Based on some of your responses in the threads below, here’s the advice I would give to you.
- Start building web applications
- Prioritize projects over completing courses
- No one can tell you how long this will take. But it could take some time
- Start applying for jobs now
- Always be networking
- You got this! You’re not failing in life
Focus on web
You mentioned that you don’t really care where you start and that you’re not really sure what you’re interested in.
Web would be perfect for you because it’s such a broad field. The skills and tech you use to build web applications will overlap one way or another with pretty much every other field in the industry.
So you can always pivot into something else if you decide building web apps or websites is just not your thing.
In my experience, web also has the lowest barrier to entry. You actually don’t need a ton of schooling or experience to get an entry-level position but there is an element of luck.
Don’t worry too much about time
You mentioned that you’re unsure of whether or not you’re moving too slow or how long is all of this supposed to take?
Everyone else said “don’t worry about it” and I mostly agree but it’s nuanced.
We all have our own unique circumstances that will impact how quickly we can break into the industry with our first job. So it’s extremely difficult for anyone to give you good advice here.
Some people, with no degree, no background, start this self-taught journey and get their first paid gig as a web developer in like 3 months. Which is insane. Most people aren’t going to be able to do that. Some people like myself, it takes more than a few years.
I think it’s helpful to get in the headspace that this could be a long journey still even with your associate’s degree (which is already a good head start by the way).
Projects > Courses
The answer is 0. I don’t know anyone in a hiring position that cares if you completed any courses.
People want to see your work. Focus on building real projects (the freeCodeCamp curriculum has tons if you’re lacking ideas).
You’re going to need to take courses to get yourself started but as soon as possible you should be focused on building your own things and taking what you learn in the courses you follow along with and apply those learnings to your own work.
Completing courses are for you and not really for anyone else. They can help fluff up your LinkedIn which might attract recruiters but without real experience that’s pretty unlikely.
So start building up your portfolio of work as soon as you can.
Start your job hunt now
You never know if you don’t ask. There may already be opportunities out there for you given your current credentials so you might as well cast the net. Get your resume out there and start making connections.
Even if all you get is a ton of empty responses and rejection emails, there’s a chance someone might actually have a conversation with you and that will grow your network.
Network, network, network. Make connections with people. Attend meetups, get active on socials, reach out to the people working at the companies you’re applying to, contribute to open source write technical articles, help people on Stackoverflow or here on freeCodeCamp etc.
Networking is the job hunt. You’re never not looking for work in this industry. Build a network of people who know you, trust you and can vouch for you, and eventually you won’t be the one looking for jobs anymore. Jobs will come looking for you.
Good luck, and you got this!