Don't Worry, Just Keep Learning! (and here's what I do)

Hey, this is really a great topic! I was a manager at Apple for two years, in a non-technical position. I’ve been freelancing for the last two years. I just started applying for pretty much all the jobs that I think I could do. Like many others stated, there really isn’t a specific set of requirements. It depends on a lot of factors. Something I’ve heard mentors say, as well as recruiters, is that personal projects and contributions are very important. Also, a trend I’ve heard some successful startups talk about is not even doing technical interviews! Which is cool, because you’d probably just be doing something redundant that isn’t actually a requirement of the job. With that being said, if you are applying for a software engineering role, you’re at the least going to be doing a systems design, so being prepared for that is good.

Since I started my FreeCodeCamp journey (I really dove in headfirst, doing about 6-10 hours per day most days between videos and reading books / docs) I’ve found that immersion really is the best way to learn a language. And that’s essentially what we’re doing here right? We’re figuring out how to execute commands through an interpreter or engine, which is pretty useful, but more importantly we are learning how to think and speak like an engineer. So I kind of compare it to apprendre le français, or learning French.

Some ways to immerse yourself are:

  • Join a community (like the forums here)

  • Podcasts! My favorites are:

    1. Lex Fridman (he interviews famous engineers like Musk, and some brilliant ones you might not know like Brian Kernighan or Donald Knuth, fascinating pioneers of the computer revolution)
    2. Syntax (two web developers, cool dudes)
    3. Developer Tea (one dude, cool engineer)
  • Make a schedule for learning! 1-2 hours per day is usually enough if you are focused!

  • Listen to some chill music while you code if you like, but I found that if I pause it when I’m reading or researching something intently, I can focus better.

  • Don’t spend too much time on Youtube. Tutorials (can) be good. When you know what you need to learn and you find a good instructor. It can also be a waste of time, so be careful.