Looking for some guidance with my plan

So I’m stuck in a career for lack of better words that I don’t really enjoy and want to change. During University I took some intro comp sci courses and enjoyed programming but now returning to school isn’t an option for me. I’m at home doing parental leave so I’ve got a few months to cram some knowledge before I return to work.

After looking through different websites I’ve found Python to be a very versatile and widely used language so I thought I would start my journey there. I’m not expecting to land any crazy jobs after only a few months but my more immediate goals are:
-To become an effective Python programmer via FreeCodeCamp; and
-Use the competitions from kaggle.com to gain experience and build a projects portfolio.

From there I have no idea. I’ve never applied for a job in the IT field and only know about programming portfolios from reddit and reference to github.

I guess my question is, where do I go from here?

I don’t know.

My (slightly informed) perception is that without a CS degree, it is easier to land a job in web dev than just about any other CS field. Python I primarily associate with data science and machine learning. It is also popular in the FinTech sector. My perception of those fields is that they are a little stricter in terms of degrees - if an input on a web page doesn’t work it’s an inconvenience, but if a bank miscalculates interest for 7.4 M clients over the span of 3 months before it gets caught, companies get destroyed.

That is of course a generalization and exaggeration based on my (slightly informed and therefore slightly uninformed) perception.

It would be fare to point out that Python can also be used for a server/backend (e.g. Dropbox, I think Netflix, etc.) But again, I think it’s a little easier to get hired for frontend than backend. And FCC does not yet teach Python for backend.

That being said, Python is one of the fastest growing languages out there and who knows what is in its future.

I think rather than start with the language, you should decide what kind of work you would like to do and find out what languages are popular in that.

That being said, to some extent the hardest part is just learning your first language, so even if you did steer in another direction, learning Python could still be a great step in your development. And Python is often used as a teaching language so you would be in good company.

As to FCC? I don’t think that our Python stuff is yet good enough for someone that wants to go from zero to hero in Python. It could be a good introduction, but if you really want to learn Python there are a lot of other things you would need to learn.

As far as an overall path, I googled “python learning path” and got things like this.

But again, I’m not particularly informed here - perhaps others have better insight.

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I usually recommend going backwards, by starting with job postings. So you start by looking at what job postings you see in your area, what they are looking for, and where your skills stand.

Its possible there are a ton of Python jobs looking for entry level devs in that area. Its also possible there are only a few, and the few left require a large amount of experience and skills beyond just 1 language.

More broadly these sorts of jobs might in specific sort of jobs. Stuff like automation/testing/data science all use Python pretty heavily, so those kinds of work environments, use-cases and skill sets are where I’d look into applying Python to get things done. I’d also brush up on some secondary skills, like knowing how to use git and linux, which are usually “nice to haves” in multiple programmer jobs.

However I agree with above, freeCodeCamp’s Python is rather new, and still ironing out the kinks. I would not expect to go from 0 to hero with Python with just 1 source. If you have a few months, you might just be scratching the surface with Python and programming in general before you get close to some of the job postings you see. So its a tight deadline, for an incredible deep wide topic (programming).

Regardless of what you do, good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:

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Hey!

I’m pretty much a beginner as well, but I can recommend you a few resources that I’ve used to learn Python:

  • Python Crash Course : great book that gets you to build a few projects after teaching the Python syntax.

  • Corey Schafer : this guy has many great tutorials on Python.

  • CS50 : It’s focused on C in the first few weeks, but it also teaches you Python and Flask, and you can use Python in your final project. It’s a very challenging course but it will teach you more about programming than probably any other introductory course available online.

Thanks for your input. Any insight is appreciated as it will help me get onto a good track,

CS is such a large field it’s hard to really know what I’m after. I guess if I could envisage the type of day I would want to have, it would be working from home full time just programming away. After spending time looking at work online I was able to find a few programmer positions that didn’t need degrees, just experience would do. How common is it though to ask for experience in 8+ languages (can one be an expert in 8 languages), and what level of experience is typically expected and can it be gained doing side projects while I stay in my current job?

My wife landed a Web Development gig from pure chance and it has been wonderful for her, but I’m not sure I want to be ruminating over colour pallets and looking through stock photos for the “just right” photo.

I know it’s not ideal but I’m also motivated by potential income. I’m pretty established in my current field and my skills aren’t directly transferable so I am starting from scratch, but it seems the web development field has lower median incomes than what I’m prepared to accept.

Maybe Python will just be my starter language to get my feet wet and have in my back pocket. Thanks for that links btw. They Look to be very useful.

Yes, they exist, but there is a lot of competition.

How common is it though to ask for experience in 8+ language…

For an entry level position? Not common. What is common is for ads for entry level positions to say they need 8 languages. It can happen like this: The engineer tells personnel, “OK, we need a React developer, but if they do Angular or Vue we can consider them. Also, they need Redux, but if they have MobX or Flow, we could work with that.” Then the personnel person puts in the ad, “Applicant must know React, Angular, Vue, Redux, MobX, and Flow.”

(can one be an expert in 8 languages),

That depends on how you define “expert”. It also depends on what you define as a language. But for a beginner, probably not.

what level of experience is typically expected and can it be gained doing side projects while I stay in my current job?

They don’t care about your current job. They care about what you can do for them.

but I’m not sure I want to be ruminating over colour pallets and looking through stock photos for the “just right” photo.

I’m a full time web/mobile developer - I hardly ever do that. It sounds like they have here doing some design type work too. That happens sometimes, especially at smaller places.

but it seems the web development field has lower median incomes than what I’m prepared to accept.

Then… why are you interested? Or are you saying that you want one of those higher paying CS jobs? I suspect that those jobs pay more because they require more specialized skills and require people with degrees. Yes, cosmetic surgeons make more money than beauticians.

Maybe Python will just be my starter language to get my feet wet and have in my back pocket.

Yeah, it can be a good place to try it out and see if you like it.

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She is at a small place. They hired her with zero credentials and have been training her from the start which has really worked out well for her. It’s good to know that’s not all it is because I really enjoy the problem solving aspects of coding vice the more creative stuff she seems to be doing.

I’ve always been interested in the field but life had other plans and now I’m the bread winner of the family with 3 kids so my responsibilities outweigh my ambitions right now. I’m mostly just concerned with earning potential that is comparable/exceeds my current salary.

Thanks so much for the links! I’ve bookmarked the CS50 link and will be checking it out in the near future.

Thanks for the tip! I will certainly be doing so.

Also I’m new to the forum so I accidentally addressed your comments in my reply to kevinSmith. I’ll make sure to streamline in the future.

Cheers!

Well, I can’t help you with that. I would ask around in your area and see what they are paying. But if you are making a large salary with what you are doing now, it may be hard to match that for a while. I don’t know because you’re being (understandably) vague about numbers. Places like glassdoor have salary predictors, I think.

Another site, which I’ve used in the past is Practice Python

Written by an MIT grad student.

Unfortunately it seems abandoned now by the author. I think it uses Disqus for the forums, and gist for sharing code.

It’s not nearly as active or supportive as FCC, but it has some good challenge problems for beginners that ramp up from easy to fairly challenging.