I Got a Developer Job!

I wanted to take a minute to explain a summary of my success using FCC. I will try to keep it brief, but I remember how motivational these posts were to me while I was in the process of trying to get my first developer job. Here is my brief summary:

  • I started learning the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript at the end of 2015. I used FCC, and cheap subscriptions to Treehouse and CodeSchool to help me solve challenges on FCC.
  • I spent at least 20 hours per week working through FCC and taking courses through CodeSchool and Treehouse. I used time after work and on weekends. I also spent time on CodeWars for extra JavaScript challenges.
  • After about six months, I purchased a domain and hosting and put up my portfolio (I would link to it but, unfortunately, I took it down after the I got a job to avoid the ongoing costs). As I was going through my classes and working through challenges I would try to implement the skills in some way on my portfolio site. Sometimes this was just linking to another page that displayed the skill. Other times, it was just implementing the skill/principle throughout the site.
  • In September, I saw a posting for Front End Developer at my local College (also where I earned my BS in Social Sciences in 2012). I decided to take the leap and put in an application.
  • I didn’t hear anything for about a month so I figured I was passed over, but then I received an email wanting source code submissions and for me to go through an online coding challenge (3 questions). I then received a call for a phone interview. After the phone interview, I was invited in for a panel interview that entailed both basic questions and then a longer technical interview with other web developers. A little over a month ago they offered me a job.

A few notes about the interview process. I never tried to exaggerate what I knew or where I was at in terms of knowledge/skill. I was forthright that I would still have a lot to learn but I emphasized my proven ability to learn based on going from basically zero knowledge to where I was at during the interview in less than a year. I also tried to emphasize my other soft skills from other industries (education and social services) that I would be bringing to the table.

So now that I’ve been in the job for over a month, I can say that I made one of the best decisions of my life. The pace of learning once I’m in an actual professional dev environment is incredible. I’m also happy to find out that in this particular position I will be learning/implementing a full stack skill set. Because it’s a very small team, we really get to manage the whole process (design, front end architecture, back-end architecture, etc.). Also, now I have access to Pluralsight as part of my job and am encouraged to continue learning every day.

Last, I want to speak directly to anyone out there who is getting discouraged and wondering if they should continue working through FCC and their journey to become a Web Dev. It was only a few short months ago that I was wondering if I was just wasting this time and if anything would ever come of it. I had a decent job, two young kids, and plenty of things to do. I often wondered if it was possible to switch careers and even if I did get a job if I’d be in over my head anyways. All I can say is please stick with it. Try to stay positive and just keep doing as much as you can each day. I can’t say when you will get a dev job, but if you are truly passionate about it and keep building the necessary skills, and eventually put yourself out there for a job, I think someone will take a chance on you. My coworker is also self-taught and in general I think other developers/programmers appreciate someone that is passionate/curious enough that they pursued this career in an informal way. Also, as far as I can tell, they are looking for ongoing learners because even after you get a job, you will need to constantly be learning new technologies to stay current.

I hope this is encouraging/helpful to all readers out there!

Matt

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:tada: Congrats! :tada:

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Definitely helpful and encouraging! May I ask what the three questions you were asked were, as well as any additional things you had to do during the interview?

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Congratulations - and thanks for putting this message out!

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Very inspiring! Congrats!

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Congrats!
I would love to hear about the 3 questions of online coding challenge that you’ve taken.

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Congrats… I literally have goosebumps from reading your post… and am maybe a little teary eyed. :slight_smile:

We have so much in common… I also started late 2015, did FCC, CodeAvengers, and CodeAcademy… I have 2 young kids, and I practice coding EVERYDAY… usually around 4-6 hours/day. I sometimes wonder if all this is worth it… Late nights, no energy the next day… and spending days trying to figure out problems… then I read a story like yours, and it really inspires me! I am so happy for you, and your family. And I too… think you made a great decision! I hope to follow in your footsteps… I’m hesitant to apply for developer jobs until I feel really confident… which may be never…lol! But coding is the only thing I like to do… work wise, so I’m going to stick with it! So great to hear your story!!!

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Congrats! Thanks for sharing!

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Congrats Bro! Very happy for you.

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@mxnnn
Here are the technical questions that I was asked:

  • You’re provided a Word document with 500 user profiles. You’re asked to enter them into the company’s CMS. What do you do? You can ask questions for more information.

  • What does the following do? Why?

*, *:before, *:after {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

  • Talk to us about page performance. Why it matters and a few ways to improve performance and perceived performance.

  • You’re faced with a hypothetical work scenario:

You’ve been doing some contract work for Starbucks. They tell you they aren’t happy with the way their current buttons look on the website. You are tasked with creating a new look for the buttons.

Using CSS (or preprocessor of you choice), create a button system that is flexible, customizable, and compliments the design of their website. Make sure to document your CSS and include markup examples in the comments. Your button system should contain at least two button variants.

  • In the language of your choice:

Write a function that takes two strings as arguments and returns true if they contain the exact same letters and false otherwise.

  • Below is a working JS function that returns the greatest common divisor of two numbers. Can you write a “better” solution? Leave comments at the top of your code and describe how your solution is better.

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Thanks for the reply. Glad you are sticking with it! I found the two videos linked below helpful when I was starting to think about applying for jobs:

How Do I Get Enough Experience to Apply for Programming Jobs?

How Do You Prepare for Programming Job Interviews?

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Congrats, very inspiring to hear.

Hope I can get a job as a web dev soon too :slight_smile:

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Congratulations :smile:

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Thank you for the resources!!! Will get on them today!

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Congrats and thanks for sharing!

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Congratulations! Quite inspiring. I can definitely see myself applying for dev jobs at colleges in my area. Sounds especially like a dream job to me (I’ve worked in Admissions/office positions at colleges before, so am quite comfortable with the environment).

Definitely has inspired me to keep at it, thanks for this :slight_smile:

This is truly inspirational, I hope one day to be able to achieve the same success as you!

Congrats! I’m very happy to hear you have success from all of your hard work!

Good advice. I think that is what is intimidating–for most–when it comes to the interview process. Congrats on the job!