Should I Self-Learn Software Engineering?

learning methods

There are different methods to learn software engineering in Singapore. The four most common ones are: obtaining a degree in Computer Science; self-learning; bootcamps; and postgraduate programmes like diplomas and master’s degrees. This post discusses some considerations to decide if self-learning is the right route for you.

Pros

✓ Most affordable method of learning

✓ Allows most flexibility since you can study at your own pace and choose to focus on specific areas that you are weaker in

Cons

╳ Less structure to the learning curriculum

╳ Can be the least motivating option since there are fewer mentors to provide guidance and fewer peers to study with


Can I get a job as a self-taught software engineer?

Most tech employers are willing to hire self-learners as long as they can do the job well, regardless of past experience or credentials. However, it is ironically past experience and credentials that allow self-learners to get interviews in the first place. This is where bootcamp credentials can be helpful.

On the whole, self-learners have the widest variation in outcomes. Their success tends to be determined by their network, i.e. whether they have mentors with experience in software engineering to guide them on their learning journey. Self-learner outcomes are often closest to bootcamp outcomes, as they also focus on picking up practical skills and less on theory in a short amount of time.

If you are interested in self-learning, some resources you can use are:

Khan Academy

freeCodeCamp

Watch and Code

CS50 by Harvard