You don’t need a Computer Science degree to become a developer

You don’t need a Computer Science degree to become a developer

A common misconception I have been confronted with, excluding the assumption that developers are the same as IT technicians, is that having a CS degree (or a related field of study) is a prerequisite for pursuing a career in the software development field. Often, I interact with freshly minted graduates and for some reason they are contemplating a career change. The go-to for most is web development due to an impression market penetration is easy — largely attributed to the plethora of frameworks(Joomla, WordPress) and libraries available.

Howbeit, they are discouraged by their peers simply because they do not have a CS degree. Some fields like medicine, law, pharmacy are specialized such that without some form of licensing you can’t practice. This is not the case with software development — of course, certification is necessary in order to validate your skills. In software development, a high percentage of successful developers are not from a CS background they became programmers later in life.

A perfect example is Chad Fowler. Chad studied Music in The University of Memphis, ergo he began a career as a jazz musician. He later switched careers and became a software developer. This is not an easy transition but it is possible. Another example is my current business partner, he graduated from university with a degree in Mechanical Engineering with distinction yet he is undisputedly the best web developer in his graduating class (including those graduating with CS Degrees). Jekyll is a simple, blog-aware, static site generator.

The point of the post is to emphasize on the fact once you’ve decided to pursue a career in software development the only barrier will be yourself. You will obviously have to learn to write code, understand data structures, basic algorithms and the like. These are fundamental in an ideal CS course, however they can be learnt by a determined individual.

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