Curious as to how I can land my first programming job

Hello All, free code camp has been excellent. I’m not terribly far in the course material yet, so far I am half way done with the Responsive Web Design course and I am mid way through the ES6 material in the JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures. I am also following along with free code camp’s APIs for Beginners - How to use an API (Full Course / Tutorial) on YouTube. I just wanted to ask the community here realistically how much of the course material should I finish before I start applying? should I have a portfolio of projects completed before even thinking of applying? Everyone here has been great and I really want to make this my career; any insight as to a good path I should take would be so appreciated and I will do my best to pay it forward.

First of all, if you look back through past posts you will find many questions like these.

One recurring theme - it is impossible to predict. It would be like asking, “If I take up acting, how long until I star in a movie?” OK, maybe that is more extreme, but the idea is the same.

So, keep in mind this is an impossible question to answer correctly, and everything is just a guess…

I would say that before you even things about applying you should finish the first 3 FCC certs (or their equivalent). Even then that is a long shot, but who knows?

I would not even really get serious until finishing the first 6 certifications - that gives you the basis of a solid MERN stack. OK, now you are potentially employable, imho.

Will that get you a job? Probably not. You’re probably going to spend another 6-24 months building things, learning new libraries, building more things, etc…

Whatever you do, it is probably going to take longer than you think and is going to be harder than you think. It is VERY hard to get that first job. It is a long and painful process. Once you get in, things get a lot easier. Once you get a few years experience, it is much easier, but that first one…

I once wrote up a doc with my thoughts on getting the first job.


Hi @manbodhclaude !

I am currently learning how to code and going through the process of building up a good portfolio.

But, I will only add two things that has helped me so far in this journey.

1. Get involved in the tech community and build connections.

IMO, I think this is just as important as learning how to code.

There are plenty of communities where you can meet other developers, share code, pair program, ask for advice, get code reviews, receive mentorship, etc.

I have learned so much this past year, by being active in different online communities. Plus, they will give you insights into which companies are hiring. :grinning:

2. Take time to learn this material well
Often times I feel like I am in the minority because I don’t buy into the learn to code quickly movement.
You have probably heard of this narrative:
“Get a job in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months”

For me personally, I can’t imagine what value I would add to a company after 3 or 6 months of learning.

Are there people that get a job in that time frame?

Is it the norm?

IMO, focus on learning this stuff well and creating a healthy foundation to build from.
There is no benefit to rushing through any of this and creating holes in your knowledge.

Hope that helps!


@jwilkins.oboe Wow that really spoke to me! I really appreciate your take on this. I’ve kind of been stressing myself out trying to go as fast as possible feeling “slow” compared to others that are in lets say a paid boot camp or just was able to get their foot in the door sooner in that 3-6 month mark. But your right when you put things in perspective as to the amount of true quality/competence you can give to a company with just a few months of learning to code under your belt. This is a true skill and should be respected as such. Many thanks to your take on this, it is appreciated!

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@kevinSmith I appreciate your take on this and for the solid benchmarks to keep in mind such as at least getting to the 3 FCC certs mark etc. I value honesty and the realism about how difficult getting that first job can be. I actually feel better about myself now knowing that getting your first job in 3-6 months is the exception and not the rule. I will also check out your writing in your document about this. Thanks!

@kevinSmith Also Im reading your doc and i LOVE chess. if you ever want to play, i play alot on I really only like to play 3 min games though. and its cool you played music.
username: claudejosephM :chess_pawn:

@Anon551122 I just want to say I appreciate your feedback! IMO that’s a solid path for me. Honestly learning enough to actually make something seems to make a lot of sense instead of only working on exercises/tutorials 100% of the time. I want to be able to create things for myself as well as for future employment . Many Thanks!

Amongst other things that people said along with your coding i’d suggest you start using github and find open source projects to contribute regularly. They don’t have to be super advanced (some open source projects want help from beginners) but they will give you the chance to get some sort of “work experience” and you will learn much more. You will find yourself working remotely with a team that is spread all over the world.
Working in open source shows companies that programming for you is much more than just writing and deploying your code. It shows that you already how the basics of working with a team of developers and know the workflow of git already.

Which is good bonus that could set you apart from other people!

So yeah, be sure to use GitHub regularly along with your usual programming :blush:


Hey, yeah, I’m on that site too, as KevinSmith21. But I don’t generally like blitz chess online - it’s too stressful and one bout of lag can ruin the game. I play a lot of 3-day games. If I’m feeling ornery, I’ll do a 10 minute game. I think I’ve done a few 5/3 games online - anything faster than that just doesn’t work for me, at least no online. But maybe if we’re both online I could go for something a little longer.

@kevinSmith cool cool ill send you a friend request

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I definitely will start going on github more, thanks for your take its appreciated!

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