I started working last week as a full-stack web developer, and it’s been going good so far.
So, here’s a quick outline of my path:
Got a liberal arts degree
worked at various non-programming office jobs for a lot of years and didn’t like where my career path was headed: nowhere
took an intro to programming class and intro to sql class at my local community college a couple years ago that piqued my interest in coding
started Free Code Camp in summer of 2015 and and worked on coding: sometimes everyday for a couple months, and there were some periods I was doing other things and not coding much at all.
Started job hunting around December 2016 and attending local meetups like node school.
Got an interview for a coding internship in December. Didn’t get it, felt bad, but it was a learning experience.
Moved to north California in February to be close to my parents.
Started coding intensely since I was unemployed. Kept applying to jobs with no luck.
Finished all the FCC certificates by March 2017.
Was surprised to get an email from a prospective employer for a phone interview in April.
Did a php coding test as part of the interview process. Intensely learned php while working on the coding test. Got the in-person interview.
In-person interview was more of a culture fit check since my coding test and github projects were enough evidence that I could code and had potential to get better.
So the takeaways:
I actually got a job through Indeed.com, and the only company that gave me a chance was one that didn’t have an HR department for recruitment. The developers on the team looked at my github and they could see my passion for programming.
In the interview process, your main message to the employer is: I know my stuff, I am a fast learner, I am a lifelong learner, I am passionate about programming and I have no doubt that I want to make it my career. Keep that in mind, and ask/answer questions accordingly.
The interview process is you interviewing the employer as well. Make sure the job is good for a junior developer. Ask questions like: “Who do I go to for help? How am I evaluated? What opportunities are there for learning? How much of my day will be spent on coding? Who are the people I will be communicating with the most?”
There’s a lot of stories of people coding for a couple of months and then getting a job. Well, I took a lot longer. If you count the time from when I first took a community college intro to programming class, it’s been about 5 years since I began learning. Why so slow? For one, I was working a full-time job the entire time. Two, I didn’t do much coding between the time I first started and when I found FCC. Three, I was kind of exploring a lot of career paths, so I kept getting distracted with learning other things, even after FCC.
Don’t give up! There were many times I got stuck. Fight through the mental frustration. Or take a break and come back to it. But keep at it. Always have a learning goal to reach.
very good advice here, thank you a lot for sharing!
I am in a somehow relevant position currently, as I’m 40 years old, quit my job in January and I am trying to land a job in the IT sector. For more than 10 years I was working at the banking sector, while taking a MSc in Information Systems. I have started learning some thing here in FreeCodeCamp to better prepare myself.
First of all, congratulations! Second, thanks for sharing your story. I find myself at the beginning of this crazy journey and am feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. You have proved that it just takes perseverance to help it all come together in the end.
Wish you the best of luck! I’m in the similar situation: I was a software QA Engineer without previous tech background, but I always wanted to be a software developer. From January, when I lost my job because of our R&D office was closed, I decided to be a software developer instead of “to want to be”. FCC is a great place to start. Couple times I was very close to getting a front-end and full stack developer jobs, but I lost them because I was not ready: I did not know Angular JS enough and I was not able quickly create simple web app. After that I stopped applying for a job and began to devote more time to work on solving programming tasks and making FCC projects. In addition to FCC I started Flatiron community bootcamp which is not very expensive and has, based on my job search experience, very good curriculum. Also I like how they mix deep and very detailed theory with exercises and projects. Only one detail: they teach TDD (test driven development) and regular usage of Git/Github from the very beginning. It helps me with FCC projects a lot. Wish you find your way and the job you will like!