Seeking advice for self taught beginner

Hello everyone! My name is Kart, 35. I have a BS in Chemistry and a minor in mathematics. I currently have a career in managing a chemical plant. I have always been attracted to data analysis and process improvement side of running a chemical plant. I also have strong attraction towards technology and it’s implementation towards business development.

Away from my main career, I also run a small business of building high-end PCs and sell them locally, which has taught me a lot about trouble shooting on hardware and software end. I started thinking strictly about programming and coding as a second career as I feel like I do have an aptitude for learning something new and the way tech industry is proliferating, it will also be a safer career option in future.

So, now I have given you my back ground. I wanted to ask what would be the best pathway for me? I am interested in front end development and eventually full-stacked developer (might require higher education). Initially, I will focus on self teaching for first 6 months to make myself familiar with basics of app or web development. I also plan to attend boot camp to acquire further knowledge and for networking. I want to focus on Javascript and later on Python and my research has shown that it’s easy to transition into from Java to Python.

I would appreciate any feedback and thank you for responding.

Kart P.

Hi @Chemshock!

Welcome to the forum!

Going through the FCC curriculum is a good start. It teaches the MERN stack and Python. But just doing FCC alone will not be enough. You will need to supplement it with other resources. You will also need to build projects outside of a class for your portofolio.

If getting a cs degree is in the cards for you there are definite advantages to having one. It will definitely help with getting your foot in the door for interviews. Also you will have access to college internships which will help with job applications.

I would do some serious research on which bootcamp to go to if that is your plan. Not all bootcamps are created equal. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on something that doesn’t pay off in the end.

Is that true? I haven’t heard of that.


Thank you for all the feedback. I really appreciate it. Some of the self taught you tubers recommended that going from Java to Python is easier because the syntax is less complicated on Python.

I think it’s pretty useless as a beginner to focus on any specific language.

  1. Learn the fundamentals of software engineering. To learn them, use a beginner-friendly language that keeps you motivated (JavaScript, Python, doesn’t matter).

  2. Then choose a field (web dev, data science etc.) and use the field’s language. Web Dev JavaScript, Date Science Python etc.


Thanks for the feedback Miku. I will follow your advices.

@Chemshock I’d love to talk to you in person. I think our circumstances are very similar.

My name is Alex, 33. I have a BS in Material Science and a ME in Material Science as well. I too manage a chemical related plant. I run the operations/production department. I transitioned into supervision/management very quickly and have gained nearly a decade of experience.

Similar to you, ‘away from my career’, I have a bucket list. On that list is learning how to program. In March/April of this year I decided to stop dreaming about it and actually do something about it. So I’ve been waking up every morning at 4 AM (every morning; seven days a week) and learning how to program.

Do I honestly think this will eventually lead to a developer job or transition into tech? I don’t yet know. But it is a very good ‘window/door’ to build in order to have the option to go through it if adaptation is necessary. My guess is your circumstance is similar to mine. If you are in managing/supervisor, in the chemical industry, then your salary is quite high and you would not necessarily be … content … with a reduction of 15-20% in salary if you transitioned to a ‘junior/beginner’ developer role. (I’m considering the same thing).

Anyway, I started with Python. I started with ‘Automate the Boring Stuff with Python’. It’s free, you should be able to find it (web page is the title). I read every single chapter and made my way through the book slowly.

I then stumbled onto freeCodeCamp and started with the very first certification (responsive web) and am slowly making my way through the rest.

And lastly, I had an opportunity to evaluate the University of Arizona’s Full-Stack Developer Bootcamp. Obviously I jumped at the opportunity. It’s a semester long bootcamp; fully remote; $7500. It is going through quite literally everything you need to have a foundational understanding of full-stack development.

Hopefully this helps you a little bit.


1 Like

Hello Alex,

It’s nice to meet you. It’s surprising to see someone of similar age group and work background going for the same goal. I am interested in Python, but I am currently trying to get the CS and SE fundamentals down. I started with HTML and CSS and as soon as I am confident enough, I plan to help build a website for cousin and maybe that could be my first project as a self-taught web developer.

I am interested in reading the book you recommended in addition to taking edx classes on python and maybe start working on GitHub projects.

I also have friends who work in SE and web development, so I am also relying on their guidance as well. They all are recommending Python since it’s the biggest thing in software engineering. I am also making up my mind about bootcamp courses for Python. I will be interested to see how you bootcamp journey goes. I am giving myself next 12 months to achieve the target of being semi proficient in Python and hopefully by end of 2021 land with a job offer.

I think salary is not a big deal as long as we have marketable skills and experiences through making projects. I think opportunity to make higher salary in tech field is much higher than trying to climb corporate ladder in chemical or manufacturing industry.

I would like to stay in touch to see how where our new journeys take us. I hope we can collaborate on some projects down the line.

Stay safe and have happy holidays!