Advice please: Smart Contract and NFT's focus, new to programming

Hey everyone. I have zero skills in programming and am totally new to this space. I found the Solidity, Blockchain video on youtube and came to FCC for the first time. Since this is what I’m most interested in which of the 300 hour courses would you recommend I start with and why? I’m in my late 30’s and considering a career change as the financial potential and freedom of being able to work from anywhere are highly attractive to me.

Have also toyed with the idea of paying for one of the many bootcamps offered around the world that “guarantee” you a job upon completion.

Thoughts on this? I appreciate your help and advice to a total Noob. I know that it’s a tough road and it will be challenging. However, I’m the kind of person that when I put my mind to something I usually accomplish it. Thanks in advance and am looking forward to any advice sent my way.

There are so many free resources that a bootcamp seems kinda obsolete. Maybe if you got the spare money and need the guidance that comes with it.

As for the guarentee for a job - I mean, it’s not exactly a niche market. Quite the opposite. Demand is high and if you got the necessary skills, finding a job shouldn’t be an issue even without guarentee.
Especially if you go into webdev and backend, I’d think you got more issues with drowning in job-offerings than the other way around.

Ofcourse you gotta know what field you are interested in. If you JUST want a programming job OR if you want something specific. Like going into gamedev or BigData, those are more competetive fields with fewer openings.

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The curriculum mainly covers web development, client side (the bit you see when you open a browser) and server-side (the bit the client side talks to that you don’t see, eg interacting with databases). It has a large JavaScript curriculum which teaches the language. JavaScript is used on the client side for interactivity, and can be used on the server side, and FCC teaches server-side development using JS.

All of those things are applicable.

The curriculum also teaches machine learning. That’s not necessarily applicable to what you’re interested in, but the language used, Python, is.

Given you’re a total beginner, I’d tentatively say the JavaScript data structures and algorithms course is probably the best place to start, as it’s purely an introduction to a programming language, rather than “how to apply a programming language to a specific task”.

Note that it’s not enough on its own, you need to do a lot of reading/research/work outside of FCC. Note also it’ll take a long time to be productive, though how long depends (how long is a piece of string? But having previous knowledge of related things helps a lot, for example).

Note also that w/r/t blockchain-related development there are very few jobs because the technology [currently] doesn’t have much utility, so temper your expectations. And many of the good, well paid jobs that do exist require fairly comprehensive skillsets/experience (systems programming with C++/Rust for example).

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Bootcamp quality varies greatly, so going any “boot camp route” will take more consideration than the other 2 general alternatives. (go to college for a CS degree, or full self taught)

You could get a boot camp that is solid, will teach you critical job-related skills, and help you get placed in a job for a somewhat a sum upfront.

You could also join a boot camp that will teach you some critical job related skills, then drop you in the deep-end with minimal help and force you to pay 20% of your wages back to them later while you do all the legwork to get a job.

You could also join a boot camp that teaches you outdated skills, not help you with a job, and still charge you a sum upfront.

So just be careful with the boot camp route and do your research on which ever your thinking about.

Finally its worth keeping in mind, almost all boot camps will charge you more for the amount of time your there than a non-private college. (at least in the US) So yes its accelerated but I would not consider it “cheap” for the time of instruction.

Remote jobs might take some time getting into, especially if your just starting out. As its one thing to be learning a new skill and producing work, its another to be doing that in essentially isolation. Yes you can always jump on a call, but companies (and even employees) understand some face to face time can help get you going when starting out.

I’d consider your local job market during your journey as not only can the job market be more lenient if your willing to “go in”, but it can help accelerate your learning and look more appealing to potential employers. (rather than fighting everyone everywhere for a fully remote job)

Once you have some experience under your belt, transitioning to a remote job is much easier and once you’ve done remote you can more easily get hired for remote only jobs.

I’d work on the “web-based” curriculum of freeCodeCamp (in-order top to bottom until you hit stuff about Python) as those skills are still in demand, and will continue to be in demand as the web continues to grow and companies look to higher people who can build software for it.

NFTs, Web3, blockchain technologies are still up in the air if they are useful, a fad, or even just a scam. So spending time learning up to these might be a waste of time as they fall out of favor. Even if they are the future, you’ll need to know programming skills to leverage them. FCC will go over those in the context of web development, but if you get to the JavaScript parts of the curriculum, and gain experience using that language for different things, you can easily take that programming experience and apply it to these “future” technologies more easily.

Good luck, keep building, keep learning :+1:

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Thank you very much for your in depth response. Appreciated.

Thanks Dan, appreciate the response.