Looking to gain employment

Hello all,

I am military vet of 7 years and I am also currently employed full time as a facilities planner and making decent pay wage. I’m also the only bread winner while my wife is attending school full time with a little over left to become a nurse, then there is the fact that we have a 2 year-old who is attending daycare. I currently am not exactly excited about my job and am wanting to get in to the world of coding and completely change up my career as I am in a rather toxic work environment. What is the best way for someone with very little experience to get in to the web developer career. I’m open to all possibilities of employment including remote.

Well, a friend of mine made it freelance, but it took him over 7 years to really start making any real money. He started making over a 100 grand after roughly 10 years, then went on to make over 300K after roughly 15 years. He works entirely from home and is his own boss, but he is very talented artistically and I don’t know what kind of a difference that makes because I am not a web designer myself. I don’t talk to him anymore but the last time I did he had people working for him coding too.

I honestly don’t think that it is something that just anybody can do. If you are a person that lets irritating things make you quit easily then you won’t make it more than likely lol. I don’t really know much about it past that, but I do know that you can make it without schooling. My advice is to learn to type fast if you don’t already, then just dive in. Start with HTML, CSS ( learn Photoshop and image slicing, resizing, graphics, to go along with CSS), then a programming language or two like JavaScript and PHP.

The first two should not take you very long and you can learn them using notepad which comes with windows. Once you get to Photoshop that is a different story, but PHP and JavaScript are also free to learn. The one thing I learned about web development from my friend was the margins. I got to see some of his member videos and he would create the entire website based on the pixel dimensions that he wanted to use in photoshop, then he would make a box with the selector tool, create a new file, paste it and then look at the dimensions. That is how he was able to make his decisions on how to code his CSS spacing of elements.

Essentially he first made a prototype website with photoshop and used what I just told you to make an exact copy of it with the CSS code spacing wise.

With very little experience, you will need … more experience. How many exercises have you completed in FCC? What do you think so far? This is a great starting place, especially because of cost. Daycare is no joke, I have two of my own.

@jasonmfetzer I have completed all of basic HTML and HTLM5; basic of CSS; and 1/3 of applied visual design along with one of the projects for the Responsive Web Design… On top of that I’ve recently completed all of the grasshopper app fundamentals. I’m trying to soak in as much knowledge as I can so that way I can gain more and more experience and eventually being able to market myself to companies.As far as what I think so far of Freecodecamp, i really love it. I think it’s awesome that you are able to see your results immediately. I was hesitant at first in doing coding because I’m a heavy kinetic learner and didn’t think coding was a great match for that kind of learning. However, the more I do it the more I see that it really compliments my learning style.

If you like it, stick with it. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. I cannot offer the story of “I finished FCC and was hired here.”, but I am not necessarily trying to write that story. I am employed in this industry, but work more with databases than anything. But I have had some encounters with Javascript on projects at work, which makes me want to learn some more.
Code is (and CS in general), well hard. It takes time to understand. There are many posts on these forums that seem to think FCC is like this magic wand into tech, they can do 200+ exercises, and they are going to be swimming in loot from their personal web development company or they already have offers pouring in. That is just not the case. While I don’t agree entirely with the previous response, note the timespans they quoted. If you want to be a web developer, you enjoy it, then pick a stack, learn it inside and out, and never deviate. The one taught here is relevant, in demand, and can help you get to where you want to go (Projects!). Regards. From one vet to another, thank you for your service.

Hi @terrance_darden,

Some aspects of our lives and motivations overlap, so I’ll tell you the short version of what I did in the hopes that some of it may help.

I started freeCodeCamp in March 2016. I already knew HTML and CSS reasonably comfortably, and had been programming with Python for a few years (not necessary, but it helped me learn JavaScript quicker than true beginners). I got my first Software Engineering role in July 2018.

The things that were most important were:

  • doing lots of projects
  • demonstrating a range of skills (frontend, backend, git, testing, authentication)
  • attending meetups
  • having an incredibly understanding and tolerant wife.

I’d say coding every day is important, but the reality of having a young family and a single income while you’re both really busy means that’s not always possible. My wife and I have had to juggle lots of things and try to be super flexible to make my career work, especially in the beginning.

All I can really say is be prepared to be in it for the long haul and expect it to take a couple of years at least. You can do it quicker, under the right circumstances, but most of the super-fast success stories you hear weren’t juggling the young family/wife studying/working full time combo.

You might find this thing I wrote helpful, too:

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Hi @terrance_darden

As I just changed career, going into the programming business, I went hardcore.
I stay focused, I stay driven, and go straight into a problem and don’t stop until it is solved. The thirst, the drive you contribute, is what many companies wants to see. As a Junior or self-thought person, you will work uphill in the beginning.

For a few years ago I did take some university courses online, but mainly I did projects. I placed them on Github, for people to see. I know there was some recruiters looking on them, and also mailed me about opportunities.

As front-end developer can be quite a big area, you could also become someone who are specialized within a field. Perhaps 3D specialist being able to create all kind of animations.

Check where you live if there is any programming groups (backend, frontend, databases) and ask if they’d like someone new. Most of the times they accept, and you will then have someone to ask, help, study with which makes it so much easier.

In total, it took my seven years to land this job, and like you, I do have a family that comes first, so be prepared that it will take some time.