What's the best advice you'd give to someone who is new to this in 2022?

I’ve been in the same industry for 6 years. Although the idea of a career change is exciting and I think much needed. I’m overwhelemed by how little I know. Everything is new and I’m a bit lost. I’ve read online both that I should try and focus on niches so I shouldnt complete the entire curriculum and that I should complete all the courses. For someone with very little knowledge, it’s confusing. My intial plan was to complete all the courses by the end of the year and start apply for jobs. Is that a good game plan?

Honestly, you should always feel this way, when looking forward.
There’s always something we could, and should learn, no matter the field you are in. So the fact that you realise you have lots to learn is a good thing: means you are moving in the right direction :slight_smile:

The full curriculum is for people who wants to become “web developer”, so for people who are interested in working with web technologies.
If your goal is to be something different, (for example a mobile developer) then the full curriculum is not 100% for you.

As a high level overview I would say that, no matter what programming field you want to get into you need a solid base on general programming principles.
You will get those in the JS curriculum section.

Regardless of your path, and what you will choose moving forward my best advice is be consistent.

One day you will look back at your journey and realise how far you have gone.

Be consistent.
Be patient.

Good luck and happy coding :sparkles:

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err… isn’t that like the best feeling ever for a newbie? I am here too. this very boat. And trust me, you can turn your confusion and worries to a fuel to continue driving up this very “crazy, challenging but interesting and satisfying” path to being the greatest developer/engineer in this world.

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The best plan is a flexible plan. If there is anything you should plan with development, you should plan for the unexpected.

It’s possible to take longer depending on a whole number of factors. If you have a hard deadline, then you’ll need to structure your learning around specific hard dates to keep track of your overall progress.

The last thing you want is to reach your “end-date” without being anywhere near where you need to be.

This is a feeling you will have, and always have. It doesn’t necessarily go away, technically it gets way worse before it gets better. (see Valley of Despair)

When starting out you’ll learn more about things you don’t know, and will find more and more stuff you won’t be good at. That’s OK, it’s actually expected. It’s also where loads of people give and “flee” because it becomes too overwhelming.

Those that stick around usually accept that “giant void of knowledge that is too big to ever learn”. As knowledge of “the giant void” gives them perspective on what they do and don’t know, which can guide them to find the right answers, to the right questions.

Stick with some “shorter-term” smaller goals, and figure those out and “build up” to larger more complex goals. For example, learning the basics of HTML, and CSS can be used to help learn JavaScript, to do some “dynamic stuff”, then you build up to using more coding, and later React and beyond.

The goal isn’t to “learn all the things” and meet some “standard” that will get you a job, rather it’s to learn something to learn the next thing and that’s it. There’s always “another thing to learn”, the key is to realize what’s “next” and set yourself up to build up to your overall goal.

Some call it a “marathon”, but I dislike that notion as a marathon has an end. Instead I like to call the overall experience a journey without a destination where every step is part of it and a “goal” in itself.

There isn’t just “one path” either, there can be many routes to your overall goal. Just as there are many paths, there are also plenty of traps, or “detours” that might make you “late” to your overall goal/destination in the given time-frame. Be sure to take this into account and to keep track throughout your journey of how you are on time.

Finally, if you noticed I didn’t point out many specifics about what you should or shouldn’t do. Because again, there are many ways to “do this”. Furthermore, the answers for 2022 are essentially the same as they have been for the last few years, and the same as they would be for a few years beyond.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building, keep growing. :+1:

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HI @UmI !

freeCodeCamp currently has 11 certifications.
That covers full stack javascript (MongoDB, Express, React, Node), relational databases(SQL, postgres, bash scripting, etc) and Python (Data Science)

They are also adding more courses over the next few years.

IMO, you don’t need to do all of that to get ready for entry level job.

Here is what I did to switch from a career in music to software developer

  • completed the first 3 certifications.
  • did the challenges from the backend cert
  • built my own projects outside of a class
  • did some freelance contract work for a year which mainly focused on React, node and express
  • spent a lot of time getting involved in the tech community and building a developer network
  • studied up on how to write resumes, cover letters and how to prepare for technical interviews.
  • contributed to open source projects

All of that led me to my first developer job. That all happened in the span of a year and a half.

I can relate to that.
Prior to software, I spent my whole life in music.
I had spent almost 2 decades learning my instrument and performing around the world.
Going from confidently knowing one area to starting over in another area was scary.
But I just try to take it day by day and remember that this is just a season.
With more years of experience, I will become more senior as a developer and more comfortable in this industry when it comes to my skills and confidence.

But I am really glad I made that change. :slight_smile:

Hope that helps!

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The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.

Development is a technical field of study, it might not be brain surgery or rocket science, but if you look at the deep end of the pool it’s getting pretty close. Sometimes you read a piece of code and your brain just melts.

You just have to accept that it won’t ever be perfect clarity and being confused is just an occupational hazard.

In the beginning, it’s all just gobbledygook. Then right when you think you finally get it…

ReferenceError
TypeError
SyntaxError
Method not found on null or undefined
[Object object]
Error brain not found
Error lol at code you wrote, and you call me stupid

…wow rude computer, just rude. :sob:

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Hi @UmI , first of all congratulations for wanting to have a career change. It takes a lot of courage to consider leaving the comfort zone for a new beginning.
Many people lack this courage and you should be proud :slight_smile:

About that overwhelming feeling of “how little you know”, I would like to tell you that it’s normal. In a field that is constantly evolving, also senior developers get to experience that :wink:
I think that a good way to cope with it is to write down a roadmap for yourself, with all the topics you want to learn. When you complete something, scratch it from the roadmap (or put a tick near it). After few months or a year, go back to look at that same roadmap again and you’ll have a clear view of your technical growth :slight_smile:

Regarding employability, depending on where you live it could be possible to find more or less companies that look for people with less than one year of development. Internships or apprenticeships are usually good career starting points.
The path you want to specialize in is up to you. Assuming you want to be a web developer (the focus of fCC curriculum), you can be a frontend, a backend or a fullstack (both) developer. It’s worth saying that companies are looking more for fullstack developers these days.

Having said that, there are some basics that are absolutely necessary.

The main one is the knowledge of how to use a version control system like Git and the platforms based on it (GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, etc.).
I can’t stress enough how important it is to learn it and being confident in using it.
If you haven’t done it yet, I would set up a GitHub profile where you can save the code of your projects.
This is also important because if you are applying for a development job, it will be practically expected that you have an account with projects to show (it should be on your CV too, btw).

Another important thing, when you are going to build some project, I would stay away from the classic “to do list” or “facebook clone”.
Yes, those are good for learning, but you can find thousands of tutorials online on how to do it.
So, from the point of view of the technical recruiter, not only it is boring (because everyone showcase the same projected), but it also becomes hard to identify where does your work start and where does the “following the tutorial” end.
My advice here is to build a project that is closer to you, with the tools and methodologies you have learnt.
You like watching movies or TV series with friends and families? Build a simple application to manage the movies you watched.
You like to cook? Build an application that acts as a digital personal recipe book.

You can (and should) expand these projects with time.
Using the “movie application” as an example, you could expand it to have different users, all connected to a single movie. You could add a comment section or you could integrate calls to public API that serve movie data.
The main point is to have a project that evolves with time.

Also, if you don’t do it yet, get into the habit of committing your working changes often with commit messages that clearly state the change.
This will give you a way to go back step by step if something in your app breaks.
It also helps the recruiter to see there is a work methodology behind your projects (I recently reviewed two projects in GitHub as part of a job application and in both cases the repo had only 1 commit with all the code of the app. It wasn’t a nice feeling).

I hope that this practical advice helps a little :slight_smile:

Best of luck with your path to the new career!

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The best advice I could give would be to develop a habit of coding your own projects and/or working through the freecodecamp curriculum.

I wouldn’t recommend doing the course for a year and then applying for jobs. I would recommend completing a subset of the course for 9-12 months, and work towards developing your resume and a small portfolio of modern web applications that are made with your target technologies.

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I agree well said…
Thanks

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Very well said, yes there are many ways to skin this cat or would it be proper to say,‘Skin this Camp.’
EVERYONE has & will have during their journey…Lots of fantastic advice, for me: "I Love Omelets ’

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That does make me feel a lot better. I do see how I’ve only looked at it one way and haven’t considered outside factors as well as it being an ongoing learning process. Will definitely take all of this into account and look back at it when I feel the same way in the future.

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That’s so relieving to know its normal. Being part of this community does help a lot. I feel like im getting guidance from all of you. Just knowing how you’ve gone through the transition give me an idea of how to go at this. I know everyones journey is diffent but its nice to know. I’ll do a few courses as you had advice and work on projects and everything else you had mentioned. Thank you soo much.

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Hello @simonebogni Makes a lot of sense. Very informative and things I hadn’t known before. I’ve yet to set a GitHub profile but will do so and follow the other advice you’ve given. I do feel less overwhelmed by the change.

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Great advice, great humor! Nice to know I’m not alone.

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You are definitely not alone.

With time the struggle actually becomes part of the enjoyment, it’s like a love/hate relationship. You take a little lip, you curse at the monitor, you fix your code, you kiss and make up. I think most developers like the struggle on some level, we are gluttons for punishment.

I guess if it was easy, it just wouldn’t be fun.

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This summed what am experiencing up. The feeling that comes with doing something magical :relaxed: is nice.