Firstly, thank you for your articles, blog posts and this website. It is a source of tremendous insight into the UX study world for an aspiring UX designer.
I would like to know what level of preparedness is appropriate before pursuing a Master’s (eg. UW’s MHCID). I ask this as a Jr Software developer (2yrs XP) who has the fundamentals, but my application is limited to a little freelance work.
Is there a need for a foundation course (I notice you had 2 years at TU Delft). What can I do make up for this. Personally, I am inclined to choose certifications (like IDF) or get relevant full-time experience due to finances.
Having a CS background is definitely a great starting point to transition to UX! UW MHCID & many other UX programs welcome people from various backgrounds. I don’t think the school expect you to have a polished, industry-ready portfolio, but your portfolio has to demonstrate your “potential” to develop a successful UX career (This can mean a creative portfolio, an intriguing SOP, or an outstanding academic performance/working experience in the related fields, etc).
In terms of how to start, check out my response here.