Hi all. I 've been self teaching some web dev skills throguh FCC while I’m serving in the military. I guess free code camp teaches some basic skills that I need to become a software developler. I am pretty sure that recruiter would expect more than basic skills covered in FCC like JS,React,html, and etc. For instance, they would ask us to pass coding challenge, and they would expect us to know how to use Git. I’ll definitetly stick to fcc curriculum, but I just feel like it’s not enough. Do you guys have any idea on what other sets of hard&soft skills that’s not covered in fcc curriculum would be required? Thanks in advance!
Yeah, your assessment is pretty good.
Hard skills? Yeah, git. There’s also just the thing of building a full app - doing a cookie-cutter project is not the same thing. I think conceiving, designing, architecting, building, testing, deploying, maintaining an app - that’s another thing. Projects like the ones you do on FCC are great, but the recruiter has seen thousands of exercise trackers at this point. After I finished the FCC curriculum, I created my own projects. Those were the ones that the recruiters seemed most interested in. That is a different skill set.
I would say working on someone else’s project is important too. Maybe team up with some other people, maybe contribute to open source.
Learning the basics of agile/scrum/kanban is good. You can’t get experience with them until you do them, but you can at least be familiar with the concepts.
Soft skills? To be honest, if you’re in the military, you probably have some of them. Discipline? Focus? Following instructions? Communication? These are all important.
I think being able to find information and being able to read for understanding is slowly dying. I’m amazed at the number of junior devs that can’t find basic information. They ask me questions that they could figure out more quickly with google. Or I point them to the explanation on how to use a particular function in the documentation and they still can’t figure it out. I have to read the sentence out loud to them and then they understand - they don’t know how to sit down and focus and read a three paragraph explanation and get what they need from it. I think the gamification of dev education doesn’t help - it just plays into this weakness - but that’s a pet peeve of mine. I would say get used to reading docs. For example, when I started my first job and they were using jest for testing, every night I would read a few pages in the documentation. Within a month, I was the main go-to guy for unit testing. Read the React docs, redux, every library you use. You’ll forget a lot, but you’ll remember some and you’ll have an inkling of what is possible.
<OldManRant>But truly, I find it stunning how a lot of the younger developers don’t seem to be able to read, listen, or express simple concepts. I blame it on a lack of reading.
Another, often overlooked soft skill is interviewing. Practice interviewing. There was a meetup near my house where we would spend time doing an algorithm and then pair off and mock interview each other. Practice answering common interview questions - out loud, in front of a mirror. And in an interview, one of your goals is to sound like someone that would be fun to work with - focused, a good listener, well spoken, sense of humor, etc. Be the kind of person you would want to have in the cubicle next to you, be the kind of person with whom you would want to pair up on a project.
And I once wrote up a doc on my thoughts on getting that first job - there is some overlap.