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Cover image for How I became a software engineer at 16 without a CS degree
Nyasha Karata
Nyasha Karata

Posted on

How I became a software engineer at 16 without a CS degree

When I was growing up, I was someone who was interested in gaming, I was a big time gamer and I could even spend 4 hours playing games. In January 2019, I reached to an extent when I wanted to see what really happens behind the scenes of game, that’s when I started to hear stuff like coding, programming, development and I was like β€œYes I’m in”. Long story short I googled the how tos and the number 1 option was to learn C++.

I downloaded some e-books, development tools and started learning. To be honest with you it was a nightmare learning C++, I didn’t have a mentor and I only managed to grasp the very basics like decision making, conditionals, file system, etc. As I had no idea on how to build projects, I ended up learning HTML, CSS & Javascript. Thanks to Rafeh Qazi from Clever Programmer, he really made my coding life easier and I started to build static websites.

June 2019
I came across a certain software engineering course on Udacity and quickly enrolled. It was C++ again backed with C#. I learnt many concepts in software engineering like the complete SDLC, distributed systems design, databases, design patterns, building web applications from start to finish using ASP.NET Core, etc. I finished the course in 4 months and by that time I was feeling it in my veins that I’m now a software engineer. I started to build my own projects and experimenting with other technologies like Node.js, Django, React.js, Angular, etc.

May 2020
I started freelancing. I learnt how to communicate with my clients and deliver projects on time. I built web applications, desktop applications and websites. I didn’t make that much from freelancing as I was still in school so most probably I worked on weekends and holidays.

September 2021
I got hired by an Indian company called Pabbly which provides a subscription billing software. To be honest with you, the interview was tough, it was just like a normal Google coding interview so had to solve 4 coding problems, 35 minutes each and passed 3 out of 4 questions. I worked with other software engineers to implement the affiliate management system. Though I was working remotely, I had a lot of fun interacting with Indian developers through live video calls. I worked there for almost 10 months. Other than writing code, I did technical documentation writing and code reviews.

Right now I’m currently 19 years old, only left with 2 months to finish my final high school exams and I can’t wait to work physically for a tech company you know I wanna experience those stand-up meetings, the corporate culture, interact with other developers physically, etc.

Top comments (2)

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j3ffjessie profile image
J3ffJessie

Don’t wish for the meetings to quickly, soon your day will be filled with meetings. Awesome journey and hope you continue pushing forward. You are doing awesome!

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nyashakarata profile image
Nyasha Karata Author

Thanks man

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