5 Ways to Break into a Technology Career with NO prior experience

5 Ways to Break into a Technology Career with NO prior experience

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Scotty Parlor

Aug. 2, 2020

Read Time 5 min


So you want to get into the web/software development space.

You aren't alone. I speak to people almost daily about their desire to get into a career like this, and so many don't know where or how to begin. Let's face it, it's overwhelming.

If you haven't done so already, check out and subscribe to my channel to help gain industry skills and knowledge.

Now, let's take a look at 5 proven ways to break the barrier to entry and get the career you want.

1.  Let's just get this out of the way...Network!

I might have already lost you...because this is so obvious. This is first on my list because it is how MY TECH CAREER STARTED.

I'm not kidding. I didn't know html, javascript, nor css...and I got a job as a UI/UX designer. I got this job because I really impressed a friend and superior at a coffee shop job I landed in college. I owe that friend my career! I spent my 2 week notice learning from free online resources.

If you haven't already, create a Linkedin account and start growing your network. State on your profile what you know, what you're studying, and what career you are looking for. You might be surprised how fast you start getting mail from recruiters.

2.  Build a Portfolio

This is the reason I started scottyfullstack.com. This can be one of the most difficult steps leading into an interview. Why? Because it takes time. It takes time that most people either do not have, or time that takes a life of encouragement and one that assumes everything is ok at all times.

If you haven't already, create a GitHub account and start practicing with Git on your computer. This is one of the single best places to showcase your work publicly. Also, consider starting a StackOverflow account and try answering new questions. This is not only a great way to learn, but also get credibility in the market.

Check out our content in the blogs and youtube and show off what you learn.

Also, see the scottyfullstack github account for the content from our tutorials, packaged nicely for reference!

3.  Don't Wait for your Dream Position

Maybe you want to be a frontend/backend developer. Maybe you want to get your foot into DevOps. Project Management? Systems?

Rarely do people think about positions like Application Support or Quality Assurance Engineer when trying to start a career in IT/Development. If you are getting denial after denial, consider one of these. They often time require little to no previous professional experience (depending on the type of company and structure).  You typically must demonstrate basic technical abilities and common sense.

I worked for a startup where I could work my way up from the bottom. Fast forward 2 years and I became a DevOps engineer in the SAME company.

Don't forget about the long strategy!

I even know a guy that went from customer support to Business Analyst in 2 years with no prior experience. Get in and don't look back.

4.  Practice the Terminal

Seriously. Whether you use Windows or Mac/Linux...learn to navigate the shell. There are tons of free resources for this. Most of my content utilized the shell for navigation, bash commands, ansible, etc.

Most complex technologies can easily be learned with heavy use of the terminal and utilities there. 

5. Read, Listen to, and Understand the different Role's and Goals of Industries.

This one is crucial. If you want to walk into an interview and wake up the interviewer, explain your understanding of the role and suggest ideas found in popular text's and podcasts.

For instance, when I was interviewing at a Fortune 500 company for DevOps, I spent a few days reading The Phoenix Project to prepare for the interview and make it very clear I understood NOT ONLY technical material, but almost more importantly, process and methodology.

If you prove ansible and terraform knowledge in an interview, you very well will impress them enough to become an engineer. If go in talking about limiting dev bottlenecks, improving pipelines, and mitigating technical debt, you will already be marked by the senior leadership as someone who can MANAGE.

The Phoenix Project changed my entire understanding of the industry and has paved the way for my future in the field.

Don't forget to subscribe and get notified when new free content lands! Good Luck!