9 Months. 9 Months (Sept. 2017) since I graduated from University and entered the real-world. I had such a naive outlook on the job market and limited knowledge of its competitive environment. I tried so many angles on getting back up to the Bay Area to work as a Front-End Web Developer. Recently after announcing my achievement on Twitter, I was encouraged by Quincy to share my story here. I hope that I can inspire and motivate others to keep pushing and to NEVER, EVER GIVE UP. Let’s begin!
My coding journey got serious when I started to feel lost, yearning for direction post-grad. I tried creating side projects and watching tutorials, but I never felt fulfilled or had a true purpose. One afternoon I was searching the web for motivation and success stories…how did people achieve such a feat? It wasn’t until I discovered Lupe Camacho’s story and 100DaysOfCode that I realized I needed to code everyday, immerse myself in supportive communities, and never lose hope.
#100DaysOfCode and Twitter Communities
What a challenge. I read through the requirements and to be honest, I was intimidated. But for some reason, in the back of my head I thought, “100 Days? Yeah I can do that.” And so I went for it, day in and day out documenting my progress and sharing it on Twitter. The support was unreal, and to see others right there with you was so reassuring. January 11, 2018, the 100th day. I can’t believe it - I accomplished the challenge I’m so grateful that Alexander Kallaway created this challenge, it taught me more than just coding. I learned about self-discipline and finishing what you started. After all this, I was still in search of a Web Developer job. And so the months went by…
freeCodeCamp: A step in the right direction
Naturally, I sought out learning materials and decided to pick back up on freeCodecamp (new site looks great btw!) Some of my proudest projects come from the Intermediate API-based projects. I fell in love with the curriculum and my involvement in online communities grew immensely. They were projects I added immediately to my Resume because it felt good to validate what was written on paper. Throughout this journey, opportunities to further my skillset kept appearing. Most notably, the Grow with Google Challenge Scholarship
Scholarships and Nanodegrees, courtesy of Udacity & Google
Month 9: The Offer
May 2018 rolls by and I’m still applying. Still getting rejected. Still wondering if I’m good enough to be a Web Developer. I hear they call it, “imposter syndrome.” Some days it’s easy to shake, other days it leaves you feeling defeated. The first week of June, I spot an email regarding a position I applied to the week before. I’m excited, someone’s noticed me! And it’s in my field! Emails turn into phone calls, phone calls turn into interviews, and then…the BIG DECISION. June 21, 2018 I get the job as JUNIOR FRONT-END WEB DEVELOPER!!! I immediately head to Twitter to share my news with my virtual buddies, people who I’ve seen get jobs, complete the 100DaysOfCode challenge, the whole nine. Even as I type, the love is still coming. I couldn’t be happier, not only from the job but because of the amount of genuine support and care we share with each other. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Enough about me, this last section is all about YOU
A dear friend once told me: The “No’s” will always be there, you only need one “Yes”
Practice, Practice, Practice! I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying: “Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.” Set aside time out of your busy days to really study, especially with a whiteboard! Here are some resources that have helped me along the way:
- Pramp - Mock Interviewing and Coding Problems
- GitHub Front-End Interview Handbook
- freeCodeCamp Curriculum
2. The Hidden Job Market
Literally learned about this last week, get this: More than 60 percent of jobs are not formally posted (Hidden Job Market Source). I was talking to a career advisor from my alma mater when she told me about this. With that being said, have a look at the article or even google “Hidden Job Market”. There’s a lot of tips for networking, informational interviews, and more!
If I learned anything from this whole journey, it’s that community is everything. Front-End, Back-End, DevOps, you name it. I mainly use Twitter because that’s where I’ve found a lot of these communities, but they exist! Reach out to me on Twitter too! I’m going to list a few Twitter communities down below:
You’ve gotta want it, plain and simple. I don’t say that to overwhelm you, but 9 months ago, I was naive. I thought by receiving my degree I could just waltz in to a company and get a job. Sometimes it doesn’t work like that. You’ve gotta put the work in, go through some pain, and overcome that pain. You’ll come out a stronger, more disciplined person who knows what it takes to be great. Try visualization techniques, writing your goals down, and speaking them into existence. With this job, things started changing when I acted like I already had the job. I tidied up my room, wrote my goals down, and visualized them. Of course, you have to back those actions up with pure work. YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Probably THE most important out of everything I’ve discussed. Take care of your body please. Do what you must but please, do not destroy or risk your livelihood like coding for 10 hours straight, no breaks. Get some fresh air, stand up and stretch and come back. You’ll thank yourself later trust me
This was by far the most reflective I’ve ever been in my coding journey. I hope you enjoyed reading and feel motivated to take on what the world and this job market throws at your. As always, have fun with what you do and as I said before: NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.