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Discussion on: How did you get your first software developer job?

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy • Edited

I was 19 years old when i got my first 'real' development job. I'm a completely self taught developer (starting on a ZX Spectrum back in 1983 when I was aged 7).

I'd dropped out of a Chemistry degree and was looking for work. I made a list (from the Yellow Pages) of ALL the computer/software companies I could find within the local area, and sent a letter to each and every one of them (regardless of whether they were hiring) asking if they would like to employ me as a programmer. I had previously been paid for some programming projects including converting some kids maths software from the Atari ST to the Commodore Amiga, but other than that, my only experience was all my own personal projects.

Most companies did not even reply, some said no... but a few asked to meet me. I ended up landing a job with a small husband & wife company who made bespoke Windows software for business.

I did go back to university after one year working with them, this time to study Computer Science. However, I found that to be largely a waste of my time since I was already way ahead of what they were teaching. I quit again, and went back to work for the same company. I've had many jobs since then and these days mainly work with web stuff.

Having no formal qualifications has never been a barrier. In fact, most of the best developers I've met are self taught

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Christopher Wray Author

Wow, thank you for sharing your story. I am glad to hear your thoughts on being a self-taught developer. As one myself, I can feel bad about it at times, but I am glad that you feel it is not a hindrance.