:

Look for internship opportunities at tech companies or startups to gain real-world experience in software development.
Contribute to open-source projects on platforms like GitHub to collaborate with other developers and expand your portfolio.
Networking with professionals in the field can also lead to mentorship opportunities and valuable insights into the industry.

4. Continuous Learning:

Stay updated on the latest trends and technologies in software engineering by attending workshops, conferences, and meetups.
Consider pursuing certifications or advanced courses to deepen your expertise in specific areas of interest within software development.
Building a strong professional network can open doors to job opportunities and career growth in the tech industry.

By combining self-study, coding bootcamps, practical experience through internships/projects, and continuous learning, you can embark on a career path as a software engineer without necessarily spending years in traditional computer school.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

Harvard University Online Learning: Harvard offers free online courses on computer science topics through its Harvard Online Learning platform. These courses cover fundamental programming concepts and provide a solid foundation for aspiring software engineers.

Codecademy: Codecademy is an interactive online platform that offers coding classes in various programming languages. It provides hands-on exercises and projects to help learners build practical skills in software development.

GitHub: GitHub is a widely used platform for version control and collaboration on software projects. By contributing to open-source projects on GitHub, aspiring software engineers can showcase their coding abilities and connect with other developers in the community.

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EXPOSE YOUR TALENTS NOW :~----------------------------------------------------------------->

I use YouTube.Studio to showcase my nutrition education software Diet Wizard
https://www.youtube.com/user/yimi90125/videos?app=desktop

GOD BLESS YOU LOTS!
JC.
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