How To Become a Full-Stack Developer Without a Degree

Written By Connie Benton

become full-stack developerIs it possible to become a full-cycle developer without a degree? As practice shows, this is quite possible. In this article, we’ll go into more detail about this.

At the moment, the IT market is very promising. Full-stack developer salaries in the U.S. start at approximately $85,000 per year. The mid-tier developer gets $97,500. And the senior developer’s salary is about $116,000. These are quite high salaries; for this reason, many people want to try their hand at IT.

At the same time, the practice of recent years shows that many IT professionals did not get an IT degree but studied the profession in courses or on their own. This approach allows you not to waste a lot of time and get your first job faster.

What Does a Full-Stack Developer Do?

The demand for full-cycle developers is higher than that of other IT specialists. This is primarily due to the fact that such developers have higher qualifications. The term “full cycle” refers to the fact that a specialist must have skills that enable them to work from beginning to end with a project without the involvement of outside help.

Full-Stack Developer Skills

A full-cycle developer must have knowledge related to:

  • Layout of the interface.
  • Creation of the server part of the project.
  • Working with databases.
  • Working with infrastructure.

This spectrum of knowledge and skills makes it possible to cover the project from the initial to the final stage, ensuring its competent execution.

Each project consists of so-called visible and invisible parts. The part visible to clients is the web application or the site interface. In short, this includes everything that users see on their monitor. And the invisible part is the options that ensure the operation of the resource, also known as the server part.

If you work on these elements separately, you’ll need both a front-end developer and a back-end developer. The uniqueness of a full-cycle developer lies in the fact that they can do both. Meaning, the developer will have a deeper understanding of the project and problem-solve more efficiently, hence, leading to demand by employers.

How To Become a Full-Stack Developer Without a Degree

Without a prestigious education in the IT segment, it is more difficult to become a successful specialist, but with diligence and motivation, it is quite possible. It is important to know tools and front-end languages such as CSS, HTML, JavaScript. In terms of internal tools and languages, among them are, in addition to JavaScript, PHP and SQL. You should focus on scientific sources and training courses that provide this information.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Full-Stack Developer?

The training time depends on which training option you choose.

When asking how long it takes to become a full-stack developer, it all depends on what format is chosen—university or self-study. When it comes to university education, there are no special options. To get a diploma, you must work within the limitations of the institution.

However, it’s possible to learn the subject faster …

and start working in your specialty earlier. Experts share the opinion that most information needs to be learned independently, even in the case of university studies.

This involves not only reading specialized books but also practiсing. “Pump” skills in practice, follow the news of the field, and do not lose contact with the professional community. As a rule, as part of the college courses, you receive practical training.

Platforms such as Udemy allow users to learn new knowledge and immediately apply it in practice—for a small fee. Also, a lot of information is presented in the public domain, meaning, it is free.

It would be groundless to talk about any clear deadlines in the case of self-education because it all depends on the intensity of training, motivation, and other life circumstances (the level of workload at the main job, the regime, the availability of funds for high-quality literature, and the passage of specialized online courses). For some, a year of intensive training is enough to start working on the first simple projects. Others may need two to three years.

To find out if your level is good enough to start a developer career, simply go through an interview with a company. You can also take a test online, for example, on imocha. You will be tested, and you will know your current level of knowledge.

Important Points To Include in a Full-Stack Developer Resume

It is important to indicate in the resume:

  • Education.
  • Skills and abilities. For example, sites like Udemy give a certificate of completion for the course (the more detailed the disclosure of this issue, the greater the chance that the potential employer will evaluate the candidate).
  • Work experience (here you should indicate your projects within the specialization, and if there are none, then do at least a few test works that can be presented in the portfolio).

How Much Does a Full-Stack Developer Make?

The salary of a specialist largely depends on the country in which they work. For example, according to ZipRecruiter, in the United States, an entry-level specialist can earn about $85,000 a year, a mid-level developer – $97,500, and a senior developer – about $116,000.

Building a Full-Stack Developer Portfolio

Ideally, a full-cycle developer portfolio contains examples of successfully completed projects in various formats. For example, this is a social media application, an online store site, a blog site for a personal brand, an e-learning site. When designing a portfolio and describing cases, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and evaluate how convincing the description and presentation of projects looks. A good portfolio will help you land your first job, and you can improve your skills as you create one.

Full-Stack Developer Technical Interview

become full-stack developerYou can get your first job only after successfully passing a technical interview. First of all, in order to prepare for a technical interview, it is important to perform the test task given by a potential employer to a high standard. To answer practical questions, you should use the following algorithm:

  1. Understand the specifics of the problem.
  2. Clearly formulate a solution.

to argue what motivates such a vision.

Remembering this simple scheme, you can feel more confident and clearly formulate the answers.

You Don’t Need a Degree To Get Your Dream Developer Job

It is easier to get any specialty in the format of higher education. A more structured presentation of information, feedback in the form of assessment, and quality curriculum are the key to a comfortable learning. But you can become a specialist on your own if you set yourself this goal, regularly get acquainted with high-quality training materials as well as “pump” skills in practice, follow the news of the field, and not lose contact with the professional community.

Regularly interview at the company and take online tests to assess your current level. This will allow you to understand what level you are at, get a job, or understand what else you need to study in order to get your high-paying job in the IT industry.