It really is possible

I just accepted an offer as a UX developer intern today with a large tech company. This was after six months of self-study. I just wanted to come by and say it’s possible. It’s possible to land a role in the development world being self taught. Six months before, I had no experience in programming or web development. The position required HTML, CSS, Javascript, Responsive Design, and an understanding of how the web works. I’m still working my way though the front-end development certificate here, but I also worked through some parts of The Odin Project, as well as some other resources.

Some things I think helped me in landing a position so soon:

  • Show a passion for web development. This is the most important part. Companies are much more willing to hire someone who really loves this stuff.
  • Know how the web works! Know what SSL is. Know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. Know what a content management system is. Know what FTP is. This is something I think FCC could use more of.
  • Start working on your portfolio now! Really polish those projects and add some cool functionality to them. You don't need to have any crazy animations, but use a little jQuery to make them feel more interactive.
  • Show you're teachable. Companies will be more willing to take a chance on you if you show them you're a sponge. This job wants me to know Sass, which I've never worked with before. By showing I am willing to learn, they're willing to take a chance.
  • Turn being self-taught into a pro during your interview. They seemed a little concerned that I was self taught, but I used it to show I'm a self starter, I can find answers on my own, and I take my own education seriously.
  • Use more than one resource to learn from. I mostly used FCC and TOP. I think FCC teaches HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap much better than TOP does, but TOP teaches the fundamentals of OOP better. Play with several different resources for different perspectives if nothing else. Additionally, different curriculums can give you new project ideas.
All in all, it really boils down to being driven and teachable. Feel free to ask any more questions and I'll try to answer them as much as I can. Good luck on the job hunt!

Oh and one last thing. Apply as early as possible. Don’t get caught up in worrying about being good enough. Don’t self assess yourself out of the race.


Great advice and a big congrats!
(side note: what is TOP?)

Oops, sorry if I didn’t mention it. TOP is The Odin Project, which is another full stack development curriculum that focuses on Ruby on Rails for the server-side framework. Similar in concept to FCC, but with a bit of a different approach.

Got it, thanks for clarifying.

Congratulations! I’m hoping for similar results in the future! Good luck with your new job =)

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Congratulations! I’m thrilled to hear that you’ve made so much progress in such a short time. Good luck getting geared up for your first days as a UX developer!

Yes - we plan to cover a lot more theory and ancillary developer knowledge through our wiki, which will soon show up on our challenge map. Would you be interested in contributing a few articles on these topics?


Thanks! FreeCodeCamp was a huge resource for me, and I really appreciate it. I’d definitely be interested in contributing some good 101 style articles on these topics. We’ll be in touch!


I would love to work on this myself, do you (or anyone) have any resources you could recommend to brush up on this sort of stuff?

Congratulations on landing what sounds to be a great position! And your feedback provides a very beneficial resource to you fellow campers. I’m in agreement with you on the need for more coverage of things like CMS, SSL certificates and authorities, hosting, themes and theme frameworks, and small business startup guidelines. Please keep us updated on how things progress for you. And the best of luck!

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Congrats @danthony13! :tada: I hope to post something similar in a few months :slight_smile:

Sure thing! I’ll update this post later today with some links that should get you started. I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly how much you’d need to know for a higher level dev position, but for my role I just had to be conversational in what they were and how they fit into the overall development process.

Okay, for SSL, here’s a few of the things I used to get started
SSL Tutorial:
HTML Goodies on SSL and encryption:

For learning what a content management system is, try this:
Beginner Tuts Intro to CMS:
You can really get sucked down the rabbit hole when it comes to CMS. There’s devs out there that just do Wordpress development, or Joomla development. If that’s an interest of yours, there’s so many tutorials out there to teach you just that. Otherwise, a general overview is usually enough I think

File Transfer Protocol

These are some of the articles I read through when I was getting up to speed on this stuff. It’s all just a scratch the surface level overview, but it should be enough to get you researching and asking questions. It was sufficient for me, but you might need a much deeper understanding depending on your goals. If no one beats me to it, I might try and write some general “Web 101” type articles on these topics. If anyone knows more than me (which isn’t hard) feel free to let me know and we can work on these together. Hope this helped! This is really my first time giving guidance on this sort of thing.


Hey thanks for this! Very encouraging! I almost have 6 months under my belt and am currently working through the React challenges in my freeCodeCamp map. Can you share your portfolio? I’m curious to see how high I should aim with my portfolio projects.

First of all - Congratulations!

And then thank you so much for sharing your story and those tipps, especially in your comment!

Good Luck and happy coding :slight_smile:


Much appreciated, thanks!

After 6 months what coding level were you? I would like to know how much were you working on it, longest streak, how many hours a day spent within the 6 months, etc.

That would be greatly appreciated and give me daily goals as I delve more into this. Thank you!

Congrats on the position!

I would say that I’m intermediate in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and comfortable with Bootstrap, design, and general web practices. The amount of time I spent studying varied widely. I’m a full time university student (not studying anything computer related), so it varied between 30 mins a day to over 6 hours a day. I try to do at least an hour or two of coding related reading or work a day. Longest steak would be 6 months haha. Even if I don’t have time or energy to code for hours, I’d spend 20 minutes or so before bed just reading about the industry or a technology I was interested in. I think having an interest in all the related fields (SEO, security, design, system administration) helps you understand your piece of the big picture.

Honestly, I think I got away with a lot less study than most people do. That was for two reasons: This is an internship, so the bar is a bit lower. Also, UX Development doesn’t typically require as much technical knowledge as other dev roles. That’s why in my initial post I said not to sell yourself short. If you meet the requirements and feel ready, apply. You might surprise yourself.


Saved the best bit for last. Doubting oneself’s capabilities is one of the biggest impeding blocks to advancement. Let them (potential employers) be the judge and if their decision isn’t favorable, look at how you can improve on the issues that were raised.

Oh, congrats!

I just wanted to say congratulations and all the best in your new career wherever it may take you!

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just amazing man . so good to hear it’s possible.

If nothing else, I wanted people to take that away from this post. If I had waited until I was “ready,” I would’ve never applied for the position to begin with. Turns out they thought I was ready, so here I am :slight_smile:

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