I got my first job

—Warning, I’m dyslexic so be prepared for horrible grammar, later on today I will edit post for grammer and spelling but I want to get this out there before I go to work –

Hey guys, I got my first job and I know I had many questions over the past few months that I would have loved to know so I hope this helps, and if you have any more just ask.

Background: I am from NY, however, I’m currently living in Poland because my fiancée got into medical school in Krakow, we moved in 8 months ago(start of the school year). Back in the US I worked as a PB at chase (almost 3 years, moved up from teller, first real job), and then In Poland, I worked for a French pharmaceutical consultancy as a business development specialist. (I can speak Polish, I cant read or write). While the job was comfortable and played very well I was not interested and I knew I would not be able to work in the same field back in the US without a degree in public health. I am also a student on my last semester working on my BBA (online).

Learning Programming: I started to learn to programme about 5 months ago. I did about 5 hours a day every day for the past 5 months except for 1 week when I went to Japan. So I did about 750h of studying. (more if you count podcasts and other material about programming but not exactly programming). I do feel like I was very inefficient in how I learned just because of the amount of noise out there. I also spent way more money then I had to, let me explain. I purchased a lot of udemy courses (I don’t regret this, they are great and have a money back guarantee), however I paid 1k on an online Bootcamp >.<, I regret it a lot because I quit after a bit because it was outdated and the material was basic, but it did come with a mentor for 10 months and I still use that feture of the boot camp a lot, but im sure I culd have found a mentor for free, and if I wuld not be able to find one you can always pay by the hour and it wuld have still been much cheeper.

I used FCC, but I used it as a way to test myself only. If you got bored of reading or got tired of my horrible dyslexic and dysgraphic grammar then I’ll just cut to the chase, YES if you can do all of the FCC content without much trouble then you are more then capable of getting a job. (just also learn SASS, GIT, and NPM).

If I had to start all over I would do the following courses from udemy + FCC.

Step 1:
The Web Developer Bootcamp by Colt Steele, OR The Complete Web Developer in 2018: Zero to Mastery by Andrei Neagoie. / Why? lean a bit about everything in one place, you will have a good understanding of whats possible, and don’t believe them when they say its the only course you will ever need (unless you a genius).
/ Don’t do both like I did pick just one, I prefer Colt because I think he does a better job at explaining concepts, but Andrei’s course is more “modern”.

Step 2:
Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3, Jonas Schmedtmann
/ Why? Deep dive into CSS + HTML with a large project, I learned a lot from this, very valuable and it fortifies what you learned in step 1

Step 3:
The Complete JavaScript Course 2018: Build Real Projects!, Jonas Schmedtmann
/ Why? JavaScript deep dive with two big JS projects goes over ES6 very well + the old way of doing JS

(By now you should be 2-3 months in and you should be very comfortable with the basics of CSS HTML + JS but its time to get better)

Step 4:
Advanced CSS and Sass: Flexbox, Grid, Animations and More!, Jonas Schmedtmann
/ Why? After all that JS you would have probably forgotten a bit of CSS, so you need a refresher + you need to learn about all the things that you don’t know about like flexbox, grid, SASS, all needed for that first job. 3 nice big projects included.

Step 5:
start looking for a job! with the knowledge from the courses above you will be more than ready to get a job, don’t forget to keep doing personal projects to get better, and to keep everything fresh.

Yes, no step on framework because this will be highly dependent on the jobs where you live, they might want to react, view, or angular but with your solid foundation picking up a framework will be super easy. Know the content from the above courses well and you will have a solid foundation that will take you very far, from this point on you just add things on a need to know basis.

The Job: For those that are curious I got a job as a Front End Javascript Developer, meaning that I will mostly be working on the logic of web apps (the place that I got my job at is a software house that makes web apps and not “static landing pages”, therefore I won’t get to use CSS as much as I would like to but I will get experienced in the logical side of things. I will be working with Angular and React, and I got the job without knowing either framework. This happened because the manager was very impressed with my understanding of vanilla JS, and he realized that I can easily pick up the frameworks with what I know. I start in 2 weeks but I’m already learning angular to hit the ground running when I start.

Remember always keep learning.


I don’t think there’s anything in that list from FCC? Or am I overlooking it?

And grats by the way!

I briefly mentioned that I used FCC to test myself, the algorithms and code challenges. As the udemy stuff is very “hold by the hand” where as FCC does not rely teach you itself, it forces you to go learn things, so they work hand in hand.


Hi Aiden. Well done and thanks for sharing this. It’s helpful to see steps self-taught coders take to get their first job. Would you be able to do a big favour and share your CV somehow? I’ve finished FCC front end and am applying for a place but struggling with what to write, and can’t find any good example online of people in the same situation as me.

Check out my portfolio, https://www.aidenec.com/
Under About you will find a button with a link to my resume, I call it my bootleg resume because I have another one that I used and would use for a nontechnical job that is more standard + list out a lot of accomplishments from past jobs. However I don’t think they care about that stuff so I made my “bootleg resume” for the sake of having something to submit, but when I applied to jobs or reached out to recruiters I put emphasis on my portfolio, no one cares about your resume(Personal opinion).

BTW I had many tech interviews + 3 job offers, in the end, however, the job I went with was a “backdoor deal”. No, I did not know anyone at the company more the owner, but I reached out to him on linked in and asked for a meeting, and I let him know I’m looking for my first tech job. It might sound intimidating but that’s why I got so many interviews.

I also guess my past work made this step easier for me because I dealt with business development so messaging random strangers for meeting requests is nothing new, but you will be surprised how effective it is, especially if a high up manager or CEO lets a recruiter know to get in touch with me.

Obviously your not going to want to reach out to Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos, but if the company has less then 100 employees then, by all means, the CEO is the perfect target.

FYI this is the email:

Hello *********,

Thank you for accepting my invite on Linkedin. I was hoping that you could help me out.

You are looking for an experienced JavaScript Frontend Developer, and all the technology’s required are the ones I have been learning and am quite familiar with and I am currently looking for an internship in JavaScript development.

I have always been interested in programming but only started to learn it professionally about 6 months ago.

Would you be willing to take me on? I live a few blocks away so I would be more than willing to come in for a face to face meeting.

I am employed as a business developer at Creative-Ceutical, a French pharmaceutical consultancy where I have worked with most of the big 20. I was previously employed at JP Morgan as a PBMOD (client management). However, I’m not happy with the path that I have been going down.

I hope to hear back from you soon,

  • Aiden Campbell

(I did not include my porfolio yet, this is to spark his/her intrest, if he/she is willing to take you on he will get back to you, and you can send it in a folow up, or in my case show it to them in person, also I got his email from linked in, if they accept your invite you can see there work email, and you have a higer sucsess rate to get a reply because most pepole ceck there linked in on personal time, but they check there work emaill all day and feel obligated to reply)

1 Like

A nice course that is worth checking is Javascript- Understanding the weird parts of Tony Alicea on udemy. Is a really great course

I agree with you, its one of the courses that I did, and I dont regret it but I feel like its not needed if you do the ones above. Also there is no es6 and var / functionscoping has changed a lot. I wuld consider it a grate course to take once you have done evryting above just to get a better understanding of the language.

Ye this course doesn t really give u too many details about ES6 because at the time of recording ES6 wasn t a thing yet but however he does tell u about some features of ES6. If you google u can find lots of tutorials about ES6. The most important thing in this course and you won t really see on youtube tutorials is the explanations of what s going on under the hood and it s pretty much in depth so knowing those it really makes you a better developer :slight_smile: Oh and congratulations! forgot to say . I hope I m gonna get a job too.

I m still working on FCC challenges and I followed some NodeJS tutorials and I ve learned a lot. I didn t jump into jQuery yet. Should I try to learn a framework? I know some basics of javascript I still need to practice more since i don t have any CS degree. I m a little perfectionist too and I got an issue I don t rlly want to go further till I know how to work in Javascript very good.

But as a person said this thing can be dangerous cause I tend to keep learning without going further and actually build something. You think I should learn a library like jQuery since it s used almost everywhere or I should get even better tho at javascript? I feel like I m not really prepared to move into a framework yet for some reason.

I would stick to knowing HTML, CSS, and most importantly javascript very well as that is the core. I honestly think there is no way to master JS in one year so you should just keep pushing yourself, and use your mastery of JS as leverage when getting a new job. I just know what frameworks do and I never touched them, however, my employer was ok with that because they realized I can learn it quickly. I would not spend much time on a framework because you will limit yourself to a job search. However, if you feel like you have a very good grasp of JS and everything that can be done with it then yes, by all means, start expanding into other frameworks.

In my steps above I mentioned doing one of the udemy boot camps to start off with, they do node, react and some other things. I recommend doing them to see the “big picture” and to understand how peace fit together but in web development, I think you need to get very very comfortable with the “core”.

On a side note, I started to learn angular 3 days ago to get ready for my first day at work and I’m already feeling comfortable with the concepts and I don’t think that would have been possible if I did not have a very solid understanding of JS.

I see. I took that course of Colt Steele and I reached to the chapter that involves Bootstrap. Don t know what to say yet tbh I don t feel like it s something wow, I mean the challenges are ok but not a big deal and I don t know if further it gets better with javascript exercises.

I really want something like real project like cause I m lacking of ideas in general when i try to create something with plain javascript. I also took The complete javascript course of Jonas Schmedtmann since I saw that he actually builds some projects with javascript. So the solid concepts u had mostly from the courses u mentioned only? Did you build anything with javascript ?
Update: I went further in Jonas course and I like the fact that he does few projects and I learned how to put in practice important things. I must say besides Tony Alicea, Jonas is another one explaining important concepts that other instructors don t even bother to mention them.

So as I suspected - codecamp alone just isn’t enough.

what’s the best way to pair The Web Developer’s Bootcamp(or any other course) with fcc as per your experience?
Complete the course at first or go side by side?