||I'm currently a product manager for a business intelligence platform at a large financial institution but would like to work hands-on in software design and engineering. I do not have a CS or engineering background. How does someone like myself transition over?
I have bills to pay, and don't have the luxury of going back to school for several years just to become an entry-level software engineer. How can I move over without taking a hit in pay?
Should I pursue certifications? Gain experience doing component design and development on sites like TopCoder? Contribute to open source projects online and hope to make some connections? Development my own applications, try to sell it online, and try to gain attention? All of the above?
I'm working as hard as I can to get my algorithm rating up, which I see as a measure of aptitude. But is aptitude alone, for someone without a degree in CS or math and without engineering experience, enough to get a job? Everything I know about data structures, graph theory, and algorithms is self-taught specifically for the purpose of TC competition. It obviously isn't a solid base for real-world software engineering.
What is the best way for me to attract employers? Not only that, but what is the best way for me to actually become good enough to merit a position as a well-paid software engineer?