How I became a web developer in a year without a degree, a bulletproof method.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Need for Clarity
  3. Inverse Goal Setting (The Bulletproof Method)
  4. Consistency + Time


In life you need either inspiration or desperation. ~ Tony Robbins

Three months into my first semester I had to leave the university as it was clear we couldn't afford it. My father lost his business and we essentially became poor. With no education and a degree, I was rejected from a ton of places. I am a good teacher, I am really good with computers but non of that mattered.

In Pakistan, parents pay for their children's education until they get a degree. You cannot earn enough without a degree or get student loans either. Without any degree your chances of having a good and respectable job or a status in society are pretty low.

Looking at my peers, getting rejected and even being kicked out of an internship hurt me and made me angry too. It was a really tough time in my life where I lost, not only the chance to get a good education but friends too and I became extremely depressed.

I had made a decision nevertheless and I committed to it. I used all my "negative emotions" to drive me towards my goals. "Revenge" aside, in the end, it is all about having a better life not only for yourself but for your family too.

I did became a web developer and now I have one year and eight months of total experience. I do not possess any degree and or certifications.

Today, I'm going to share with you how I became a web developer in a year without any degree. What I'm about to share does not only applies to this field but to all other engineering and technical fields. Usually, in these fields employees require you to have a certain set of technical skills and these skills are measurable, both quantitively and qualitatively.


The best time to have a map is before you enter the woods. ~ Brendon Burchard

Clarity is perhaps one of the most important thing you can have in your life. When you are clear about what is it that you exactly want, you have an edge over other people. You can divert all of your attention and energy towards the attainment of that goal.

Remember, this concept of clarity that we're talking about will not only make you a web developer but also a better person. This is an invitation to you to lead a life that has been examined rather than the one that is reactive and lived according to what other people expect of you.

Be precisely clear on what you want because a lot of people climb the proverbial ladder of success, only to realize that it was leaning against the wrong wall.

Inverse Goal Setting (The Bulletproof Method)

Do you want to become a web developer? Let's suppose you want to become a front-end developer. What you need to do is to google this term, "front-end jobs" and you will get a list of front-end jobs, easy as that.

What you need to do after that is to click on the job posts and look at the skills they're expecting from their candidates. Usually they'll contain things like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SASS, ReactJS/VueJS/AngularJS. Write these skills down.

Go through as many posts as you can and write all the skills they require. Some of them may contain something unique and different, like a project management tool or a certain library. You may write those down too without any worry.

After that what you would need to do is to look for a pattern. What set of skills do you see being repeated in almost all of the job posts? For us, these skills should be repeated, "HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SASS and ReactJS." You may ignore things like RxJS, Bugherd or other such tools and libraries which are just mentioned a handful of times.

At this point, you should've figured out the pattern. The tools and languages that are essential for you to learn in order to land that specific job.

What we just did is what I call, "Inverse Goal Setting." I was thinking of a clever name but honestly, this is much better than "Inverse Back Tracking." I'm cringing really hard right now, haha.

Anyways, now that you know what skills you need, you can start your research on what to learn first and what comes latter. You make a map of sorts. In our example, we want to become a front-end developer. I would start with HTML and CSS and learn them before heading into SASS which is an intermediate concept. I will start with JavaScript before I head into TypeScript, Angular or React which are advanced tools and libraries.

As soon as you're done with that, you need to start taking action! Udemy, YouTube, e-books, FreeCodeCamp all of these platforms contain all the knowledge you need to become a front-end or back-end developer.

Study, make lots and lots of projects on your own. Sure, there are a lot of code-along project videos that you can watch and code along with but you also need to create something on your own. You need to take the concepts and apply them as you understand them, it will help you learn more than anything else.

After you learn most of the things that were on your list and you have projects online and your code is on Github, you are pretty much ready to start applying for jobs. Since, this isn't an interview advice post, I am not going to discuss data structures, algorithms, clean code etc.

Consistency + Time

Consistency is the key to mastery! If you want to become good at something, you need to spent large chunks of your time doing that thing on a daily basis, even when no one is looking and especially when no one is looking!

Ronaldo used to wear weights on his ankles and kick football for hours. Elon Musk used to work 120 hours in a single week and no wonder he is running multiple companies. There are tons of other such success examples.

It is in the moments of decisions that our destiny is shaped. ~ Tony Robbins

All such success stories have similar patterns, certain habits that they all had. They decided what they wanted, they trained and worked for hundreds of hours every single week or month for years. They trained when no one was looking, they trained when they felt like giving up and became depressed.

I had similar experience too. Studying for 12+ hours each day there were days when I completely burnt up and when I became depressed and really uncertain at times and questioned myself but I had made my mind and I was going to do it. It may become extremely hard at times but you keep at it anyway.

It is your decision to work hard on a daily basis that separates you from the crowd. In the end, the crowd will notice your success and cheer you on, they always do. Your critics becomes your supporters, but they will never see how hard you worked and that is okay because I think we're all like that unless we choose to gain awareness of self and choose to look closely and study successful people.


Know what you want! If you want to be a front-end developer or back-end developer, android developer or a game developer. Checkout job posts for that specific title and note down all the skills, tools and libraries they want from their desired candidate. Figure out what set of skills, tools and libraries are being repeated, viola, you now have a pattern. Make a sensible plan and get to work! Work hard, be consistent and be patient.

UPDATE: I'm really grateful to you all and very glad that this post served as an inspiration to many. This is my Linkedin profile if you guys want to connect. Have a great day!