5 months paid leave - how to make best of it?
Consider almost none experience.
Goal - get a developer job!
Only one rule - try to be realistic!
5 months paid leave - how to make best of it?
My only answer involves a time machine…
I think you already broke your only rule.
So… it’s completely impossible to learn just enough coding in let’s say one thousand hours to just get any junior developer job?
Then in the last month or last 2 months you can join chingu-cohort voyage remote team dev project to get practical experience as a developer
Getting a developer job is not easy and don’t expect to get it after 5months.
Never give up.
But seriously, in 150 days of hard work, you can get a great start. With a lot of luck, you might be able to find some internship after 150 days of extremely productive work. But that would take more than a little luck.
Let me put it this way: How many 6 figure jobs do you know that can be learned in 5 months? If it could be learned that quickly and with that much certainty of success, don’t you think that everyone would be doing it?
Don’t look for the easy shortcut - there is none. Just put in the time and work hard. I wish I had 150 days to devote to just coding. Consider yourself lucky. That combined with a few years of hard work and a little luck, and you might get somewhere.
I’m not saying impossible, just extremely improbable. You’ll be competing against guys with 4 year or even 6 year degrees and a few years of experience on real world projects. You’d have to have an amazing portfolio and nail the hell out of the interview to get their attention. I don’t see how you could do that in 1000 hours, especially starting from scratch.
Yeah cool, 6 figures would be nice but I’d be completely satisfied with just slightly above minimum wage internship or junior-junior job, and learning opportunities.
FCC certificate isn’t a magic certificate or golden ticket guarantee.
There have been a few threads here from people who went from zero to hired in 4-6 months. A search should turn up some of those. Although those are outliers rather than rules, so you shouldn’t expect the same results.
Impossible? No. Realistic? Also no.
You and me both, and a lot of other people here too. But I’m finding (as many others do) that it’s not quite so simple. Most companies don’t want to pay to have someone come in and fumble around for a few months trying to figure out how to convert their online certificate into practical knowledge.
Most jobs involve a lot more knowledge than you can pick up in 5 months. That is something I keep realizing - every time I think I have a grasp on what I need to learn, there turns out to be a few more layers of technology I need to learn.
Take a look though want adds and see how many say, “Looking for someone with beginner/intermediate knowledge of HMTL, CSS, and JS, and willing to learn 15 other technologies while getting paid.”
You might get lucky. If you find that job, let me know.
If I were doing this, knowing what little I know already I’d do the following, with the huge caveat that this is based on the assumption you are able to commit full-time work-like hours to this (like, 40hrs a week).
Learning: Months 1-3
- Start working through the beta curriculum - you won’t earn points or certificates yet, since it’s not officially live, but you ain’t in this for the certs and points. The beta curriculum is significantly better.
- Find your local freeCodeCamp meetup and start going to it right away, if one exists.
- Be involved on the forum. Answer more questions than you ask - it’s the fastest way to learn!
- Complete the ‘Responsive web design’ tutorials and all of the Applied Responsive Web Design Projects. The estimated time for completion for this is 180 hours - so that’s your first month. Develop the projects locally, not on Codepen, and learn to use git, GitHub and GitHub-Pages.
- In your down-time listen to the following podcasts: ShopTalkShow, Soft Skills Engineering, CodeNewbie, Base.cs, Codepen Radio. Dig through their archives and binge them. You want to live and breathe the industry right now.
- Finally, work through the Front End Frameworks section of the beta curriculum. Again…this is another 180 hours. Your third month.
Note: When I say finally, that is not really the end, but the beginning. You won’t be super employable by this stage, but you will have enough projects under your belt that you could possibly hustle a decent position.
Hustle: Months 4 & 5 (although start all this from day one)
- Polish your best pieces for your portfolio.
- Make the designs excellent,
- make the pages accessible (read the beta curriculum material on accessibility, and google around for a11y materials - a11y is a useful ‘codeword’ for finding current accessibility stuff)
- make the pages FAST - minimise, uglify, and offload intensive assets to CDNs
- refactor your code so that you follow a consitent coding style / naming conventions etc.
- Polish your LinkedIn.
- Be active on Twitter - Dev twitter is awesome. If you want some tips on who to follow, look at the people I follow and follow most of them (my twitter handle is the same as my forum one).
- Write about your learning experiences. Try to get featured on the freeCodeCamp Medium publication, but even if you can’t publish something pretty regularly. You want to build a web presence that gets you popping up in people’s searches. The golden rule for blog posts: If you overcome a frustrating problem, write the blog post you wished you’d found that would have helped you.
- Participate in Hackathons.
- Attend other meetups, not just fcc ones. Don’t aim to sell yourself as a potential hire, just meet people, hear about what makes them tick. Be a cool human who happens to be in the market for a job. You’re building real connections, not just trying to leverage strangers to get a job.
- Apply for all the jobs. Focus your applications on the things that interest you, but also apply for those that might not. All interview experience is good, and it’ll give you a sense of what the industry norms in your area are.
You could do all this and still end up without a job.
That’s probably what will happen, in fact.
But…if you want to give it your best shot…this is pretty much what that looks like, given your short time frame.
Yeah. I’m the same…people seem to assume that built into the desire to get a developer job is this unrealistic expectation about money.
I actually think it’s laudable to you are trying to get a foot in the door, and subsequently, learn more on the job. Working nose-to-the-grindstone for 150 days and going to lots of meetups and events in your community should show your desire and coach-ability to potential employers.
Ok. This is an awesome post and I should have read this before posting my other reply. Great tip about the FCC Beta BTW. I’ve been wondering about that.
I notice that you don’t include Node in your list of technologies to focus on. Is there a reason for that?
You’ll touch on Node and npm if you start messing with React in any real detail.
Personally, I did Node and backend stuff before React - but if I wanted to establish myself as a good front end developer in just 5 months, I wouldn’t touch the backend in any real detail.
But you’re right - Node, npm, express, MongoDB…all that jazz is worth deep diving into if you have the time.
I’ve seen people do things similar to this but it really comes to how bad you want it. People keep saying it isn’t “impossible” because it’s really not, but it comes down to you not really the resources. Do you think you can pick up programming concepts quickly? Are you not going to need a lot of special attention or will docs and tutorials be enough?
A lot of people get into coding because it can be absolutely life-changing, it helps that all the resources you need are online for free; however, no one gets into code because it is easy.
With your time constraint, you should go ahead and decide what developer position you want. Front End isn’t all programming, a good bit is markup which doesn’t require any logic, so it really just depends on where your strengths lie.
So, I guess the message is that you need to be a little more realistic. To expect to start a new, highly skilled, highly paid career in 1000 hours is overly optimistic.
But having those 1000 hours to get a great head start is very lucky.
I think you need a more realistic goal, maybe a 2 year plan. Even that will require some luck, but it’s in the realm of reason. And then if you get really lucky and land a job in 6 months, it will be a pleasant surprise, but if your still slogging along after a year, you aren’t going to want to hang yourself.
But as everyone else points out, it’s going to be a combination of your aptitude, your work, and some luck. I’d also say it depends on the job market where you are.
But devoting 150 days fulltime is going to put you a lot closer to the goal than sitting on your couch eating Cheetohs and watching Xena reruns. (Man, I wish I had 150 days to work on this!) If you have an aptitude for coding, you might be able to complete the FCC program in that time. That won’t guarantee you a job, but will lay a good foundation upon which to build as you make yourself job ready.
Set a goal and don’t give up until you get there. Your goal is a reasonable, it’s just that your timeline is a little overly optimistic.