I am a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from India. I was in my second-to-last semester of college and up until then I had always thought that I wasn’t cut out to be coder. I thought coding was a skill that people had naturally or they can’t do it all. The present me would scoff at the idea that the younger me had.
I had some acquaintance with computer languages like C and C++ before and took up course on it. But they were too textbook based and had an end goal that I had to pass this exam. The courses never aimed to create a spark of creativity, it was just a course. They fed into my assumption that coding was a chore or a task.
I started #100DaysOfCode and the FreeCodeCamp curriculum hoping I would have something to do while my college finished and I was looking for a job.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. I started from the beginning at FreeCodeCamp, spending 2 hours each day on it in the beginning. Focusing on the smaller aspects of HTML and CSS and then moving up to other aspects made me excited. I had never thought of finding that this could be fun! After finishing my first Responsive Web Design Project - Tribute Page, I was convinced that I liked coding and had the sudden enthusiasm to learn and make it into a career.
The supportive community on Twitter as I updated my progress each day there also helped to uplift me. It made me realise that I wasn’t alone and there were other people learning there with me.
I did a few other things along with FreeCodeCamp curriculum. I would usually have a strict 10-5 period, 7 hours everyday where I would learn. I stopped occasionally when I had my end semester exams and college classes.
Some of the few things I did in the span of 6 months:
Completed the Responsive Web Design Curriculum (except 2 projects which I completed a few days back)
These two made me learn the Front End basics and did not allow me to skip forth and just tackle big problems. I had to learn how to tackle the smaller problems first.
Completed the ‘MongoDB for Developers’ course from MongoDB University. It was a 4 weeks course which made me familiarize myself with NOSQL Databases and how to implement database in an application.
Every project I created, I made a repository of it in Github. It helps a lot. The internship I got saw my projects on Github and shortlisted me on the basis of that.
I had come far than before but not quite. I was still looking for a developer job. I got rejected a few times. I also used to freeze up during solving real time whiteboard coding challenges especially when someone was watching me. I was getting better at it though as I no longer looked at the problem on the surface level only, but I actually knew how to begin to solve it. Some of the jobs I rejected, because they didn’t have a position for a developer, only analyst positions etc.
Then finally I got accepted for an internship as a ‘Front End Developer’ for 2 months. My goals were being achieved!
All through my internship, I never stopped learning or stopped asking questions wherever I got stuck. Everything wasn’t easy, some of the simplest tasks I had to do, I got stuck and looked to Stack Overflow for help. But after I got through it, it felt amazing.
After 2 months, they reviewed my performance and promoted me as a full time employee! I have just started learning the backend and to manage it. So far, I’m doing great!
Earlier when I was given a task to do it and see if it possible to implement or not. I would say ‘I am not sure. Let me research it.’ Now I say, ‘I’m sure it would be possible. Let me research about it!’
We usually think that we aren’t good enough for something or we don’t know enough to apply for a job or an internship. But that’s not true. Everything is achievable and if we don’t try, we won’t learn. Learning is a continuous process which does not stop. We just get better!