Career path direction

Coding career reflection

Summary of my past

Over the last year, and counting, I’ve gotten the privilege to connect w/ my brother (who is a pretty talented and ahead of schedule, at 29, web dev) and really learn (daily) coding online. I was originally learning in college on and off back in 2017 w/ Python and I liked it but it never really stuck and built on itself. Meaning I learned something, then took a few days off, then maybe remembered the syntax and what it meant.

Since the second half of this year (August ish) that changed. I got really disciplined, hopped on Udemy daily on Colt Steels course (which I recommend btw) and learned through what my brother did. It’s been nice and changed a lot in my thinking about coding not only as a career but as a world that I could get into for different work. I liked building things and specifically, mobile apps and then (eventually) mobile games using Unity/C# after the web basics. That’s my goal.

Pathway to success & planning

Having said that, as we near the end of the calendar, I would like some advice from pros who have maybe been in my shoes before. Hopefully (especially since the pandemic began) there have been a few of you.

I know I’m learning to code because the Udemy course (much to the disagreement of many on this site whose help I’ve asked for lol) is really simple and step by step. Its what I needed which is a teacher/mentor in a self sustained daily setting. A lot has been cleared up about what I thought HTML/CSS and JS are and how they’re used and typed. Its been really nice to have the 1-2 hours a day break, and then re cap what I learned. But at this point (since roughly August) I’ve hit a wall on JS and am a little concerned. Not in a worried scared way heading into the new year, but just that I’m noticing that this lacks a class structure and mentor teacher weekly helping me. So I’ve been thinking/wondering if a good simple (shorter term, less than 24 weeks) bootcamp is worth considering because I’m just needing that structure and help in that way. I could be wrong I’m not sure. But I feel that’s where I’ve arrived. Also, my brother has of course been helpful and great but it isn’t a dedicated person who I can ask for real coding help. He’s full time remote six figure coder and just can’t commit time to me like I need.

So please let me know where you think I should go. Certificate? Back to school for a bachelors in IT? A bootcamp? I know much more than I did but I’m probably at the same place the bootcamp would be about a month into the course if I’m being honest.

I appreciate the thoughts and advice.

One of the biggest challenges of a self-taught route is that you are the student and the teacher. If you were to go to an educational institution (boot-camp, or higher education), you’d only have to do the “student” part. However, this doesn’t mean having a teacher/guide/mentor means your job as a student is lessened, it actually might increase. It’s possible the teacher/guide/mentor “pushes” you into subjects that aren’t important to you, or aren’t as relevant as you thought. Furthermore, this teacher/guide/mentor usually can’t dedicate themselves to teach you everything you need to know, because there is too much of it.

So yes, it’s possible going to a boot camp can help you “get through that wall”, but a teacher/guide/mentor can only do so much before you as the student must take over. Being a better “student” usually makes up for even the worst of teachers. (regardless if that is yourself or someone else)

For example, doing a course on X is fine, but taking what you learned in X and building 2-3 projects using what you learned is better. Who, or what you learned in X doesn’t matter as much at that point.

I usually recommend going to higher education due to the vast amount of resources you usually get access to outside of the actual curriculum. From access to faculty, classes with peers, to networking opportunities and possibly job placement resources, higher education is the safest bet. However, it is usually the largest commitment for time and money.

If this isn’t an option I usually put being self taught above boot-camps. Boot-camps vary in quality dramatically, and cost more per what you learn than higher education in most cases. You can only learn so much in a given time, so a bootcamp will cut corners.

Again, the issue with self taught is that you need to be the teacher and the student, where most of the burden is on the student. There are plenty of resources out there that are available to you, but you as the student must leverage them.

For example, this forum is a great way to get help here and there. Along with “getting pointed in the right direction” as you are now. :slight_smile:

Good luck, keep learning, keep growing!


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