Is this a good learning plan?

My aim to be employable in a year’s time either as a software tester or a software developer, whatever is easier to get as I am interested in both side. . (I’m 39 now, I can’t waste too much time any more) and I have about 30 hours a week I can study.

This is the plan I am following:
-freecodecamp and w3schools- going through the exercises and challenges
-learning for an ISTQB certification in software testing
-completing Java Developer and after that the Android Developer course on Udemy
-Node JS, Express and Mongo DB
-JQuery ,ReactJS
-Angular, Ember
-Phyton and/or C#
-personal projects during the whole learning process
-real experience with freelancing, contribute to an open source project, charity/non-profit and websites like Fiverr or Elance

  • QTP, Selenium IDE and Selenium WebDriver, Cucumber (BDD Framework) , TestNG ( to cover all categories of tests: unit, functional, end-to-end, integration etc.) for the software testing path.

Does this make me employable? Did I miss something?

  1. Immediatley start with your CV. Spend time on this. Get Professional help. Maybe you will get a chance TODAY to hand it over so somebody. Get your business cards printed.
  2. Start networking: Even if you do not understand a thing, join meetups, startup and vendoer meetings, hacker groups etc. Get in touch with people and let them know about your plans. Everybody will be eager to help. If you are nice, some might even me more eager than you like :wink:
  3. Find a business domain you want to be in: banking, travel, healthcare, … Recruiters are not just looking for codes and testers but people that might fit their business in general.
  4. Focus on projects and things you may show and explain. Complete your portfolio.
  5. Download stuff from gitHub you like as a user, learn about its architecture, deeper concepts, technologies involved and therefore get agile without spending too much time in the details. Details you may still learn in the weeks between contract and job-start or on the job. Be aloso aware that NOWEHRE you will start from scratch. You will to have to integrate in a running environment that will most probably completly different from what you have learned.
  6. Spend time on social skills, team collaboration tools, negotiation skills, self motivation, dealing with your future boss etc. and - most importantly - learn to be nice to everybody (I am not nice, that^s why I have to work that hard ;-))
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  1. Git (+ GitHub) rather sooner than later. Ideally as soon as you get some experience with your first programming language. Definitely before you start learning other ones. GitHub is also a perfect place where you can showcase your projects/contributions.

  2. I would focus on projects rather than languages. Find a project, learn a language/framework if it is essential to it. I would rather stick to fewer languages and master them. For example I don’t see a reason to learn both C# and Java. Once you master one, it’s fairly easy to learn a similar one if necessary .

  3. You are perfectly employable with not even half of the stuff you listed (being e.g. Java Developer itself will get you a job). The key is to know something well rather than scratch a surface (=have an online course) of large amount of languages/frameworks.

Note: Maybe go through some job offers in your area. That should give you a better idea of requirements.


I am doing the online courses as I need some structure in the learning. I tried Headfirst Java for example but it is definitely not for newbies.

My social skills are fine, I am a team player! Thanks for the rest. I would be scared to join meetups yet, I have no clue what they would talk about and nobody wants to look silly. Maybe in a couple of months time when I can actually ask a question without sounding like a moron :slight_smile:
The rest is good idea, I will learn more on github from now on.

Developer teams might require different/special social skills and meetup might be different than what you might think.
Your saying “nobody wants to look silly” looks to me, as if some personal social skills are lacking. Especially if you want to be a tester you will over and over again be confronted with people you do not know, people that are - or might think - they much more qualified than you etc.
What would yo do then? Going to the books first ? Hiding away ? And letting the work over to the ones that know how to deal with incomplete knowledge ?
Or think about school. Have you ever tried or organize a project with teachers ? All of them claiming to be specialists on social skills, but will fail to complete even the tiniest project on time ?
In IT “social” is different. “Social” here often means working under time pressur, following hierarchies, finding your place, speak only when it matters and contribute rather than just being part of a team. Its like a hospital emergency room.
You will think about this environment to be very rude, non-social, impersonal etc.
Yes - the environement (sometimes) is. The people are not.
The difficulty is to “function” in both worlds: under pressure without losing your temper, responsivness, efficiency etc.

In general: Making decisions upon think patterns from other fields is bad. Prejudice is even worse. And be assured, the world at your next job will be quite different than you will have expected.

Here is a revised version of your plan that I recommend. I don’t work or hire in the industry, but I’ve been doing this for about a year, and I have some insight that may be useful. (Btw, I’ve also been a full time student and small business owner, not eager to go to work for someone else during the last few months.)

FreeCodeCamp- going through the exercises and challenges.

Any number of other resources including w3schools- to supplement, clarify, or reinforce learning.

Personal projects during the whole learning process- Start ASAP, this is where it really all begins. This is the ? which holds the beanstalk which rises to the clouds full of shiny golden coins and dreamy music.

Meetups- They’re laid-back and most people aren’t experts and there are usually people who know nothing at all. So if you know something, you’re ahead of the game. Nothing to fear but boredom.

Contribute- to open source project(s)

THEN decide if you still want to get into:

  • QTP, Selenium IDE and Selenium WebDriver, Cucumber (BDD Framework) , TestNG ( to cover all categories of tests: unit, functional, end-to-end, integration etc.) for the software testing path.

Here’s why the rest of the list was scrapped:
Node, Express, Mongo, jQuery, React, GitHub- Already covered in FreeCodeCamp.

Python, C#- Python you might pick up, but I’m not sure where it fits in the plan yet. C# is part of .NET, a year’s worth of study on its own. I wouldn’t treat it as a mere component of a year-long plan unless your plan is to play around with a bunch of languages for fun (which is fine, but you want a job sooner rather than later).

Angular, Ember- See how things go with JavaScript and React first. To plan on learning frameworks that could be on their way out in 6 months, before you’ve even conquered the fundamentals of the underlying language, is a plan crafted in Front End Developer Hell.

Java, Android- I’m not saying don’t, but I just wouldn’t have it in the plan yet. Much like .NET/C#, it’s a pretty big commitment for something you know little about, especially if you’re paying for the courses.

Real experience, etc.- We’ll see after you’ve built some original personal projects. I think working for free on interesting open source projects will be much better for you and your resume than competing for the chance to work for peanuts on those sites.

The reality is that you have a hell of a lot to learn before any plan makes sense, and everything will probably change within the next month, not to mention the next year. But this… might come in handy at some point. Thank you for listening to my story.


I 100% agree on this now !!!
Before attending the first Meetup - besides Language Barrier - I had same feelings and perception as WanderLust till I met sombody that told me things we are telling now :slight_smile: