Need Help in Landing a Dev Job

Hello Everyone,
I am new to FCC and I love how everyone helps out one another here!

I am 37 years old and I have been in the sales for about 14 years. I would like to make a transition into tech. I would like to get into Machine Learning, but I am not really good at math, however, I am willing to work hard. I will have a CS degree in about 1 year, but I need a job now to pay the bills.

Right now I am struggling financially and in desperate need of a game plan & guidance that will help me land a developer job.

Here are some questions I think about everyday

If I want to get into ML which field should I start in that will help me transition? Should I start with software engineering, back end dev, etc?

What should be my roadmap and which courses should I take to get a job a a developer ? What is the quickest way possible for someone with no experience?

In order to be competitive, do I need to learn front end and back end? I am not too interested in front end, but if needed I will learn JS, HTML and CSS. Where should I start on FCC?

I live in the SF Bay Area and it is very competitive market here. For software engineering & ML roles in some cases have over thousand applicants on LinkedIn and How do I compete with that?

Many positions require 3+ years experience and junior level are also very competitive? How do I overcome this?

Hello, @TechSF, I’m sort of in the same boat as you, looking for a web dev job now. I’m 18, finished the front-end cert here and I’ve deployed 2 websites so far (see my resume). I’m job-searching as we speak.

I don’t know much of anything about Machine Learning, but here’s some concrete steps you can follow now:

  1. Get some Job/more hours so you can pay the bills. You need to eat.
  2. Find out what you need to learn to get a Machine Learning Job. Start Learning now. I say don’t even bother with web development jobs if it’s not what you want, unless it gives you the money you need or is a step in your journey.
  3. Finish College. You’re almost done, might as well finish & get a degree.
  4. Do everything you can to transition from you current job into Machine Learning.

Some of your questions (that I answer with the best wisdom I have in my journey right now):

  1. I want to transition to ML, what field should I start in?
    A: Find out what employers want. Get those skills. Get the Job.

  2. What should be my roadmap to get a job as a developer? What’s the quickest way for someone with no experience?
    A: My roadmap: learned HTML, CSS, BS, and React from FCC, built two websites, started applying for Front-end Dev Jobs. I’ve been at this for less than 6 months and already have 2 websites up. Quickest way for me: jump right in.

  3. In Order to be competitive, do I need to learn both front and back end?
    A: No. Learn whatever you prefer. To be competitive, get experience.

  4. I live in the SF Bay Area and it’s competitive here. Some roles have over 1k applicants. How do I compete?
    A: Don’t. You might have to move to get a job. Option 2: Find a way to contact the Tech people directly. They’ll be able to judge you much more fairly than HR.

  5. Many positions require 3+ years experience & are competitive. How do I overcome this?
    A: Apply anyway. Worst case, they ignore you, best case they might have an opening for you. To truly overcome this, get more experience.

@TheyLeftMe4Dead thanks for the response!

If I want to go into software development, where should I be looking?


I am also interested in ML. Have you considered focusing on Python and/or R? This article has some great resources for learning ML. If you have sales experience, consider that an asset and leverage your knowledge to approach the topic with a business-savvy mindset that would appeal to business owners. Maybe start building some small projects that demonstrate your understanding of tech + sales? It’s a powerful intersection. Best of luck!

Software Development is sort of vague. If I were you, I’d choose a field first. For example, instead of trying to go into software development, try to become a back end developer, or just shoot for ML directly.

If by ‘where’ you mean what route, it depends on your field. Search around the FCC forums for ‘Bill Sourour’, he made a good post about getting a web dev job. For ML, you’ll have to do research.

If you just meant where in the US to apply for, I’d say anywhere you’re willing to move to. For me, it’s anywhere in the US.

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I think front end would be useful - it gives you a great way to build an ML portfolio, once you pick up the ML part. You could try the few free courses that still offer certification first, eg:
(+ 2 more advanced ones) (a full syllabus here, not sure how well done)

After that some coursera specialisations for consolidation/credentials. I’ve audited several on data science - the python ones from Michigan & Washington looked ok - although the latter uses a proprietary library. The older R-based JHU seemed poorly done when I tried it, butt R is fiddly & I had even less programming background then. Andrew Ng’s new deep learning courses have been favourably reviewed. With intuition gleaned via Weka - no coding required - and familiarity with Python/R built up in cognitiveclass - assuming it’s good - it should be possible to do these specialisations at double/triple pace, cutting their overall cost.

Datacamp & dataquest also apparently offer fairly inexpensive, effective ways to learn/consolidate Python/R/ML/big data skills. The former offers badge-based certification, the latter offers help building a portfolio.

Kadenze also offers some free to audit/$20/m courses on applications of ML/DL in the arts - these offer opportunities to start building visually (/sonically) impressive things - even if light on the theory, that sounds good for motivation, and building intuition & a portfolio.


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@TheyLeftMe4Dead @birone

Thanks guys!