People who became experts in a few months - how did you do it?

I read about people going to a (physical) bootcamp and getting to a level in which they can be proficient enough to compete in the job market after a single month of effective concentrated learning. The only advice I gathered so far is that the right way to learn coding is to try to break it.
I’m interested in what method of learning they used because programming is such a different skill than what “fast learners” coaches like Tim Ferris teach.

1 Like

This isn’t a thing that can happen. The only way it could happen is if the learner had prior knowledge that they were just refreshing, for example being highly proficient in Java and going to a web dev bootcamp to rapidly skill up. If they have domain-specific specialist knowledge or are moving across from a related sector, and have programmatic thinking skills, yeah I guess basics after a few months. But practically, to learn a complex skill, you need a long time to learn: it’s not The Matrix, you can’t just upload a program to your brain and almost instantly be highly proficient in something.

I have a bridge to sell you…

4 Likes

Hey there,

as Dan already said,
it depends on the person and their existing skills.

Some of my mentees found jobs after 3 months, but they already had skills in similar fields, e.g. Mechanical Engineering. And then they quit their jobs and dove into it for like 50-60h per week. These folks only need some small guidance, because they already know how to think analytically and how to help themselves.

On the other hand, I got mentees who are 1y into it and probably need another year, because they only can do this for 1-2h per week and are not yet that experienced in analytical thinking.

So it totally depends on the person, their skills, their background, the time they can invest etc.

In language learning, there is the approach of immersion, you can read about it on Wikipedia. I think this is a benefit of a bootcamp.

4 Likes

Thanks for your feedback, it’s so valuable.
The question still stands, how to learn something so broad which can have so many variations therefore appearances? We learn math by learning what the symbols mean on private cases and slowly internalizing the abstract concepts, but in programming it’s so confusing, there are so many ways to represent and to implement everything. I find it hard to learn because of that, and the I don’t find the explanations help to explain it, the only thing which makes FCC helpful is how it chunks every subject into micro subjects, but when it’s a broader topic, as the MongoDB lessons, which can’t be reduced so much, I find it hard to grasp and see the bigger picture. When I opened the thread I hoped others who went through the same difficulty found tricks to tackle it.

1 Like

What are your goals?
Becoming the best computer scientist?
Building a business?
Finding a job?
If job, then in which field?

I want to design novel blockchain (fintech, cryptography etc.) related solutions.

Then you don’t need only programming skills, you also needs serious math skills. Cryptography is based on highly complicated math and most people (like me) accept that it is like that and read the manual. But to get an understanding of it so you are able to enter the design level; high math skills are required. I know of a few people working in cryptography and here we are talking 6+ years university math
/Jakob

1 Like

There are existing libraries for everything you want, I’m talking about the product level design.

It is a big subject. To take MongoDB as an example, the interface uses JavaScript, and that JavaScript is not different to any other JavaScript: it uses a specific relatively small set of defined rules to allow you to deal with data stored in a database. The curriculum could go into how databases work and in particular how that type of database works and so on, but that beyond the scope of FCC – the curriculum has taught JS (albeit just basics, it is expected by this point that you do your own research to fill in gaps), and it is via those things that you’ve learned that you use Mongo.

There’s a limit to how much this can happen – at the very very basic level this is feasible, but even if it were possible (infinite volunteers writing the curriculum with infinite time) the curriculum would be truly gargantuan. It has to work currently by giving you the basics then asking you to take those basics and apply them to more complex problems. The curriculum is moving towards being completely project-based, but this then brings its own set of problems (how do you make some example project have general applicability? How does a learner jump mentally from an example project totheir own project they want to make?)

A programming language is just a tool to do a job. When learning, as a beginner, this generally doesn’t come into play – you at the minute aren’t trying to solve a specific problem, you’re trying to get a very broad understanding. And to state a truism (which is not super helpful for beginners, but is accurate): syntax, which is generally the most difficult thing for beginners, is also not particularly important. There is a finite amount of it, and once you understand how to work with it, and how the language works, then you can solve problems using it, which is the important part.

Yeah, as @saadanerdetbare you’re likely need maths/physics and CS (which is basically applied maths) knowledge. You’re talking about domains where extreme speed (at software, hardware and network level) are enormously important for the applications to be useful, and from business PoVs, to give competitive advantage. Also, critically, you really need domain knowledge – so, for example, to go back to the original question & @miku86’s answer, maybe someone who had studied financial economics and the maths involved, or maybe someone with telecoms software infrastructure knowledge would be able to go into an intensive bootcamp-style environment to give them the basic grounding in being able to use (in your example) blockchain technologies to solve some problem. It doesn’t mean at all that a total beginner couldn’t go from zero to being job-ready, but that’s likely to take years for a sector such as you’ve described wanting into

(ymmv, but as an aside the cynical side of me says that anything w/r/t to “novel blockchain” and finance is likely to involve scams, ponzi schemes etc., so what you say you’re shooting for doesn’t actually need to involve anything I’ve said above to make cash, you can just learn basic things and hammer together any old crap if you are good at selling things – cf basically anything to do with cyptocurreny)

3 Likes

the cynical side of me says that anything w/r/t to “novel blockchain” and finance is likely to involve scams, ponzi schemes etc.

Eventually it’ll have real applications and I believe the best strategy is to plan ahead to what will be in demand in the future.
EDIT: if you have suggestions for a better topic to study with potential for novel solutions I’d like to hear…

A month seems crazy to me–I’m 3.5 months in and, heh… yeah… However, I might have a tidbit of insight to share. My wife is a lawyer and I asked her how hard law school was. She said it was pretty much 60 hours a week of intense study, and that one class assigned 100 pages of reading the first day, and this goes on for 3 years. So if it’s that hard to become a lawyer, maybe we should assume that it’s about that hard to become a programmer?

Anyway, that made me realize I needed to crank it up a little bit.

1 Like

Chasing technology that might break means you are chasing jobs that currently don’t exist. I’d focus on technologies that have jobs now. You can change technologies in the future.

WRT crypto, you need years and years and solid math to not make costly mistakes that you are responsible for with crypto. It’s not a first job sort of thing.

WRT product design, you don’t really see people new to coding getting hired to design entire software projects. It takes, yes, years of experience to do it correctly and get a job doing it.

WRT one month, you can’t go from zero/minimal knowledge in one month. You probably won’t get your first job in under o month either.

It can be frustrating, but there no fast roads to success.

3 Likes

I’d like to specifically point out that its very hard to know whats going to be in demand in the future even with in-depth knowledge. If you just have some high level knowledge of the subject, making a bet on it as the future has a lot of risk compared to learning a lot about a subject and then determining its place in the future.

I’d assume you’ve probably read the stories about how blockchain/cryptocurrency technologies are the future and would like to jump on it before it “goes big”. You might of even listened to a talk by some respective individual who says “blockchain is the future”, and believe it is. I want to point out that it probably isn’t and that your reasoning to go into such technologies should be rooted in the right motives.

I personally believe blockchain and cryptocurrencies are not going to be highly in demand in the future. My reasoning is simply because blockchain and cryptocurrencies aren’t that new, nor are they that novel. Simply put, anyone can make a cryptocurrency at any time for any reason and sell it for any amount of real money. This is why there are thousands of cryptocurrencies besides just bitcoin.

Another big issue is the underlying concept of all cryptocurrencies doesn’t work practically, as its nearly impossible to scale a decentralized cryptocurrency network without some kind of management. Take bitcoin, if you want to buy/trade some, most end up going to an exchange, which is a centralized entity to manage funds, IE a bank. The average person wont know how to manage their own funds on their own and thus the core concept falls apart beyond a few individuals. This doesn’t mean cryptocurrency and blockchain doesn’t work, as it still can be used outside of a “public” context successfully due to the underlying technology, but it isn’t this “magical future product that is going to take over the world”. Such terms are marketing.


When I hear “fast learning”, “novel solutions” and “Tim Ferris” I think of get rich quick schemes. The goal of which schemes are to get you to buy some well made marketing, rather than learn anything of significant value. Can you become an expert super fast? No, but that wont stop people from trying to sell you such solutions, as inevitably people will buy well made marketing.

If you want to learn how to build the next blockchain, do it for the right reasons. If your ultimately fascinated by the complex mathematical models underpinning the core implementations of blockchain networks, then yea go for it. Such knowledge will serve you well regardless of the outcome. If you just want to learn stuff real quick so you can get rich on the next bitcoin wave, then you probably are better off spending your time (and potentially your money) learning applicable skills to your current situation.

  • This could mean learning how to program so you can build an app, or work as an engineer on the team that builds the next “big thing”, regardless of language, or tech-stack.
  • This could mean learning design skills so you can build the UI/UX of the future
  • This could mean learning more about the cloud, so you can help migrate all the legacy software off old hardware and into cloud services to save companies money.

None of this is actually that easy, but nothing worth doing is. Programmers don’t get paid well because they spent 4 months in a boot camp, are super geniuses, or use some magical method to learn everything super fast. They get paid well because they have been in the grinder for years gaining experience by learning by doing. Experience is experience, there is no getting around that, beside throwing yourself “into the grinder” faster and more often to gain said experience.

5 Likes