Got a developer job through perceverence


#1

Hi all,

I started free code camp over a year and a bit ago now, and it has been a great way for me to become an active coder. Through my interest of free code camp, I found myself becoming interested in many other programming languages like Python, Clojure and C#, giving me a better idea of the utility of all the programming languages. This is the story of how I got my first web development role this week.

Around the latter half of last year and the begging of this year, I had been working in temporary jobs, usually lasting about 6 weeks each, but I made sure I was getting into non-customer based office work, like data entry for example, just so i was using computers, on the off-chance I would be handed a computer that was off the reigns, and could express myself by writing code. In February this year, that strategy paid off.

After a few dud jobs (i.e. archaic infrastructures and regressive business ethos), I was eventually employed by a small team of about seven, who were part of a large international parent company. The head of the team gave me a task of acquiring data from websites manually. He then just sat me down in front of a completely fresh, but fairly beaten-up laptop. I knew that this was my chance to benefit from their relaxed and fluid business practices, and so I installed my standard programming environment, with help from the IT team. I got to researching on how I could use programming to solve this problem, I then came up with the most practical approach, being web scraping. When I told him, the head of department was amazed that this could be done with code, and was completely on board, even go so far as congratulating me on the basis of purely showing initiative, and immediately ordered me another monitor (Such a cool guy). However, I hadn’t scraped or done anything remotely like it before, having only completed half of Free Code Camp’s front-end course!

So, the real issue was, after looking at how i could go about web scraping with JavaScript, I quickly realized that all the books and resources for web scraping were for Python. So, after a little deliberation, I bit the bullet and decided to learn Python in a week. Luckily, python is one of the most elegant languages I have used (Apart from Clojure [Controversial, I know]), so it was actually quite easy to pick it up, and I was scraping my first website within a week.

While at the company, I made many friends (some of which are now very good friends) who had similar interests in coding and technology, which was great. It was the first time I was part of a community of peers who I could talk to professionally about something I cared about. I also started going to my local JavaScript meet up to build up that network and peer network.

This went on until the middle of the 4th week, where i unfortunately realized that I would not be able to complete the scraper in time, so I did end up falling back on the manual monkey-work. By the end of the assignment, I had by all accounts failed, and had not provided a full and accurate data set and was dropped by my agency.

This was a dark time for me, as it felt like i was reverting to the time before I was getting off of my depressed ass to go find work.

But, with a bit of perseverence, and regularly going to study coding at my library every day after looking for jobs, i finally landed a junior php/lamp stack job. Not ideal, but a start.

I am continuing with Free Code Camp, and hope to get into a react.js/ mean/mern stack job next, whether that means convincing my existing team or moving to another…but hey, I’m a coder now!

Thank you Free Code Camp, you changed my life, just as you said you would.


#2

I know a lot of people here do not like PHP but it does have its place.

I did scraping but my company bought an app for about 40$ and the company would actually set up the scraping parameters and it worked great. I did not have to code the scraper at all.


#3

Yeah, php is a bit of a headache, just for the fact that it’s another language to learn, and the freedom to implement it as inline code amongst html is too tempting, and results in awful results! However, we are utilising laravel more now, which is actually quite exciting after looking over it. Still, js is where it’s at. I feel like the less languages you need to learn for a stack, the more fillable the employee positions. (And then maybe more money for less work?) so yeah, the future is meærn. (Hehe)


#4

Thanks for sharing

this is how code empowers people

there’s a genie in all these little devices we carry around just waiting to do your bidding if you know the magic words


#5

PHP and the LAMP stack have been good to me! I just got a new job as a Magento developer. Magento is an eCommerce platform built with PHP. Some folks out there are going to find that they start in one language and wind up moving through others. I agree with you; perseverance is key.