Thread: Getting a C developer job without a degree

  1. #1
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    Getting a C developer job without a degree

    Dear Members;

    TL,DR: Hi, could you please give me your ideas about how to get a job without a software engineering degree and experience?

    Actual explanation:
    I'm a mechanical engineer and wanted change my career path. I have some experience with embedded systems at university but it is very limited. Then I've taken a professional certificate of C programming language and an embedded systems certificate from online learning platform "edX" but so far the only feedback I can take from the companies is rejection. This is the link for the professional certificate program: C Programming with Linux Professional Certificate | edX

    As you can see the web page above, there are "program endorsements" by Nokia, Airbus, Thales. All of them gave their support to that certificate program but I started to think that this support is just an advertisement text. If this certificate has a relevance to all of these companies then why do I always take rejection? So far and -most likely by happenstance- I have only one interview with one company and as I mentioned they've also rejected me.

    I looked for an internship or a traniee program but those are also impossible because companies have expectations like a master degree.

    There is also one annoying thing worth mentioning: searching for C jobs is "hard". Job listings are filled with web development jobs and like, and avoiding them is nearly impossible. I've been grinding on career sites to find an entry level position.

    Your input is very valuable so please give your comments.

    Best Regards
    mk

  2. #2
    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
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    I suppose the first question would be, whereabouts in the world are you geographically located (country/state or equivalent).

    Second question, how far are are you willing to relocate?

    > I'm a mechanical engineer and wanted change my career path. I have some experience with embedded systems at university but it is very limited
    Does this mean you've been to university and have a degree in something?

    While you can't do anything about the "software engineering degree" in the short term, you could work on the "experience".
    To that end, look around
    Topics on GitHub * GitHub
    Best Open Source Windows Software 2022

    Find a few you like the look of, and lurk on whatever developer forums / lists / channels are available for a week or two, so you can gauge the personality of the group.
    Pick things which are active, not something where the last commit was months or years ago.
    Read whatever code / documentation / bug trackers they have.
    Pick one you're comfortable with.
    Introduce yourself briefly, outline your skill set, ask if there is something you could work on.

    You'll gain experience in
    - working in a s/w team
    - having code reviewed (and maybe reviewing code of others)
    - source control systems
    - continuous test / integration systems
    - reading and writing bugs
    - analysing problems
    - and so on.

    These are all necessary soft skills to have, which have nothing to do with knowing where the curly braces go in a C program.

    After a few months, it should be something you could put on your CV.
    For no other reason, it would demonstrate that you're a proactive person.

    Good luck with the search and project.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    I suppose the first question would be, whereabouts in the world are you geographically located (country/state or equivalent).

    Second question, how far are are you willing to relocate?

    > I'm a mechanical engineer and wanted change my career path. I have some experience with embedded systems at university but it is very limited
    Does this mean you've been to university and have a degree in something?

    While you can't do anything about the "software engineering degree" in the short term, you could work on the "experience".
    To that end, look around
    Topics on GitHub * GitHub
    Best Open Source Windows Software 2022

    Find a few you like the look of, and lurk on whatever developer forums / lists / channels are available for a week or two, so you can gauge the personality of the group.
    Pick things which are active, not something where the last commit was months or years ago.
    Read whatever code / documentation / bug trackers they have.
    Pick one you're comfortable with.
    Introduce yourself briefly, outline your skill set, ask if there is something you could work on.

    You'll gain experience in
    - working in a s/w team
    - having code reviewed (and maybe reviewing code of others)
    - source control systems
    - continuous test / integration systems
    - reading and writing bugs
    - analysing problems
    - and so on.

    These are all necessary soft skills to have, which have nothing to do with knowing where the curly braces go in a C program.

    After a few months, it should be something you could put on your CV.
    For no other reason, it would demonstrate that you're a proactive person.

    Good luck with the search and project.
    Dear Salem;

    Thank you for your detailed reply. It really helps.

    -I'm located outside of the EU, and been searching a job at the EU. So relocating is actually a favorable thing for me.
    -I have a bachelors degree on mechanical engineering and I have tinkered with zylog microcontrollers and 3d printers to some extent.

    And for the rest of your message, I can say that this seems to be the only way to get acquainted with a software. So right now instead of wallowing on career sites, I should check Github and the like.

    Thanks for the wishes.

    Best Regards
    mk

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