Success Story: Got a Job as Front End Developer in 14 Months

Success Story: Got a Job as Front End Developer in 14 Months
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#1

I’ve been working my new job as a front end developer for about a month now and I wanted to take a second to share my success story here with you all.

Here’s a quick outline of my path:

  1. Got my bachelor’s degree in Spring 2016 in liberal arts
  2. Started graduate school in Fall 2016
  3. Joined freeCodeCamp in December 2016
  4. Told my advisor I was dropping out of grad school in March 2017
  5. Got an internship as a front end developer July 2017 (doing mostly WordPress)
  6. Quit my internship in October 2017 when my boss said I “wasn’t at a junior developer level yet” and couldn’t offer me full-time employment - article published on fCC
  7. Got full-time job in digital marketing and part-time as TA for coding meetup in October 2017
  8. Interviewed for full-time front end developer position in Feb 20, 2018
  9. Accepted job as “Front End Engineer” Feb 23, 2018
  10. Started new developer job on Mar 5, 2018

So far I am loving it! Coding full-time is just as awesome as doing it in your free-time - getting paid for it is just the added bonus!

I wouldn’t have ever gotten here without the freeCodeCamp curriculum and the supportive community!

Here are some takeaways I hope to share with you:

Surround yourself with other coders!
I can’t tell you how much it helped having friends on Twitter or in the fCC community who were on the same journey. When you have people to share your successes and challenges with, who are experiencing the same things, it makes the world of a difference.

You’ll be ‘job-ready’ sooner than you think.
I always go back to the advice of an fCC member named Jonathan Z. White. In an AMA on Twitter, I asked him, “When will I know I’m ready to apply for jobs?” He said: “It’s worth applying now instead of waiting for the right moment. Because by the time you feel ready, in reality, you were ready months ago.“

Contribute to open-source.
I made an early decision to get at least one open-source contribution on my resume/portfolio. During the job interview that got me my current job, they brought it up! Even though it was a year ago! Definitely try to do this. It’ll set you apart. Remember, when you code your own projects, you’re the only one who has to approve and use the code. But when you contribute to a bigger project, others have to approve of your code and it will be used by thousands or more. I wrote an article about my experience contributing to Habitica.

Get active on Twitter!
I’m definitely biased towards Twitter but it’s given me unique opportunities. Want an example?
I started using TwilioQuest and tweeting about it. Got stuck, tweeted about it, and met a developer evangelist who worked at Twilio. Skyped with him to get advice. Then ended up visiting Twilio’s HQ in San Francisco while I was there for a personal trip.
Tweet - follow people - tag people - make friends!

Make coding a habit - #100DaysOfCode
Big thank you to Alexander Kallaway for starting this challenge. I’m almost done with my third round. I’ve broken the rules a few times but I’ve managed to make coding a habit. I wrote an article about my first round for fCC.

Last, big thank you to @QuincyLarson and everyone in the community, including the Chingu community. I would have never been able to get where I am without and for that, I will be forever grateful.

If you have more specific questions, please comment below or DM me on Twitter @jjprevite - happy to answer anything I can to the best of my ability :slight_smile:

With love and gratitude,
JavaScript Joe


#2

Congratulations, Joe! We all knew with your momentum it was just a matter of time before you accepted a developer job offer!

Thanks for making the time to put together this timeline. You were in the trenches for a year and a half, and it sounds like you made steady progress the entire time and using all the resources at your disposal.

I always go back to the advice of an fCC member named Jonathan Z. White. In an AMA on Twitter, I asked him, “When will I know I’m ready to apply for jobs?” He said: “It’s worth applying now instead of waiting for the right moment. Because by the time you feel ready, in reality, you were ready months ago.“

Even though I am a Jonathan Z. White superfan, I had somehow missed this quote of his. This is golden, and I think it perfectly encapsulates the problems of perceived VS actual competence. Glad you started applying early - it probably shaved a month or two off your job search!

You’ve been a prolific contributor to the freeCodeCamp Medium publication and have probably encouraged hundreds of people through #100DaysOfCode by this point.

Thanks for all your contributions. I hope once you get your bearings at your new job we’ll continue to see you around the community, passing on your skills and insights to the rest of us :slight_smile:


#3

How did you find a group of people to code with? I’d love to find a similar group of motivated people to work with!


#4

Thank you for the kind words Quincy! I really appreciate. I hope to write more articles for the freeCodeCamp Medium soon. And I will definitely still be around in the fCC community helping however I can. One day, I hope to have something to share on the freeCodeCamp podcast and maybe even the fCC conference (when that day comes around).


#5

I’ve made a few friends on Twitter but the best group I found was called Chingu - started by a fellow fCC member. Here’s a link to sign up: https://chingu-cohorts.github.io/chingu-directory/