How do you make a certificate stick out when you don’t know what your future boss is looking for?
You need to tailor it to your future boss.
It also depends a bit on where you live.
In Germany and Austria for example, people love degrees. But even in the software developer industry, it is not as important as proving yourself as useful for specific tasks. Showing that you are knowledgeable.
Before I even had my first developer job, I did websites for game clans in my spare time. It was great fun and it helped me a lot to build my knowledge and always tried new things.
I brought my private interest for the web into the job and that got me further and further.
I did not have great pre-requisites. I did not even finish secondary school class.
I am completely self-taught and I started small and continued from there.
You don’t need much experience to do for example content management system customization with a bit of HTML, CSS and JS and go on from there.
And then after one or two years of professional experience, you will have a lot better chances to go somewhere else then. See it like an apprenticeship. You can earn money from the start, but maybe not that much. After 6 years of changing companies and always wanting to learn more, I am working with and for top leading industry partner in the industrial automation world like Siemens, Nokia or Bosch. I do sensor data visualization with web technology. And I love it.
No degree, no certificate, nothing.
Just honest interest for the work I do.
Can I let you in on a secret?
Someone taught you that the way to get a job is to stack up pre-requisites and hope somebody picks you. That employment is a game of kickball. Somebody else decides when and where to play. You line up with all the other kids, try to look good, and hope somebody picks you first. Or at least not last.
There is a much, MUCH, MUUUUUUCH better way.
I never had any trouble finding a job. Because I didn’t look for a job. In fact, not a single one began as an open position.
I landed all the same way:
I met people in the industry at meetups and online and, after
proving my usefulness in general conversation and participation,
I asked them to make a job for me.
More specifically, I laid out a case:
Here’s how I can help your company, and you specifically. You should hire me.
I argued how my skill set and experience would do great things for their projects. And they made a position for me.
Which means that not only did I get the job, I was the only candidate for it.
You can read more about that here: https://stackingthebricks.com/find-a-job-build-a-job/
My honest recommendation.
Success it boring. It is not happening over night (especially not with a certificate) and it is hidden in many details.
I show you how.
How it actually is:
In order to be “successful” you need to stick to what you love and are interested in. If you don’t have enough experience, do side projects! Even tiny ones. I started with a browser game that I didn’t even finish, but I learnt so many useful things along the way.
Learn from contributing to open source projects (there are many there!) do something from scratch, learn new technology by coming up with example apps you could create with the technology.
Many of the jobs I got myself into, used some technology or framework I have never seen before. But my genuine interest for tackling the challenge got me farther than people that just had pre-reqs.
Before I even had my first developer job, I did websites for game clans in my spare time. It was great fun and it helped me a lot to build my knowledge and always try new things.
In my opinion, being self-taught was the best choice for me ever. I learn from my own mistakes and that is a very important asset when working in a job.
When looking back at my journey to becoming a software developer, certificates are the last thing on my list I would do.