How To Become A Software Developer At Home (With No Degree)

Do you want to become a software developer? You don't need to spend years at university! In this blog post, we will discuss how you can become a successful software engineering working at home without spending time and money on traditional education.
by Billy Stone » Remote Work Nerd » 
last updated on November 13th
There are ways to become a software developer without any formal training. It takes some work and patience, but it can be done. In this blog post, we'll go over the steps that will allow you to do just that: becoming a software engineer at home with no degree! As a bonus, we show you the best job boards to get your first job as a remote developer!

There are many ways for you to become a software developer who works from the comfort of your own home.

There are also tons of Remote Software Companies offering jobs out there.

Some people think that they need to be trained by professionals or spend years at college to succeed as independent programmers, but this is simply not true! With the right approach and determination, anyone can learn how to code from home with no degree.

But before we dive in deep, we’ll discuss the benefits and downsides and how you can go about achieving your dream career as a professional software engineer.

Rady? Let's Go!

Benefits of a software developer working at home

There are endless benefits to becoming an independent programmer.

  • Mainly, you’re your boss! This means that you decide when and where to work each day—which is especially great for people who have children or other commitments outside of the home.
  • Not only will this help with childcare, but you’ll also be able to work around any other issues that are important in your life.
  • What about the money? As a self-employed developer, there is no limit on how much you can earn each month. You can earn more by having side-projects and completing freelance projects that you find online. But before negotiating salary you need to read Remote Software Engineer Salaries & How to Negotiate the Maximum.
  • Less pressure is another great benefit of being a self-employed software developer. Since you don’t have to worry about going into an office or working on a deadline, there is more room for creativity and experimentation in your work.
  • Fewer distractions. We all know that software developers are the best when it comes to focusing on work. Working from home can help you get more done in less time since there is no commute, fewer meetings, and distractions!

Developer working from home

Drawbacks of being a remote software developer

But, there are some downsides to working from home.

  • For example, you may be tempted to slack off when there isn’t anyone watching over your shoulder or keeping track of how much time is spent on work vs free time. This can lead to less productivity and lower earnings in the long run.
  • Having no one around for support can also be a challenge, particularly if you’re new to being self-employed. You will have no one around for moral support or someone to bounce ideas off of.
  • Loneliness can be another drawback to working from home. Some people find it challenging to work in an environment where there is no one around for hours at a time. With all of the distractions gone, you may feel like there isn’t much going on and get bored quickly!
  • Lastly, the biggest drawback to working from home can be the lack of motivation that can come with it. With no one around, you may find yourself unmotivated and lacking in energy!

So, now that you know the benefits and struggles of being a self-employed software developer, let's talk about How To Become A Software Developer At Home!

Two starting points are depending on your experience and which route you want to take:

Option A: You already know how to code but want to start your career as a software developer without leaving home. Is this you? We'll show you what you need to do to land your next remote job.

Option B: You have no experience with programming? Then we recommend different steps for you to apply for your first position.

Option A: You already know how to code, but where do you find a job?

Cool. You already have the skills it needs to succeed in the world of software development. All you need is to find a company that will recognize your talent and hires you!

1. Identify your skills and interests

The first step to finding your next job is by identifying what skills you already possess. Do you have formal education in the field of software development?

Are there side projects that you've worked on that can showcase your expertise? These are both great ways to demonstrate that you're ready for a career as an independent developer!

If not, don’t worry! You can also focus on developing your skills in different areas and practicing them through online courses, tutorials, and other resources.

2. Research the market to find jobs that match your skillset

Now that you know what your skills are, it’s time to find companies that are looking for someone like you!

There is a wide variety of job-listing websites available where software development jobs can be found. These include:

  1. CodeTrails: This site is a job board dedicated to Software Developer Remote Jobs you can do from home. And by the way – it's our website! Ha! We offer a section for every stage in a developer's career and also have many different companies looking for all different types of developers.
  2. LinkedIn: This social media platform has tons of opportunities listed daily and since it’s a professional social media platform, it is also easy to filter out jobs that you aren't interested in.
  3. StackOverflow: This site offers both free and paid job listings for software developers. It focuses on top companies who are hiring right now!
  4. GitHub Jobs: This website only has the best opportunities listed so if you want to work with the best of the best, check out this website!
  5. Jobspresso: One of our favorite online career communities offers software developer positions from top companies around the world. You can even set up a profile and receive email notifications for new opportunities!
  6. Craigslist: Craigslist is another great place to find remote jobs. Just be careful of scams and make sure you're applying through the proper channels.

By using these resources, we strongly believe that any software developer can land their dream job working from home. But now that you found some companies, what next? Well...

Create a resume and cover letter

3. Create a resume and cover letter that highlights your experience, education, and other qualifications

It's time to apply.

Now that you have companies in mind, it's time to create a resume and cover letter. Your resume should highlight your experience as well as include any certificates or other qualifications that may set you apart from the rest of the candidates.

  • Your cover letter is just like an introduction email so make sure it’s written well! It will be what makes or breaks your application.
  • Keep it short and sweet – they don’t want to read a novel on the subject. Make sure that all of your information is relevant and concise. You can also include bullet points if needed since this will make them more readable.
  • List all of your qualifications and experiences, then list a conclusion. You can also include what you hope to gain from the company as well as how they will benefit from having you on their team!
  • Don't forget to include a call to action at the end!

Now that you have your resume and cover letter ready, it's time to send them out.

And remember - just because software development jobs are remote doesn't mean they're not competitive. Make sure you keep these tips in mind when applying:

4. Attend networking events in-person to connect with potential employers

It's always easier to get your foot in the door when you know someone who works for a company. But since this isn't always an option, it’s important to proactively seek out networking opportunities.

Attend meetups and other events where like-minded people will be present! This way you can make new connections that may be able to help you land a new job. Just remember that your goal is to make friends with people, not sell yourself - it's really hard for some people but this mindset will set you apart from others!

5. Network with people you know who may be able to help you find work

Your friends and family are going to be your greatest resource when it comes to landing a new job! And this is because they know you the best.

They understand what kind of work environment will make you happy, which projects interest you most, etc.

Don't forget that everyone has an opportunity for someone else - remember that people want to help others out so if you ask someone to help, they will!

Don't expect anything in return right away. Remember that people are giving their time and effort for free - it's up to them whether or not they want to offer something back later on down the road!

Option B: You have no experience. What now?

You have no experience and wonder how to become a software developer at home. But before you can go and apply for a job described in Option A, you first need to get some experience. 

Source Code

That's okay because that means it will be easier for you to learn (and cheaper too).

1. Find a good book on programming

If you don't know a thing or only know the basics about coding, you should definitely get a book to help guide your journey. For this reason, we recommend "Coders at Work" because it contains advice from top developers across many different languages and platforms.

The best thing about getting a book is that it will be easy for you to reference when needed! Plus there are plenty of online resources you can use as well so don't be afraid to search the web.

However, books aren't your only option - there are plenty of courses and tutorials that will do just fine! The best part is that they're usually free or very affordable too which makes them even better! Just remember to choose videos over written content since it's often easier to watch someone do something rather than read about it.

2. Learn how to use the command line

The command line is an easy way to interact with your computer using the keyboard.

Today, most of them are graphical which means you can click on things instead of typing out commands - but this wasn't always the case.

Before GUIs were widespread, everything was done through text! Not only could you type it in faster than clicking on things with your mouse but it was also much more efficient.

Being able to use the command line is important if you are interested in coding since many languages provide tools that only work through this method!

It's also a great way for you to get familiarized with how computers work on a fundamental level which will pay off big time down the road!

3. Figure out how to install software from source code

When you install software from a package manager, it's incredibly easy - but that wasn't always the case.

There was a time when all applications were installed through source code!

This meant developers had to know how to write commands and use tools for them to get their program up and running on someone else's machine.

If you want to be a developer, this is something that will help you understand the entire process since it's taken for granted these days!

By learning how software installation works from source code, not only will your knowledge of programming skyrocket but so will your understanding of what goes into making an application function properly!

4. Get an IRC client and learn how to chat with other developers online

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat and it was a popular way of communicating online with others.

While there are many different chat services you can use, one thing they all have in common is that they allow text-based conversations to take place between users around the world!

If you want to get started coding, this will be your best friend.

Not only does IRC allow you to talk about programming with like-minded people but it has also been used for years by many different communities of coders!

These communities are often referred to as "subreddits" and can be found on most major web browsers if you do a quick search online - just make sure that the one you choose is specific to programming!

By using IRC, not only will your chances of stumbling upon a community that can answer all of your questions increase but you'll also become more comfortable with talking online in general which is great for building up confidence.

And the best part about it?  IRC doesn't cost anything so there's no reason not to give it a shot!

5. Read blogs about software development, hacking, security, etc., for inspiration

One of the best things you can do to stay inspired is read about what other people are doing.

Whether it's blogs, social media accounts, or even magazines - it doesn't matter as long as they're relevant!

Having a regular source for all of this information will help inspire your projects and ideas since it allows you to see what kind of things other people are doing.

This will make you more confident in your abilities and it's also a great way to discover new tools, libraries, and software that can prove incredibly useful for getting started with coding!

So go ahead - get out there and find some blogs about programming right now! It doesn't matter what languages they're about either since you can always go to websites like StackOverflow for more information.

If all else fails, just use Twitter or Reddit! They both have plenty of sub-communities that are specific to programming which will help you find the inspiration that you need.

Conclusion

The Internet is full of developers looking for on how to become a software developer at home, so if you need any advice or have a question - don't be afraid to ask. If you want to get started coding but aren't sure where to start, there are plenty of resources out there. They can provide the inspiration and confidence boost needed!

IRC chat rooms, blogs about hacking and security (or even just programming in general), social media accounts like Twitter and Reddit which all contain communities specific to this content.

These will not only give you insight into how other people think when they code but also what tools might prove useful down the line. The best part? It won't cost anything since most websites offer IRC chat rooms free of charge.

So go ahead: take time today to read up on other people's projects, ideas, and thoughts about the world of coding. This will inspire you to do your best work and try new things along with giving you a great sense of where programming is today!