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!
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.