Need advice on changing careers

Hey All,

So, I have been thinking about changing careers for a while now and I have finally had enough of my current job (drafter/tech support for a joinery company) as I am only happy doing my job when I am writing code to add features into our software suit, but that is far and few between.

I would like to be able to develop web apps, and be a full stack developer but I am not 100% sure of what I need to be doing to get there? The current plan is to go through the freecodecamp curriculum (trying to average 2-3 hrs per evening mon-fri).

Is this a good starting point? Is there something else I should be doing/learning? Is there a better path?

Thank you.

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Hi @ADR1990 !

Welcome to the forum!

I am also a fellow career switcher :grinning: (switching from music to tech)

I think freecodecamp is a great place to start.

It will give you a good foundation to build from.

The first six certifications cover the MERN stack.
I would also encourage you to build projects outside of FCC.

Focus on building a solid foundation and build along the way.

It is also pretty common to use other sources along the way.

Here are some good sources to help you in addition to FCC.


Hello and welcome!

I am also in the process of switching careers. I’m still working as an elementary school administrator/teacher, and I’m also working as a web dev. I went though all the html and css and js stuff from the beginning, because I knew how to write zero code (like I wrote my first html hello world file about 7mo ago). I think the benefit to that stuff will be based on what you already know. For me, it was great (but also easy, cause it’s just markup).

Javascript was my first programming language, and I thought that was a big challenge at first. If you haven’t learned it yet, the fcc curriculum for js is particularly well done imo. Really worth your time.

During the html/css/js parts all I did was fcc, and I read “Eloquent Javascript” (wasn’t a huge fan, tbh). After that I moved into the front end libraries sections. I based what I focused on based on what I saw in job descriptions (endless job searching…) It seemed like React was the big deal for most jobs now, but the fcc curriculum is kind of light on it. Like it’s not bad, but it’s not enough. It also doesn’t cover React Hooks, which is slightly different than the class based components fcc teaches. In my job we only use hooks, and hooks is so much easier to write and read that I’ve built all my react projects with hooks. I really benefitted from reading a react book. I read Zac Gordon’s book on react and wrote literally every single line of code he had you write. EVERYTHING. I super highly suggest supplementing the fcc curriculum with this book or another (but his is so so good).

After that you can kind of branch out in the same fashion. Like fcc has sections on Redux, Sass, Jquery. JQuery seems old–I never see anyone ask for it. But Bootstrap and Redux are pretty common in job descriptions around me. Getting books on them could help (I didn’t–did start reading a lot of documentation online). But honestly you also need to just write a lot of code. It’s challenging at first to like think of a project to do and start it from nothing, but I swear it gets easier with time (and that Zac Gordon book has a tutorial you can follow for your first one). I ended up landing a job through a lot of luck, and I think my timeline is uncommon. This is the point where I got a job, but my plan if dumb luck hadn’t intervened, was to keep on making projects with technologies employers were looking for and keep on applying to jobs.

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