I think 2021 will be one of the best years for aspiring self-taught programmers, better than any year in the past. This might be a little bit controversial because we’re going through a pandemic technically. Still, the economy has suffered a lot, so it’s straightforward to be all doom and gloom. But there still are possibilities of getting hired as a self-taught programmer.
Recently I got a little bit of good news from a survey from codingame.com. If you have never heard of codingame.com, it’s a technical assessment platform, so you may have gone for an interview and use this platform. You may have done coding challenges on it, but they do a survey every year of developers. And also of HR professionals, those people who hire software developers on a range of different questions. Some interesting things came out of that survey that I’m going to cover to show you that there is evidence that people are still hiring self-taught programmers and that the outlook is perfect this year so let’s go ahead and just dive right into it.
80% of HR professional would hire non-academic people
the first part of this survey that really stood out to me is a section where 80 percent of HR professionals said they would hire people with non-academic backgrounds. Just to be clear about that means that 80% of the people who did the hiring and surveyed hire people without college degrees, without any academic background, no boot camp. That means that they’re open to people who have self-taught.
So while it’s very tempting if you’re learning this on your own to think that you won’t be taken seriously by recruiters when you actually get out there and start applying for jobs. The fact is that people are open to it, and from my experience, the reason that they’re free to it is just that you have a school next to your name, and your resume doesn’t mean that you can come in and actually do the work as a programmer.
Schools struggle to stay up to the learning curve of software development and programming. Programming is moving at light speed. New frameworks are coming out all the time. It’s just tough for schools to even find the talent to teach this in a way that really teaches students how to become software developers. It’s great to learn all the theory.
It’s excellent to learn computer science, which will help you on your path to becoming a software developer. Ultimately, what a company wants is to come on board and do the work without a ton of hand-holding. Ultimately they’re not going to teach you how to code on the job. Because they’re going to pay you good money for it. So, going into this, that was the best thing that I heard is that 80% of the people they surveyed said they’re open to it, so that’s fantastic.
Recruiters’ target in 2021
When I was going through the survey, the second thing that just jumped out was that nearly two-thirds of the HR professionals said they were hiring 11 or more developers in the coming year. They had plans to do that. And that goes back to the question of whether there actually people getting hired this year? Has the pandemic killed the job market? Are there just too many software developers out there?
Clearly NO, there are still people hiring people and looking for 11 or more developers at their company. So if you’re wondering how things are going, there are still indications that people are hiring. I’m not trying to say that the job market is perfect or that you’re guaranteed to get a job. I am saying that there is evidence that companies are still hiring and that software development is still something that you can get into.
This is just another piece of evidence that that’s the case. By the way, if you want to increase the likelihood of you becoming a self-taught programmer, then what you need to do is read my article “How to be a Software Developer without a degree.” As it defines a complete roadmap of becoming a software developer.
Companies really struggle to find qualified candidates
The third thing that I found as I was going through the survey is that companies really struggle to find qualified candidates to fill those developer positions. If you’re worried that the market is oversaturated, that means they’re unable to find qualified candidates. That tells us that many people are looking to become software developers, but so many of them rarely get to that level like the minimum threshold to actually get the first job.
So, it should be encouraging to you. I think so many people don’t get qualified enough because they don’t really know what to do, they aren’t disciplined enough to do the work every day. They don’t have somebody who can guide them and tell them what they need to be doing. Which is a massive help if you’re learning to do this on your own.
Developers are confident in their ability to find a job
If you look at other parts of the survey that corroborate this, most of the developers they surveyed are very confident they get a job. This tells us that companies are still lots of opportunities that companies are really dying to get people into software development.
But ultimately, there’s just a lack of people who get qualified enough to do this who can pass a technical assessment, who can prove that they can come in and don’t need a lot of hand-holding. They don’t need to be babied when they are in that junior developer role or just as a new developer.
So I hope this article has been encouraging for you. I think that 2021 can be the year that so many people get into this more than many years past. But ultimately, you have to put in the work. You have to be consistent, and you have to push through those hard times when you’re struggling to learn things or feel like you’re being overwhelmed. Which is the most challenging part, in my opinion.