How to move forwards?

Hi all. I have always wanted to learn coding, but life circumstances prevented me from doing so until recently. I’ve come back to it and it’s fun but challenging.

My current goal is to learn enough to see if I want to do this full-time. I have a lot of friends who are programmers, and they tell me the money is good and you are usually in demand. However, I understand that coding isn’t a skill you just learn in a day, or month, or year, or even a lifetime. My current goal is 3-6 months, learning a bit everyday, to build a sample project. Does it sound reasonable?

My other issue is that I’ve used a lot of online resources (freeCodeCamp, CodeAcademy, SoloLearn) and they all sort of test the same things after a while. I used to have quite a lot of FCC’s curriculum completed but when I logged in again it disappeared…not sure if it’s linked to a single email address?

Lastly is a question I guess that gets asked time and time again…which language to learn? Currently I studied a bit of all of them. Should I stick to a particular certification first?

Basically just wondering where to go on from here. Thanks in advance!

It’s asked often enough so… there’s an answer:

Coding is a skill you have to learn and keep learning – but honestly that’s true of many fields these day.

I think you can learn a ton between now and next May :slight_smile: GO FOR IT. Even if you don’t decide to try it full time, it’s useful to go through the learning and thinking.

Even I think thats waaaay too extreme for a roadmap of skills. Thats the level i would expect a senior to be at not a junior.

Should be at least aware of and be able the talk about (“I have not used x but it’s used like y for z”, “I have not used x but have used y, which is similar”) a fair chunk of the yellow-highlighted skills (dependent on path – so eg Rx is kinda critical if you know/are learning Angular, otherwise not). mastery of them maybe, but mid-level should be able to work with almost everything there (again, dependent on path, as eg React Native or Electron are highly specialised) with minimal ramp-up

@Cyath jumping around too much will make learning slower (you’ll be doing beginner stuff over and over again, which will make you feel like you’re learning a lot quickly). But at the same time you’re not sure what you want, so you kinda want a broad, shallow knowledge at this point; jumping around is fine.

Those roadmaps are pretty good. The algorithms challenges here and on other sites (Exercism, CodeWars etc) are a good thing, little puzzles. YMMV, but although building up a project over the next six months may seem like a good idea but you’re likely to get stuck, timewise, on things that don’t matter and you’re likely to get bored, and you won’t finish. Start things you can reasonably finish quick enough that you won’t get bored, then throw them away.

Thanks all for your replies! I want to learn enough to be able to decide if I want to do this as a possible career or not. I think 3 to 6 months is reasonable?

The roadmap honestly seems quite daunting. I don’t even know half the terms in it! Is it really that hard to be a developer?

I was told that a coding bootcamp would get you ready for an entry level position quickly. Is that true?

Bear in mind the roadmaps are there specifically to break down common skills needed and common tools used within a job (the three in the article being frontend web development, server-side web development, and devops).

If you know for sure you want to aim to be a frontend web developer for example, then the frontend roadmap is a useful tool to figure out what you should focus on learning. Also note that although it looks overwhelming, the tools and the skills needed to use them build on each other.

But if you don’t know, maybe don’t worry too much about that so much. Try a few different things, preferably with a project you need to complete for each – FCC for example tries to give you a taste of different areas.

Edit: so after I went to school & before I went to university I did a foundation diploma in art & design (I assume there were ones for other subject areas, I dunno). And it was a year, and for first half there was a bit of 3D design, 2D (graphics), fashion, fine art, photography. Went to lessons and did a small project for each one. Then picked a specialisation for the second half of the course.

If you’re completely unsure, I think you could give yourself the same kinda approach, and 3-6 months is definitely enough for this (not easy mind, because it’s self-directed). Pick a few specific areas. Do a course, follow a book, whatever, for each (and stick to it! timebox stuff, have deadlines). See what works for you. Then maybe pick that one and focus on it, see where you are at the end

Hmm currently I’m just working through the FCC curriculum which seems pretty decent? A full on career switch is pretty daunting…I’m actually ok with what I am doing now, but developers DO earn a lot…:slight_smile:

If you have zero experience then a coding bootcamp would be useful. I highly recommend you read a lot of the articles freecodecamp provides for insight and encouragement. One person got a job from learning on her own from zero experience but she studied for about 2 years part time. Another guy went to the hack reactor coding bootcamp and he got job from that. Keep in mind he had to study to pass the entrance exam to get into the coding bootcamp. The last story I read was about a Chemical Engineer who took roughly 9 months to learn code and transition jobs, however Engineers usually learn some basics in college and are not starting from scratch.

I recommend searching for the roadmap article on freecodecamp that describes what different types of developers do and determine what path is best for you based on your goals.