Towards Understanding Barriers and Mitigation Strategies of Software Engineers with Non-traditional Educational and Occupational Backgrounds
The traditional path to a software engineering career involves a post-secondary diploma in Software Engineering, Computer Science, or a related field. However, many software engineers take a non-traditional path to their career, starting from other industries or fields of study. This paper proposes a study on barriers faced by software engineers with non-traditional educational and occupational backgrounds, and possible mitigation strategies for those barriers. We propose a two-stage methodology, consisting of an exploratory study, followed by a validation study. The exploratory study will involve a grounded-theory-based qualitative analysis of relevant Reddit data to yield a framework around the barriers and possible mitigation strategies. These findings will then be validated using a survey in the validation study. Making software engineering more accessible to those with non-traditional backgrounds will not only bring about the benefits of functional diversity, but also serves as a method of filling in the labour shortages of the software engineering industry.