From Carpenter to Front End Developer in under 5 months

This is my story about getting a front end dev job! hope you enjoy :slight_smile:

Published on Medium -


Congratulations on the job!!! This is really inspiring.

By the way, would you mind sharing (I assume you are in the U.S.) generally about the geography/area you were applying for jobs in? Were you willing to relocate or did you just apply locally? And if local, are you near a major city/tech/business community?

I am trying to get a gauge for myself, as I do not live in a major city but am willing to relocate.

Again, congratulations and best of luck to you.


Congratulations. Good luck with the job. Hope you don’t have to travel 4 hours everyday to get to the office.


I actually live in Ontario, close to Ottawa. I was not able to apply locally as there is not really anything for tech jobs where i live so i had to apply to places like Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. Ottawa is an hour and a half drive to get to from where I live. Toronto and Montreal are both about a 4 hour drive, just different directions. Yes i had to be willing to relocate.


Thanks! haha no I dont have to do the commute every day, thankfully. I am relocating to Montreal for the job.


First off congratulations! It’s exciting to see that your hard work has paid off.

I remember a few months ago I stumbled upon your FCC page/codepen, and was amazed that you were transitioning from being in the trades to web development.

Best of luck at your new job, and keep us posted!


This is so a great story. I wish you all the success. I am inspired to not only continue on but racket up my efforts.


That’s awesome Andrew. Félicitations!

Nice article, too. I like how you included a lot of details that people always want to know, such as how much experience you (didn’t) have before starting FCC, when you started, how far you got in FCC before starting to apply, how many applications you sent out, what else you studying outside of FCC, when you got the job, etc.

I do have a few questions for you, if you don’t mind. What kinds of qualifications were the employers you applied to looking for? Seeing as you had no professional experience, did you limit your search to entry-level positions or did you submit your resume for positions even if they were looking for experience? I have been looking around on job boards casually and all I see is everyone asking for years of experience or a CS degree. Even Jr. developer roles are asking for 2-3 years experience! Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places. And what was the title of the position you were hired for?

Also, for the technical tests in the interview, did you have access to the internet to help you along or were you expected to know how to do it by heart? (May seem like a silly question as I assume you would not have net access. But IRL that’s what coders do - spend lots of time looking up how to do things on Google until we’ve done it so often we don’t need to anymore. I probably haven’t constructed a nav bar more than a couple of times so if I was asked to do it by heart today, I would fail miserably.)

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I did not specifically look for jobs that had “junior” attached to its title. The job I landed was not posted as “junior front end developer” either, imo thats just a title. Yes I am junior but it doesn’t have to have it in the title, I am simply a front end developer.

For the job search, I would look at their wish list of skills required for the job. If I had atleased I had about 50-60% of what they are asking for, I would apply for it. There is something to note about the job requirements, it’s simply a wish list - you don’t have to have everything they are asking for so just apply! what do you have to lose? Moral of the story, don’t look at job requirements being set in stone because they are not.

During the technical testing I did not have access to the internet. They were testing my base knowledge, seeing if knew some of the fundamentals.


Hi, congratulations!
This is a great story, what kind of companies did you apply to? I have been trying myself for the past 2 months, I leave close to Montreal and had no success even though I had a couple of interviews and I never had to pass any tests.
Good luck in your new carreer.

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I did not limit myself to any type of company, I based it off what kind of skills they were looking for in an employee. If I had at leased around 50-60% of the listed requirements I would apply.


Great story! Very motivating! I wish you to succeed in your new journey!
P.S. my grandpa was a carpenter too :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for sharing this. It was inspiring and really helpful. I started coding last year and was able to work my way through very basic front end development with some help. I started working on FCC recently though and am enjoying code more this time around. Your list answered so many questions, particularly since I’m transitioning from one career to another myself. I code every day, and I’ll remember that’s the key to succeeding… that and putting yourself out there. Best of luck, and thanks again!


This is great. I’m a carpenter and looking to transition to a developer job in the future. 5 months seems like a really short time to learn and be able to switch, that’s awesome that you were able to do it. I’m planning on being able to start applying for dev jobs in 1 -2 years(kids and working for myself doesn’t leave a lot of hours left at the end of the day). I have been programming as a hobby since I was teenager. I never did anything grand, but enough that I have a good understanding of the underlying principals.

Montreal is a beautiful city. I’m fortunate enough to live in a city with a booming tech sector (I’m also in Canada). What made you want to switch into coding? For me I really don’t want to be doing the physical labor for the rest of my career, I’m getting older and I’m starting to feel it. How does your new job compare salary wise to working in the trades?

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thank you for sharing your story. I am using your story as a blueprint for success if you will…

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Cool story …

I found it very interesting that you are listed elsewhere on the interwebs as being a affiliate marketer for online educational sites. So, in-essence you get paid to market online education sites.

How does this type of affiliate marketing work?

Is there a team? What is your actual role?

Do you write the “story”, or does someone else do the copy writing? Does your clients provide the “story”?

How much did you charge for the write-up and plug? Is it a contract?

For FCC; How did the whole back-end “completing” the challenges thing work? Does the company just setup a “faux” profile with dummy data?


Inspiring indeed. Congrats Andrew!

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Contgrats my man! :slight_smile: Really stoked for you! FCC is a great place, so happy I decided to use this platform (amongst others) to get the skills I need. Bravo Andrew!

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Thats cool I’ve been building on houses for years now, and Marketing. Been studying javascript for about 4 months now and my schedule allows for me to spend at least 4 hours per day on this so I have been cruzing through the HTML since its not new for me. Its great to know that you transitioned with out a technical degree.

I dropped out of engineering school and did business for 10 years after completing 5 full years of math and science curriculum. It seems like it would be fun at this point working with others on a team. So that’s my plan. Thanks for the great story!! :smile:

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