I am a middle aged, creative woman interested in becoming a front end web developer. I need a program that starts with beginner level, although I have already taken some free courses on Code Academy. I really want to train online. I work full time and have 2 children, so my training would be part time. What is the best track for me? Do I really need a BS in computer science in order to get a great developer job?
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You are going through some very normal concerns. With good planning and good networking, you can make some real meaningful progress.
Please let me where you are going to school, what your major might be, why you chose it, and who might you know who is doing what you think that you want to do. Also, what is it you want to do in your career and why?
I am enclosing a link to my career advice blog, which was put together by the people at Career Village. Please review it, as it is a good way to become familiar with what I have learned over the years and through my teaching and coaching many people have had much success.
I would like to work with you as your mentor.
Looking forward to working with you to help you to reach fulfilment!
I would recommend learning more about .net technology or Microsoft SharePoint. This will enhance your technical skills towards more technical roles in IT. Please let me know if you need any other questions. Thanks
I agree with Danny with regards to HR screening. One way to get directly to hiring managers is to develop your own website and/or build one for a friend or a small business for free or token cost.
You can also network through various networking forums such as the ones on meetup.com in your area and work directly with developers who can present you to the hiring managers if they themselves arent the hiring mangers.
I agree with Danny. What you need to do is code, code code. Become highly proficient and you'll find an opportunity. It won't be easy but if you reach out to hiring managers directly (not the HR department) they'll be thrilled to find an effective developer. In my experience many newly graduated computer science majors are pretty weak commercial developers. The best companies look for the smartest people and don't limit themselves to comp sci majors so I wouldn't worry about a degree, you can always get the piece of paper later. I'm not knocking the value of what you'd learn in a degree program but the vast majority of it is conceptual, not practical. A couple of the best developers I've worked with had no college courses at all.
Regarding the need for a degree in computer science: Most companies hire through their HR departments. The HR workers have a template they use to screen applicants. On the template, there is usually degree requirement. If you have no degree, you will likely not pass the screening process and not have an opportunity to discuss openings with the IT professionals.
Otherwise, a degree in CS is mainly useful in knowing what you don't know. I have had many colleagues who have had no degree of any type, and were excellent developers.
The best way is to know someone in the industry who will give you a chance to prove yourself and, better yet, provide on-the-job training.
Hope this helps.