FreeCodeCamp helped me in landing a full stack developer position

FreeCodeCamp helped me in landing a full stack developer position
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#1

Hello everyone! I wanted to share my FreeCodeCamp experience and how it helped me land a Full Stack developer position, and hopefully it helps those of you who are still trying to land that first gig some more inspiration to do so.

I’ve always had an interest in coding, however I never took it seriously until about 4 years ago, when I started writing Visual Basic for Applications scripts at the firm I was working at. Before then, I would dabble in creating my own websites in HTML/CSS over the years. Once I started writing scripts for most of my working hours, I realized that coding was what I truly wanted to focus my entire career on.

Now, I’m not exactly “young” anymore (I’ll be 40 soon), so I was a little bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to learn as quickly as the college youth who were excelling at CS. However, that didn’t stop me because I was determined. For the first 2 years I focused on coding in Visual Basic at my old job, and even taught others and blogged about coding on the company’s internal social media network, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy me (and my old job was just barely letting me pay my bills).

I signed up for an online bootcamp and learned the basics of full stack development using Ruby on Rails and AngularJS. The JavaScript portion was what really “spoke” to me, so after I finished the bootcamp I sought out other JavaScript resources. It was at that point I discovered FreeCodeCamp (at the end of 2015). I blazed through the Front End section and then jumped into the Back End. At that point I discovered NodeJS and ExpressJS, which came easy to me after learning all the concepts while at the bootcamp.

It was around March 2016 that I started sending out resumes and applying to various jobs. Most of the time I heard no response, and on two rare occasions I got rejection emails that actually gave me some information about why I didn’t get an interview (albeit not very much). Instead of letting it get me down, I saved the rejection emails with the intention that I was going to see how many I would receive before landing my first gig. Turns out, those were the only two.

Not long after my second rejection letter I ended up going to a bonfire at one of my neighbor’s houses (after some considerable effort on my wife’s part because she was tired of me just sitting in the basement coding and sending out resumes every night). I remember grumbling while walking down the street thinking, “Yeah, as if I’m magically going to run into a developer who has a position open at his company”. Well, to my surprise, that’s exactly what happened!

Within 3 days I had an interview and not long after that they offered me a job. The main reason they offered me the job was that I had the right attitude and was extremely motivated (the guy I met at the bonfire talked me up to his boss because of how passionate I was about it). Now, my personal projects, websites, and Github repos did help a lot, and I was able to talk through all the technical questions they asked me, but the deciding factor was that I fit the culture of their team and I was willing to learn and grow with them (just because I got a job doesn’t mean I “made it”, I still have a long way to go to reach my long term goals - which includes giving back by mentoring others).

Call it luck, or chance, or whatever you want, but if I didn’t have the drive and the motivation I never would have made it to the interview in the first place. So my advice to anyone reading this that is feeling frustrated or about to give up because they’re getting rejection emails (or no responses at all), give yourself a kick in the pants and keep at it! You won’t know when you’ll meet that someone who gives you a chance, or get the interview you’ve always wanted, but just make sure you’re ready for it by never giving up!


#2

Thanks for sharing your experience! Congratulations on having such determination and finally being rewarded for it! I’m happy for you.


#3

Now that’s what I’m talking about ! Thank you for sharing :slight_smile:


#4

Heck yes!!! Way to go— congrats!!!


#5

This is such an inspiring story! Congratulations :smiley:


#6

congrats man. You are my hero!!!


#7

Congrats man!! This is great to read!


#8

Hey great news! What are some things that they taught you a bootcamp that they didn’t teach you on FCC?


#9

@adongu To be honest there wasn’t much difference in what was taught at the bootcamp versus free code camp. The order in which I learned things was different, however. With FCC, if you start at the beginning of the map and work towards the end, you start off gradually and ease your way into various aspects of coding. While attending the bootcamp, we dove straight into an MVC architecture and started creating full stack applications right off the bat. So essentially the difference is in how intense of an experience you want to have. Bootcamp: Very intense. FCC: At-your-own-pace intense.

Hope this answers your question.


#10

Great testimony! I’m going in the opposite direction right now. Did FCC for front-end, now doing a full-stack bootcamp online. Feel like the work I did for my Front-End Certificate on FCC prepared me very well to breeze through the first 40% of the bootcamp, and now buckling down to learn Ruby and some more fundamental coding theory (modularization, MVC, etc.).

I’m coming away from all of this feeling really grateful for FCC, and hopeful that I’ll be able to find work soon as a web developer. Stay tuned! :smiley:


#11

Much congratulations. I will be 40 next year so this is encouraging. I’m a college dinosaur majoring in CS (started in my mid-30s) and graduating in December. I have straight As in CS but in college I feel like I’ve just learned a little beyond the basics of a lot of languages but nothing too advanced to really impress anyone.


#12

Is it accurate to say that 4 years after you got serious, you got your first job?


#13

Oh! I almost cheated myself from reading this testimony, in fact, I am going to just read through these testimonials to strengthen my resolve.

Thanks @joeybuczek for sharing. I like the detail you gave especially telling us how old you are; I felt your story. Thanks once more.

Thanks also to Team FCC.


#14

Great and inspiring!


#15

So happy to read such a beautiful ending Joey! Good luck with the rest :slight_smile:


#16

Wow, what a touching and heart felt experience, its always good to never give in to situation and circumstance surrounding our misfortune, because they are mere distraction which is necessary to bring out the best in us and be a model for others in this position. Few days ago i had a feeling coding was not my thing but i realized that is the only option have got now to come out of poverty because i don’t have fancy education like most people with family and well to do relation to support my education, therefore if i can make it with FCC and see it to the end and even have lots of projects to show case potential employer, my story will change and become a model like the guy above. Thanks for sharing bro.


#17

Congratulations for your Dream Job and Thank you for sharing your experience. It really motivate others, specially I guess people like me who are old enough to change their career to what they love to do. Coding is also a passion for me too. Sometime I also feel frustrated. But these kind of motivations helps a lot.

I also want to share one of my experience that, once I’ve deleted my freeCodeCamp account due to frustration and my thinking that, this is not the right time to switch. But later I focused what I really want, what really makes me happy and that is Coding, solve logics, expand my knowledge, learn new skills.

Then I make my final decision, no matter what but I will complete my freeCodeCamp journey and here I’m within three days, I’ve covered 255+ challenges again of freeCodeCamp and continue to my journey.

So, Once again Thank you so much for sharing this. I wish you and everyone very good luck for their learning and for better future.

Happy Coding! :smile:


#18

Congratulations. its inspirational and should work on the goals defined. Thank you very much for sharing your views which motivates.


#19

It 's very nice to hear something like this at the beginning of the path… keep our hope alive.


#20

Really inspiring mate… Congrats on your dream job!

I know i will get mine someday, and if there is no one to give me that position i will create my way up to it, that was what i allways did with all my career changings over the curse of my life (wich in fact is much shorter than yours hehehe).

Just 25 years in here but i already had a company wich was stolen by my father and the attorney, i also already worked in many fields like Eletrics, Eletronics, Sales, Informatic, Logistics and a couple of Call centers… But i always felt like coding was what i was born to do since highschool and now i am finally working in turn it into reality! One day, my friend, one day i will get that dream job too! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: