Advice for Job Market

If anyone would be so kind.

I’m searching for firsthand experiences from people who have successfully acquired employment/reliable income from development/coding as a result of non-traditional education. I have read of other’s success, however I do not want to assume I am correct about any of this without putting forth the effort to thoroughly research it myself. If you have time I would like to know:

What type of development and language did you start out studying?

What type of development and language did your first job entail?

Where were you able to network with others like yourself and those already working professionally?

What resources did you find the most helpful?

Did you have any experience with boot camps, coursera, udemy, or other structured systems?

With your experience, what would you stress the most to someone starting out?

Did you ever freelance?

How long did it take to land your first job?

I have a steady job at the moment however, I feel I owe it to my family to provide better for them. My Wife and I have a 4yr old daughter and twin 11month old boys. I thought that, due to the pandemic, remote positions would be more attainable by someone starting from scratch. I enjoyed a few courses I took in college of C++ and am intrigued by python and swift. I don’t expect to find a silver bullet, I simply can not waste time studying something that no employer cares about and wouldn’t benefit me when faced with real world situations. I’d like a remote position, I would think that such jobs would go to someone with senority in a company normally, but with the pandemic I thought it may become more common.

Also, if I were to choose one type of formal option to take online, what would suffice most requirements? If a bootcamp would work I’d rather not spend the time on a master’s out of my field.

To anyone who can, I would greatly appreciate your time and concil.


Hi @DaddyGib!

Welcome to the forum!

I am currently new to this tech world (5 months) so I can’t speak about getting my first job yet.

But I do want to bring up to points here.

It’s tough to hire juniors during a normal time because they lack experience and need supervision. So even though everyone is working from home it is still a risk to hire a junior and trust that they can work from home unsupervised. Yeah there is zoom and all that but it unfortunately it isn’t the same as having senior developers in the same room supervising juniors in the office.

I wouldn’t consider C++, python and swift languages that employers don’t care about. There are tons of opportunities for all of those languages mentioned. You just have to figure out what area of software development you want to be.

Hope that helps!

Hey I would check on linkedin what are the most popular languages in your area and especially for remote jobs.

Hi @DaddyGib! I work as a software developer and my education was non-traditional, so I believe I can give you some insight about getting a job in the IT world. I learnt a lot on my own (there’s a lot of free resources online, my preferred sites are Udemy and Medium) and did a 6-months coding boot camp. I think the boot camp gave me LOTS of tools to bootstrap my knowledge and kept me on track during the process (sometimes self-learning takes a lot of discipline that is hard to maintain everyday for months, so being part of a program can help with that). After the boot camp I got a job working full-time and from there i kept growing my career, doing Udemy courses, reading a LOT of Medium blog posts, researching and learning from my co-workers. I did plenty of freelance projects as well, but I like the corporate life better because you get to work with bigger teams on bigger projects.

My advice in terms of technologies to learn would be: go to Linkedin jobs or another job searching platform and see what companies in your area (o r companies that hire remotes) are looking for right now.
I do web development, so I worked and work with different technologies and programming languages, such as Javascript, php, Node, Express, Laravel, Angular, Symfony, MySQL, AWS. I believe Javascript is a VERY requested language nowadays because it’s very versatile, you can develop server-side projects and front-end apps just using Javascript. You could also develop mobile apps. I think that if you learn Javascript, Node, Express and a front-end development framework like Angular or React, plus some basics about non-relational and/or relational databases, and of course, some html and css, you will have lots of chances of getting hired full-time or at least work freelance. Also, learning how to use GIT and GitHub would add up to the list.

When you have no college degree and no working experience is very hard to get a job as a software developer, so my advice would be: learn the tools to start making a good portfolio, make a few projects (practice/“fake” projects o real projects for friends o people that have low budgets to hire experienced developers) and apply to jobs having a nice portfolio and some freelance experience . Employers want to know that you can handle the assignments they will give you, so if you have projects that can serve as a “guarantee” for them, you’ll have a much better chance of getting the job.

If you decide to go with Javascript, I would recommend the courses of Maximilian Schwarzmüller, I took a few of his courses on Udemy and I loved him. He also has a youtube channel with lot of free videos, I think the channel is called Academind or something like that, that’s the name of his online school. Plus freecodeCamp has great Javascript material to start, I would recommend that too.

Also, Linkedin is EXTREMELY important. Connect with IT recruiters and people working on the filed, developers etc. I got my current job because an IT recruiter approached me on Linkedin. The first job it’s harder to get, but if you market yourself well and have some projects to back your knowledge, you can totally get a junior position at a company.

I hope that helps!