Scored a Front End Developer role thanks to Free Code Camp!

Scored a Front End Developer role thanks to Free Code Camp!
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#1

So I just finished up my second week as a Junior Front End Developer and I am loving my job so far and think it is only going to get better! :sunglasses:

I was nervous about posting about it at first until I was sure it was going to work out but I am feeling safer in my role each day and think it’s time to share for anyone else out there in the same situation that might be doubting themselves or got a job offer and feel unsure what to do.

So a bit of background: I completed a degree in Computer Science back in 2010 and done really well in programming subjects but only really had exposure to C/C++ and shell scripting when I left. I ended up in an IT Infrastructure role which was interesting work but I wasn’t ready for it and it wasn’t my goal which was to work in some flavor of software development. I left after a year and worked survival jobs for the next 5 while trying to learn various programming languages using online tutorials (HTML/CSS/JS/SQL/PHP) but with no structure so I didn’t have anything to show for it and the skills faded as quickly as they came because I wouldn’t keep practicing. For years I struggled to get into any development role and then I came across Free Code Camp!

The basic HTML/CSS/JS I had learned did make things a lot easier along with my university course but regardless, Free Code Camp introduced all the important concepts but most importantly it pushed me to do something with the knowledge and create a project portfolio. The project challenges were the most important aspect for my learning as I had to do a lot of research to put each project together. I got stuck on occasion as I imagine most do but I kept at it and used the forum when I ran out of ideas with a problem.

I don’t imagine everyone will get this lucky but I got the job 2 months after starting the front end cert and I was up to the JS calculator challenge when I got the offer so anyone out there with some previous programming knowledge can be sure they can get enough skill going through the course to land a job in a relatively short amount of time. I had a day or 2 each week I could really smash out a lot of material so I done as much as I could so would estimate 10-20hrs a week spend on the site. Regardless I wasn’t expecting this and was ready to battle on for a year or two if I had to. Anyway on to some other stuff I think might help someone.

The Interview: I tend to interview pretty well so I wasn’t too stressed over it, along with not being sure if I was just luck to get a call so early on in my applications so wasn’t feeling much pressure. The important thing is to know what you can and can’t do. Be honest but without selling yourself short. After all we aren’t putting in all this effort purely for the fun of it, we want a career we are passionate about!

The Job: All I can say is- Free Code Camp gives you the tools to get started but it is going to be a long way to the top. I ended up coding on my first day and fixing a few bugs on the company website (not on production of course :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:), but I can say straight of the bat I could tell there is so much more to know. Not to mention you have to dig through all the existing code and familiarize yourself so you don’t go breaking other parts of the site to get your job done. I’ve been coming across the unexpected regularly. I need to understand some PHP. I need to learn SASS/SCSS quick! I need to understand html templating and Magento (an ecommerce CMS). Depending on who you work for I imagine you have to get familiar with all the systems in place, whatever tools they use. It’s a bit daunting at first but you just have to keep pushing and so far I am doing really well and I’ve been trying to get regular feedback and they seem happy with me too so I am really happy with the job so far and looking forward to work each day for a change! I would recommend getting familiar with SCSS / Media Queries and maybe compiling SASS. Compass is a popular framework (easy to use too) during the front end part of the course.

On a final note many thanks to @QuincyLarson and all of FreeCodeCamp’s contributors. I definitely credit my recent good fortune to the site and know there will be many more that will get the same opportunity by using FreeCodeCamp!

If anyone has questions I’ll do my best to answer them but I’ve been flat out with the new job and relocating so don’t expect quick replies. Good Luck :wink:


#2

Congratulations man, I’m very happy for you.

I have come across some very similar situations as you in my quest to become a modern developer. I completed a Bachelor of Multimedia in 2007, and worked as Support Analyst for 2 years. My Web-developing skills never took off. I got restless and joined the Australian Navy in 2010 and completing my 6th and final year (contract).

I’ve realised I want to re-kindle my careers as a professional, modern front-end developer. The past 6 months I have completed a number of online courses including responsive design, html, css (including bootstrap), a tint bit of PHP. I’m currently trying to get my head around JavaScript as I’ve been doing a lot of reading that a modern Front-End developer should definitely know JavaScript, and because I eventually want to be part of a team developing web applications and not just static web pages.

I have also become overwhelmed by the amount of tutorials, articles and online courses. I become lost in the content and have no set pathway of where I want to be. I only came across FreeCodeAcademy within the past few weeks and it seems like the perfect path for what I am after. The Project Based approach is definitely the best way to learn and I love the pathway to becoming a front-end developer.

I will be working my way through CodeAcademy and use a number of other resources as I go. I’m looking to start the You Don’t Know JS series which is free at gitHub.

Anyway, all the best with the new careers and I’m definitely on my path to joining you :).

Cheers,
Nims


#3

Thanks dude!

Good to hear you’re on your way to a career in web development. Projects are definitely the way to go as they really get you to learn quick and re-enforce what you’ve learned so far. Not to mention maintaining a portfolio is definitely a good way to showcase what you can do. Yep, JS is really important for front end so good to have a decent grasp on it. I felt the same about so much material being online and trying to figure out where the best place to start is, that’s probably part of the reason the bootcamp type sites are good by giving some structure on what to learn.

Good luck with it man and don’t wait too long to apply for jobs in the field. After all, you may get something sooner than expected and there’s no better way to learn how to do a job then to be on the job :slight_smile:

Cheers, Nik


#4

Congratulations, brother! I’m currently pursuing a BS in CS and doing some Free Code Camp at the same time, all while enlisted in the military. I am hoping to score a job as a developer before I get out. :slight_smile: Again, congratulations on succeeding and remember not to allow the impostor syndrome take you over!


#5

Congratulations!
I was quite surprised that you were able to get a job without having to learn SASS and SCSS. Did you learn other frameworks too like Angular before applying for the job?Also, since you need to understand some PHP, does that mean the company will train you, and you will learn more about PHP in the future?


#6

Congratulations! Do you intend to continue working on freeCodeCamp challenges or are you done here? Best of luck with the new job!


#7

Thanks bro! Definitely worth the while, I don’t know what Comp Sci subjects are like today but the stuff I covered was leaning way on the theory side, understanding how it all comes together but not enough practical stuff that you would use in the workplace. Thanks, gotta give yourself some credit :wink:


#8

Thanks! Yeah, I definitely thought the same thing after my first few days on the job but fortunately it wasn’t hard to get familiar with and I did give 2 weeks notice to my old job so had a bit of time to study up before my first day. I haven’t covered Angular at all but definitely something I want to know in the future, hopefully it will be something I get to use on the job at some point. No idea what training will be offered as yet but the PHP was specific to the tech used, so a lot of dynamic content with PHTML. It’s more figuring out just enough to get the next task done and I haven’t gone in depth with it at all. I imagine I will have to know it fairly well though as it’s a big part of how Magento is used here.


#9

Congratulations! I have a small question, did you add FCC to your resume? and if so how did you do it?


#10

Thanks! I would love to continue working on them and I will in time but for now the priority is mastering the role and any free time I have I focus on getting better at tech that will benefit me on the job and getting stuff done. Thanks again :slight_smile:


#11

Thanks! I didn’t add it directly to the resume, instead I have a link to my CodePen portfolio and instead discussed FCC in my cover letter instead. I do however have FCC on my Linkedin.


#12

I see. Interesting use of PHP. Thanks for the info!


#13

##CONGRATULATIONS!

###Very encouraging.

I’ve been receiving ALOT of contact from human resource departments and recruiters and I haven’t applied anywhere. I’m listed on LinkedIn, Gooroo and FCC primarily. I’m also just at the JavaScript Calculator project and I at least wanted to receive the Front End Web Developer certificate before trying to interview.

Your story, especially the part about not being stressed or expecting much so soon, has improved my outlook.

Thanks.


#14

Good to see your hard work and perseverance paid off. I’m pleased to hear of your good (well-deserved) fortune. Good luck with your future endeavors! I’m sure you will be a success.


#15

Thank you! I had the same idea and wanted to finish the Front End Cert but I don’t regret testing the waters out as it’s led to a really good outcome for me and I know I will learn much quicker now that I get to spend my entire week coding. Glad the post has reinforced your confidence and best of luck when you do decide to start interviewing. Cheers


#16

Thank you, much appreciated and the best of luck to yourself, hope you are enjoying FCC!


#17

Nikola, what a great story. I completed my computer degree with a distinction average back in 2009, and I am still battling with code and have yet to use it to make any type of meaningful income. Now I have retired, I’ll see what I can do. Even if I don’t make it as a creative genius. I’m not minding the journey when it includes reading great stories like yours. I am thrilled for you and thanks heaps for sharing.


#18

Thanks Ken. I’m sure that having more time now to pursue web development will take you to where you want to be quicker. Glad you enjoyed my story and hope it gives you inspiration to continue. Thanks again and best of luck with achieving your goals.


#19

Congratulations, Nikola! I’m curious about what projects you included in your portfolio in order to land a junior front end developer role? Did you use your FCC projects?

Thank you!


#20

Thanks Jess! My portfolio was solely made up of FCC projects. In hindsight I think it would have gone a long way to showcase what I can do with practical examples of stuff I have done over the years. Even with the non web related stuff, it would have been a good idea to store some projects on Github, the ones that were particularly useful, interesting or challenging. Cheers!