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Learn to Code: From University to Software Developer

Sigma School
15th March 2024

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Are you considering a career change to become a software developer? Do you have a passion for coding and want to learn how to create websites and applications?

As technology continues to advance, the demand for skilled software developers is on the rise. However, many individuals who are interested in transitioning to a career in software development may be unsure of where to start or how to acquire the necessary skills. 

In this blog, we will follow the journey of an individual, MJ, who went from having no coding experience to becoming a successful software developer. MJ's story highlights the importance of commitment, mentorship, and hard work when it comes to learning how to code.

Background and Motivation

Before MJ embarked on his coding journey, he was a university student studying management information systems. While his degree touched on IT and coding, the focus was more on theory and design rather than practical coding skills. It wasn't until MJ stumbled upon a YouTube video about the earning potential of software developers that he became inspired to explore the tech industry. Despite being encouraged to continue his family's business, MJ decided to pursue his passion for coding and enrolled in a coding bootcamp called Sigma School.

Before enrolling in Sigma School, MJ spent time self-teaching himself programming through online courses and resources. However, he found that learning on his own lacked structure and accountability. He wanted a more comprehensive and guided approach to learning software development, which is why he chose to join Sigma School.

The Benefits of a Coding Bootcamp

One of the reasons MJ decided to join a coding bootcamp like Sigma School was because he recognized the value of having a structured curriculum and a mentor to guide him. Unlike traditional university programs, coding bootcamps focus more on practical skills and real-world applications. This practical approach to learning is highly valued by many companies who are seeking candidates with hands-on experience.

During his time at Sigma School, MJ learned the fundamentals of coding, various programming languages, and how to build projects from scratch. The bootcamp provided him with the necessary skills to become a software developer.

Transitioning to Tech

While attending Sigma School, MJ also worked as a software instructor, teaching others how to code. His journey from student to instructor allowed him to share his knowledge and experiences with others. MJ saw firsthand what traits make a successful student. He discovered that commitment and self-discipline were key factors in achieving success. The top students were the ones who went above and beyond, completing all the optional tasks and challenges. Their dedication made them stand out and impressed both MJ and potential employers.

The Value of a Mentor

MJ emphasizes the importance of finding a mentor when learning to code. Having a mentor can provide guidance, support, and accountability. In MJ's case, his instructors at Sigma School served as mentors, helping him navigate the challenges of coding and teaching him new skills. A mentor can accelerate the learning process and help you avoid common pitfalls. Finding someone who already has the knowledge and experience you seek is invaluable.

The Challenges

Transitioning to a career in coding is not without its challenges. MJ faced obstacles both as a software developer and as an instructor. 

One of the first challenges he encountered was adapting to the role of a software instructor. Teaching was a new experience for him, and he had to learn how to effectively communicate complex coding concepts to his students. Through deliberate practice and self-reflection, MJ was able to improve his teaching skills and receive positive feedback from his students.

As a developer, he needed to learn new frameworks quickly to adapt to the work environment. While Sigma School had focused on React, MJ had to familiarize himself with Vue.js for his first project. He took the initiative to enroll in a Udemy course, dedicating extra time to learn the new framework. His determination paid off, as he was able to blend seamlessly into the work environment.

The Power of Commitment

Throughout MJ's coding journey, commitment remained a crucial factor in his success. The decision to become a software developer requires dedication and discipline. It involves sacrificing personal time and committing to extended hours of coding and learning. MJ advises aspiring coders to evaluate their ability to sit in front of a computer for over 8 hours a day. This self-reflection helps determine if they have the passion and drive necessary to pursue a career in coding.

The Importance of Skills and Experience

One common misconception is that having a degree in computer science is necessary to become a software developer. However, MJ's experience proves otherwise. While a degree can provide a holistic understanding of computer science concepts, it does not guarantee practical coding skills. Many computer science graduates lack the hands-on experience and portfolio of projects that employers are looking for. In contrast, coding bootcamps like Sigma School focus on practical skills and provide students with the opportunity to build real projects.

When it comes to job opportunities, skills and experience are often more valued than a degree. Employers want to see what candidates can do and what projects they have worked on. MJ's portfolio of projects and practical coding skills gained through Sigma School played a crucial role in landing his first job as a software developer.

Tips for Transitioning to Software Development

If you are considering a career transition to software development, here are a few tips to help you along the way:

1.  Make a decision: Take the time to evaluate whether a career in software development is right for you. Consider if you are willing to commit to the demanding nature of the job and spend hours in front of a computer coding.

2.  Find a mentor: Seek out a mentor who can guide you through the learning process. A mentor can provide valuable insights, offer support, and help you navigate the challenges of becoming a software developer.

3.  Commit to learning: Put in the time and effort to learn the necessary skills. Dedicate yourself to consistent practice and deliberate learning. Be prepared to put in the work and make coding a part of your daily routine.

By following these tips and staying committed to your goals, you can increase your chances of successfully transitioning to a career in software development.


Journeying from a non-tech background to becoming a software developer is both challenging and rewarding. MJ's story exemplifies the possibilities that coding bootcamps offer for individuals seeking to break into the tech industry. With the right mindset, guidance, and commitment to learning, anyone can successfully transition to a career in software development. By taking the time to evaluate your interests and goals, finding a mentor, and putting in the necessary work, you can pave the way for a successful career in this exciting field.

Want to explore another stories of non-tech background people become software developers? Check out this psychology student to in-demand developer: Haris's bold career change and the lessons he learned along the way.

Stay tuned for more inspiring stories of tech career transitions in our upcoming episode! 

If you are interested in becoming a software developer, check out our Full Stack Software Development where you can learn to build some awesome projects, even if you have zero coding experience. 

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