How I Got My Dream Job (with resources) UPDATE

How I Got My Dream Job (with resources) UPDATE
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#1

UPDATE: I wrote a medium post with updated resources and a bit more detail :slight_smile: Can be found HERE

TL;DR got my dream job, resources at the bottom if you don’t want to read my lovely story

I’ve been learning web development on and off for nearly 2 years. I was 21 and looking for a career path, all my friends were in college/uni, and I needed another way to spend my time than playing video games in my undies (now I’m attending meetings and programming in my undies). I applied for uni and got accepted as a Psychology major. Hated it. Now let me preface by saying I’ve always had a knack for computers, I mean I did grow up with them after all. A few major changes later, and I found myself in Computer Science.

A lot of students I’ve spoke to about CS said they knew how to program before coming into the program. So, it was only logical I spend some time learning as well before I began the advanced courses. I started with hacking away on unity to try and create games. Kinda neat, but I had no idea what was going on with the scripting languages (C# at the time). I actually have no idea what inspired me to try web development, I’m sitting here trying to remember, but I really don’t. When I started learning, Ruby on Rails was at the peak of its hype. Twitter was using it, bootcamps were all adopting it as their main language, and nearly every “web development tutorial” google search returned some RoR course. I was convinced, I had to start learning it ASAP. I luckily found something called The Odin Project before it became massively popular. I followed it to the tee and learned quite a bit, but I wasn’t really grasping a lot of what I learned. I figured I should start writing notes-- it worked for school so why not right? The only time I ever used the notes was to go back and laugh at what I was writing down. Sidetip: Don’t bother with notes, but write a small programming journal that you can come back to and laugh at, and to see how far you’ve come. It will help a lot when you run into the inevitable imposter syndrome.

On to FreeCodeCamp! Around this time FCC started up and I discovered it off of reddit or Quincy’s twitch stream (I don’t remember which). I joined solely for the chatroom, which I believe was slack back then. I started the challenges around March 2015, but was a member in chat before that. I discovered python and django around this time, and fell in love with it (I’m kind of a hopeless romantic). FCC chat was great, they helped me with all sorts of brick walls that I’d run into along the way. Node was picking up a lot of steam during this time, actually javascript was taking off in general. It was interesting being a part of FCC and watching their main language take off.

I hopped on the hype train once more and jumped RIGHT into node without knowing anything valuable about javascript (big mistake). I’ve always been interested in the backend, which is strange because technically I’m a front-end developer right now. I learned quite a bit and started making pretty neat applications with express. To be honest, I hated it at first coming from the ‘batteries included’ django framework. I felt like I had to install a module for everything, whereas django came with it all bundled in. I built some large apps that rendered content to a view engine, some api’s, and some dog poop. All in all, I learned a lot and was in love with node. I still lacked that basic javascript knowledge (still do), and thats why some of the resources I’m going to recommend are NOT the ones that I used along the way. If I could go back and learn it all from scratch, I would have an entirely different game plan.

Before I do that though, lets talk about how I got the job. I am now a remote web developer in a medium sized company making a little above average pay for developers in my area. This is my FIRST job ever, and I’m technically not considered a junior (although I consider myself one). I applied for a position that required node/express, git, sass/less, and react being a benefit. Besides a little bit of freelance work on my resume and my unfinished degree (2/4 years), they liked my projects on github and my drive to learn. On to the interview I went. It was a technical interview and candidates had to sit down on one of their machines, pull down a git repo, make a few changes, and push it back up. Before the 20 minute technical part, we have 40 minutes to talk, and talk I did. I told my entire story, told them what I like to build and what problems I ran into along the way. I spoke with them for over 45 minutes (which only gave me 15 minutes to do the technical stuff). After that, it was time for the technical. I was nervous. I’ve never programmed on someone else’s machine before, let alone in front of 2 senior developers. I failed big time, completely choked. Ran out of time trying to remember how to utilize query parameters in express. One of the seniors came over and guided me through it. Was awesome having him over my shoulder and lead me through the process that I was struggling with. I said my goodbyes and went home devastated that something I once did without batting an eye, completely slipped my mind. As soon as I walked in the door, I sat down and created a new project. One goal in my mind, use every tool they used during the interview (express, jade/pug) and recreate what I saw so I never have to be in that situation again.

2 weeks later I got a call, they wanted to hire me. They said they loved my drive to learn and improve, and that they want to offer me a position to work with React. I just started learning react a few weeks before this interview for a side project and showed them some of it during the interview. I was terrible at it, literally knew nothing about front-end development besides basic jQuery, HTML, and CSS/SASS. But of course I accepted. I came this far and I’m not going to decline a position because I didn’t feel competent enough. I had a week to prepare and spent 50-60 hours learning React. I still suck at it, but I’m getting through it. That’s a piece of my story. Missing a lot of minor details like html, css, some tip toeing around with Java, and some burnout.

Now on to the resources! I’m only going to link resources that are relevant to my job and what I used to get here.

For the love of god don’t make the same mistake I did. Forget frameworks and all that bologna, master javascript. You will pick up things like react, node, angular, vue, etc. so much faster if you actually understand what’s going on.

JAVASCRIPT

  • Anything from Kyle Simpson is great. I highly recommend YDKJS as a primary resource for advanced JS topics. You can find it on github for free.

  • He also has plenty of talks on FrontEndMasters that I heard are great. If you’re willing to pay, head on over there!

  • I didn’t really enjoy eloquent javascript, but if you’re into reading and just beginning with JS, thats a good place to start.

  • I also enjoyed TeamTreeHouse’s full-stack JavaScript stack, won’t link to that one because its a paid subscription based program, but check it out. If you aren’t pleased with TTH a lot of advanced developers at my work use CodeSchool’s javascript track.

  • Egghead is really good for modern javascript, but its very fast paced and some people don’t like that. Once you get some JS under your belt, you can tackle ES6 with egghead if you’re willing to pay. One of the many subscriptions I’d say is worth it once you become a bit advanced. Google egghead es6 course.

  • The one course that I can contribute most of my knowledge of JS to is JavaScript: Understanding The Weird Parts by Anthony Alicea. Another paid resource, but I know a lot of it is free on youtube if you do some googling. Can find the paid one on Udemy.

NODE/EXPRESS

  • Going to recommend another course by Anthony that is similar to the other one just with Node as the target. Learn and Understand Node on Udemy.

  • Colt Steele has an extensive and in depth node course that tackles a lot of different technologies. I believe it has HTML, CSS, git, Node, and more. I really enjoyed the node portion. On Udemy.

  • Im also going to recommend TeamTreeHouse’s node course that is included in their full-stack JS track. I also recommend learning testing. There will be some juicy resources at the bottom for this type of stuff :).

REACT

  • Stephen Grider has two pretty exhaustive React courses on Udemy. The advanced one is a sequel to the first.

  • Egghead is great for React all around, but here is a phenomenal course for starting out if you need something fast paced. Google Egghead React Fundamentals.

  • The official react docs and tutorial are great, so check them out as well.

  • React Training is partnering with this react program that some redditors consider one of the best react tutorials:

  • https://online.reacttraining.com/p/reactjsfundamentals

EXTRA GOODIES:

  • This is an advanced javascript resource, but check it out it has a lot of valuable content/tutorials. Google Superherojs

  • An extensive guide to learning JavaScript that I have bookmarked:

  • https://gist.github.com/royshouvik/a152b1cbd7e44d4d9a62

  • PluralSight’s course on building applications with React and Redux by Cory House is worth checking out.

  • FrontEndMasters has one amazing tutorial on React and Redux by Brian Holt (netflix dev), definitely give that a look if you want to pay the subscription. I highly recommend both FEM and egghead for bringing your javascript game a few steps higher, but they are not very beginner friendly.

I got a few PM’s on gitter about what text editor/IDE I use for React and javascript in general. I used Atom for a while with some necessary extensions, now I am working with webstorm and vim primarily for any javascript work.

END

I’m not really proof reading, and im writing this while on lunch, so if there are any mistakes, dead links, etc. just let me know. Also If you have any questions post them here or you can find me in gitter! :slight_smile: Have a good day fellas.

EDIT: Turns out I can only post 2 links as a new user. So I added some info on where to find the courses. If you have trouble finding something I mentioned, please let me know so I can link it to you!

EDIT 2: I will add some more resources when I’m done work for you guys!


Hi! I'm new here. Any tips for shifting career as full stack web dev?
#2

You really should also share this on Medium in a blog. I think it would be extremely beneficial for others (like us) who are learning to code and hope to land a “dream job” one day. Thanks!


#3

Awesome story! Thanks for sharing this, and I agree it would be awesome to see this published in the Free Code Camp Medium publication. Great story, congratulations on your progress and good luck moving forward!


#4

Thats a great idea! I will do that as soon as I’m done work :slight_smile:


#5

I’m actually taking those courses on Udemy right now :slight_smile: Thanks for sharing this and encouraging us!


#6

Thank you! I just hope it inspires some others to take the journey of learning to code!


#7

Also, if you want to message me the links, I can edit them in for you if you want.


#8

I’ve been mixing up my curriculum with classes from Code School & Udemy alongside my FCC.


#9

I’ll be on the lookout.


#10

I’ve heard that more than once and it’s true, javascript is the way to go


#11

Great story! Thanks for the resources as I am just getting into web development myself.


#12

Can I ask where did you find the job? I’m a junior developer and I had a really difficult time finding junior positions.


#13

I applied to a few on remoteok.io. I find a lot in my area from indeed as well!


#14

This is great! Thank you for putting all of this together. I just finished Anthony Alicea’s JavaScript course on Udemy and I thought it was great also. I just got his Node course too, but am going to wait on that until I get to the back-end portion of FCC.


#15

Awesome resource sharing !!!
I am searching a systematic resource of express /mongodb , though I found some on youtube , but it is not up to date.

Thanks for your good article.:blush:


#16

Great Story !, Thanks for sharing.

I really loved the course by Anthony Alicea. :smiley:


#17

Yeah I don’t really have many resources on node because most are outdated now as I started learning that nearly at the beginning. Nodeschool has some pretty awesome stuff, I know FCC speaks about them highly.


#18

He’s a fantastic teacher. He really digs deep into the topic so you understand how and why things are the way they are.


#19

Congratulations on your new job! It sounds like you really put in the time and effort, and not only worked hard but worked smart.

We recently added a Review category to our forum, and it will allow you to assign each resource 1-5 stars. Other campers can reply and leave star ratings of their own and it will average them.

When you get a moment, could you create posts in the “reviews” category with a star rating and maybe one or two paragraph review for all these different resources you used?

For example, Code School’s Node course would be one specific resource (rather than trying to review Code School as a whole).

This would be a huge help for us kicking off this new category, and it sounds like you’re familiar with a wide gamut of resources, so you’re the perfect person to do this.


#20

Congratulations on your new job man! I read the whole thing and glad to see so much resources too!