An anonymous reader writes "Hey slashdotters, first time poster here, hope I'm following protocols. I'm looking to change careers and go into software development. I have the equivalent of about a first year CS education — understanding of OOP, understanding of algorithm design and analysis, ability to code up non-trivial programs (mostly in Python), etc. However, I don't have a degree. I have enough cash set aside to where I can spend about another year honing my skills, but I will need to be making a liveable income after that. I'm located in a major metropolitan area. I was thinking about using the year to familiarize myself with programming libraries, picking up a few more languages, learning some front-end/design principles and methods, involving myself with a number of open source projects, and picking up a little bit of work from friends/contacts. Would anyone care to critique that strategy or maybe add some specifics to it?"