How to Start Building Your Coding Portfolio
Building a portfolio of projects can feel intimidating, especially if you don’t have any previous software development experience. Thankfully, there are many options to help you get started in the world of programming and software development. The best option for you depends on how much time you can devote to learning, your goals and aspirations, and your budget for education.
Some of the most common pathways for learning to code include bootcamps, traditional university degrees, and self-directed learning. We’re going to walk through each of these options and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Modern software developers often work in multiple programming languages. Bootcamps cover a broad skill set that can help learners prepare for new careers, learning multiple programming languages, and providing a range of skills to help you get started.
Many coding bootcamps are available, and your selection should depend on your goals and aspirations. For example, The Data Analysis and Visualization Boot Camp at Texas McCombs focuses on understanding and working with real-world data for 24 weeks in a hands-on, practical manner. This is a good option for anyone wanting to work as a business analyst, data scientist, or software developer.
The Coding Boot Camp at UT Austin, on the other hand, focuses on the fundamentals of computer programming; teaching you how to code in multiple programming languages and apply your skills on real-world projects you will encounter in the workforce. Completing this bootcamp can help you get started as a web developer, software developer, or full stack developer.
Degree in Computer Science
Completing a computer science degree is a great way for people to get started in the field. Most undergraduate degree programs require four years, giving students an opportunity to explore interests beyond computer science, as well as their primary field.
If you’re interested in obtaining a degree in computer science, UT Austin’s Computer Science program was just ranked one of the top 10 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Many people start in programming through self-driven learning. Getting started with computer programming simply requires a computer and a desire to learn. Independent learning can be a great option for anyone interested in programming but doesn’t know if it’s right for them or someone who doesn’t have the time to pursue a traditional degree or coding bootcamp.
There are many valuable resources available online, like edX’s computer science and programming courses. These courses are often free, though some courses offer a certificate or other credential upon completion for a small fee. Most courses are produced by established colleges and universities, and they’re often self-driven with work reviewed by peers.
If you’re interested in learning more about coding, UT Austin has developed a guide to help you learn to code online.