Learning to Code: 5 Paths to Becoming a Software Developer and How to Enhance Your Skills Along the Way - Part 2

Are you learning to code or looking to improve your technical skills? Join us for a 5 part blog series on the many paths to a career in Tech and how you can improve your skills, and your job prospects, along the way! Monthly, from September through January, we’ll be exploring various learning mediums and how to best leverage those resources for success. We’ll cover free online tutorials and courses, coding schools/bootcamps, CS degree programs, interview prep, and continuing education. You can find September’s blog on “The Self-guided Route” here.

Part 2: The College Route

Learning through Traditional Computer Science Degree Programs

Traditionally, the path to becoming a software developer has required years of intense study in a computer science degree program, and while many companies are now removing the requirement for a CS degree from their developer job requisitions, it’s still a popular way to enter the industry. So, in part 2 of our 5 part blog series on the “5 Paths to Becoming a Software Developer and How to Enhance Your Skills Along the Way”, we’ll get a little traditional and talk about Computer Science degree programs and how you can get the help you need.

If you’ve found yourself in a 4 year computer science program, you’re in it for the long haul. You’ll receive a formal education in a variety of computer science topics and concepts, including computer programming, though the thoroughness with which that topic is covered varies greatly per school. Being in the thick of it, you’ll know that the coursework is notoriously difficult and demands a lot of self-study to understand the ins and outs of programming. So, to the point of becoming a software developer: this is a challenging degree program and when you need help, how do you get it?

For any student, the instructor and teaching assistants available to the class are great resources. Almost every instructor (and their assistants) have office hours which is an excellent way to ask a question or two about homework or a class project. These reserved hours are invaluable as you get direct access to those most familiar with the material outside of lecture or lab time. This isn’t to be confused with personalized instruction, however. These times are reserved for all students in a class, so coming prepared with a question is essential to getting the help you need while also not monopolizing the instructor’s availability.

Many colleges and universities have tutoring centers available for students currently enrolled in courses. Be sure to check the requirements for this service. While they are often free, they aren’t always available for every student; meaning, some schools require that a your grade be below a certain threshold in order to be eligible. Also, depending on the school, tutoring may mean something different than expected. For example, some schools offer drop-in tutoring where the student will be required to wait for an available tutor that can help walk through a particular problem or concept before moving on to the next student awaiting help. As helpful as this type of tutoring may be, it’s not dedicated, personalized assistance.

Another good way to receive help when learning a new topic are fellow students. Leveraging classmates for assistance when stuck can be very helpful in not only understanding the solution, but also how to arrive at the solution. Learning HOW to learn is just as important as learning the concept itself. A successfully tackled topic by one student can provide valuable perspective to others, so checking in with classmates is a powerful learning tactic.

Now, there’s yet another way to get the help you need while learning a new programming language. The industry is full of countless people who have stood in the very same shoes as the proverbial student who is “just starting out”. Fortunately, we have a growing network of those folks who are also passionate about helping others learn. That’s why we offer 1-on-1 tutoring support with trained, experienced, and vetted software developers for anyone, anywhere who is learning to code. If that sounds good to you, then you’re not alone. Our tutors have already helped other CS degree students learn a new language, so if you’re struggling with technical concepts or topics related to programming, or just want the benefit of working 1:1 with someone more experienced, then we can help.

Our tutors cover topics in general technical assistance, code editor and revision control basics, fundamental coding concepts, data structures and algorithms, database operation, project build processes, automated testing, HTML and CSS, JavaScript, Python, C#, Java, and more! Sessions are scheduled in 1 hour increments and are totally dedicated to the student. No waiting around for your turn to ask a question. No sharing your tutor. Tutors are available to meet either in-person (if you’re in the Seattle area) or online. Either way, they’re happy to help you learn and land that dream job.

Sound good? That’s because it is and one session with a tutor goes a long way. Not only do students get individualized help by working with us, all profits go towards our Diversity Scholarship Fund which helps underrepresented groups in tech fund their education.

Ready to get started? The process is quick and easy. Simply click the big “Get Started” button below and fill out our general inquiry form. We’ll follow up with you over email right after to learn more about you and what you’d like help with. Be on the lookout for that email and check your spam folder just in case! The instructions within help us match you with the right tutor. After you’re matched, you’re free to begin scheduling learning sessions directly with your tutor. Also, there’s no program to join or commitment to make. Just schedule with your tutor for as long as you need.

For questions, please email tutoring@codefellows.com and we’ll be in touch!

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