I’ve read about several people being offered jobs before completing the Front End Certification. I am nearing the end of this certification and fully intend to finish it, and would like to continue with the FCC curriculum.
However, I am curious about the experiences of people who have been offered jobs after obtaining the Front End Certificate or while they were still working on it.
How did you find these jobs? Did recruiters approach you after finding you online?
Did you have any prior dev/CS experience?
Did the jobs require relocation? (I’m in a city that does not have a huge tech community)
Basically I would like to know from other people’s experiences to what degree the skills required to finish the Front End Certification prepare you to land real career positions.
I’m interested as well! I met someone yesterday that has his front end certification, is half-way through through back end certification and is struggling to find a job. We happen to live in a city with almost no tech presence.
I’m in the same boat ZakkaryV, I basically live minimum of 50 miles from the nearest possible full time job as a web dev. That’s led me to consider some other options, either beginning by freelancing, using all I’ve learned to really polish my portfolio and even consider some remote work or trying to develop a site or product of my own. I would love to be able to get a job and learn all about working with a team and how teams develop larger scale projects than we do here on free code camp, but it might just not be a reality for me at this point.
It sounds like you’re in a place with even less opportunity than I am if everything is 50 miles away Even though it seems like the best introductory developer job would be in an office surrounded by other developers, this is after all 2016. There are so many tools that can streamline workflow with a distributed staff.
On the site that @Robin linked there are a few remote junior dev positions available. In one of the descriptions they talked about how it is important to have experience “living” in chatrooms like hipchat. So maybe if you can demonstrate excellent interweb communication skills right off the bat you will be an attractive prospect?!
Even if the remote positions you’re finding aren’t junior, apply anyway. Companies are begging for developers. They’re all looking for senior devs, but they know the pool of senior devs is finite - they have to create senior devs by building up junior devs.
Is the demand really that strong for devs? I’ve been reading this kind of thing online in various places, and while it is very encouraging to hear, I guess I just find it hard to believe. Maybe I’m too cynical. haha.
I don’t want to get too excited and want to make sure that I’m not falling prey to confirmation bias.
I am often seeing posts by people saying they started out with no knowledge of computers or programming at all and after self-studying online for about six months to a year (depending on how much spare time they had to devote to it), they are getting jobs. Even the FCC forum is flooding with similar posts. All success and no failure. I’m rarely, if ever, reading about people who have been learning web dev for a year or more and failing to get a job after trying for several months.
I just wanted to offer my feedback on this as someone currently in the job search who has graduated from a for-profit Ruby on Rails bootcamp and enjoys studying at Freecodecamp. I will probably be writing a blog about this that is more in-depth, but here is what I believe to be the key takeaways. A lot this is anecdotal evidence from my experience and I haven’t succeeded in collecting all the hard data I want yet, so please cross-reference what I say.
Does the Front End Certificate = Job Ready?
Yes, as far as technical skill is concerned, I believe it does give you the skill you need to be a junior front-end developer. The only addition that I think you might need is learning a testing framework. I don’t have the curriculum memorized but you should also know Git, if it isn’t included and how to deploy a website and use hosting like Heroku (which is easy to learn in a day). Obviously, don’t just stop learning once you get there though.
Is the demand for developers really that great?
This one is trickier. The answer to that exact question is yes, definitely. If the question were “Is the demand for junior developers that great?” the answer is no. Once you get 2 years of experience under your belt (perhaps less considering that recruiters start poaching as soon as they hear you have a job) you can work basically anywhere and get reasonable to high pay. The first job is tough to get though and you need to network your tail off and send out tons of applications to get it. There are certain web development bootcamps who claim that people should expect $60K salaries for their first job in virtually any US city and that is totally ridiculous, with the exception of big cities with a high cost of living. For junior developers in US cities that aren’t tech hubs or large expensive cities, you will likely see a range from $35K up to $60K at the top end. I would not turn down a job with the right team in the $40-45K range unless you really can’t afford to. The bootcamps that have students who get first jobs in the $100K area are the ones that require you to already be at junior developer level before entering (for example, Hack Reactor, CodeSmith) and from what I have seen, those bootcamps make that fairly clear when applying. Even some of those students do not get tremendous salaries though and start in $50K - $60K range.
Just to give a slightly different perspective…from what I have seen just finishing the front-end development certification is pretty far from being job ready. I don’t say this to discourage people and it is a fantastic step in the right direction. That being said, as someone who is currently enrolled in a University, the front end certification is roughly the equivalent of what you would learn in a single (maybe two) computer science class. If you really put your head down you can easily finish the front-end in less 45 days…this is just simply not enough time to be a job ready developer or really job ready for any long term career for that matter. There is so much that the front-end cert does not even touch (OOP, testing, source control, data structures, how computers work, design, etc…) which is fine but I think it would be very naive to believe you are job ready. I realize others have found jobs at this point but many of these people had at least a few personal projects on the side.
Look up the average pay for a junior level software engineer, from what I can see it is right around 60K. I strongly believe that you should aim for something similar because starting with a low salary will simply make it a longer and more difficult road to move up in the future. Just my personal perspective, of course still apply for jobs and see what happens but don’t go around thinking you’re just unlucky or you suck if you can’t find a job, chances are you’re going to need more than just your knowledge from front-end on FCC. Just my 2 cents.
I seriously doubt what you are saying…The algorithms alone blow away any single college course that I have ever taken…I have 3 years worth of I.T. courses to back up what I am saying. I didn’t even touch algorithms until way later in my college curriculum. I find it hard to believe that you think a single college course trumps the front-end cert offered here at freecodecamp, what college are you going to , Harvard?? lol…
Hey @TomMezz thanks for the reply, sorry if I gave people the wrong idea. Looking back at my reply I think you are correct in that I may have strayed a little too far in the opposite direction in order to try to make my point. I also realize that a lot of people on here are already dealing with imposter syndrome so my reply is really not necessarily what they need to hear. That being said I guess my point was to remember that the front end certification is just the beginning, as we are all aware there is a lot to learn.
To your original reply: Yes my algorithms class went further than the algorithms section of FCC, no I do not go to Harvard (I kind of doubt it’s that great for computer science anyways) and yes I finished the front-end cert pretty quickly not because I’m a genius but because I was already familiar with a lot of the core concepts.
Summary: Never stop learning, learning is awesome. Apply for some jobs along the way, eventually you’ll get one, don’t get frustrated with yourself if it takes longer than you were expecting.
Thanks for all the posts here guys. This is a topic I thought about many times myself. I have almost completed the front end section on fcc and its been a great experience. I came to fcc with some previous coding experience and having done 2 years of cs in college. Once a person learns one programming language , tool, framework or whatever its not extremely difficult to learn another. If a person understands what algorithms and data structures are and that they are the heart and soul of cs they are truly well on their way. The rest is lots of practice because at the end of the day programmers are problem solvers and the only way to get better at the problem solving process is to solve lots of problems. That being said the question still stands “how does a person know if they are job ready?”. My thoughts are that by looking at whats going on in the industry it seems that a lot of companies are starting to realize that purely having a four year degree is not always the telling qualification of whether or not they are getting a good developer, hence the rise of coding bootcamps and other alternative forms of software engineering education. Most of these programs include lots of projects so by the time a person is finished they have a working portfolio to show off, a good showing on github, a better resume, and at least some practice solving problems with other devs. So, to sum it up, having true passion for the craft, understanding the problem solving process and being able to show what you have done is what in my thoughts makes a dev job ready.
I have enough savings right now that I think the more prudent long term solution is to postpone my job search efforts a little longer in order to continue building my skills. I would like to finish all three FCC certifications at least, and I’m close to this goal now. Ive also expanded my self-education beyond the FCC curriculum.
However, now having finished the front end curriculum, I think strong mastery of all its content, the algorithms and projects, is sufficient for certain entry level positions.
I’m chinese and my major was business, after completing the Frontend certificate, I did some a front end job in China, it depends, I feel like I was not qulified enough cuz the co workers around are so experienced makes me feel like those front end projects was like toy project, I didn’t have any real work experience. I’m still working on the rest of the courses on FCC, but I can assure, if you get all four certificate, your credential will be enough for a dev job. I don’t know country, but in here, definitely better than average.