Where do I go from here

Hi everyone.

I am a new Dad (son was born on Dec 13th, 2023) and I’m currently in software sales.

I’ve decided to commit myself to learning how to code in hopes to acquire a skillset that can open up new job opportunities for myself down the road. This my only experience with code so far, and I started about 1 week ago.

So far I have done the first two sets of courses on the responsive web design curriculum. The first two courses (cat photo app and cafe menu) were not easy, but the courses got easier as I completed each one, and I found the rothku painting and nutrition label to be quite easy, and did not rely on any help for those courses. I feel like I am getting the hang of HTML and CSS, but like I mentioned, I have only been doing this for a week.

My question is this: what do I do now? Do I continue the course curriculum until I get a certification? Should I skip the courses and go straight into the project sections of the curriculum? Should I attend meet-ups and network with others? Should I start my own project? If so, how do I start my own project? I currently have a MAC, what do I need to download in order to start my own project? I have VSCode installed on my mac, as well as terminal, is there any recommended videos or links I should view so that I know how to use those apps?

Although I am understanding the problems in the responsive web design courses, I feel like I need some guidance on how to apply those concepts outside of fcc. It felt great creating the nutrition label, but I wouldn’t know how to do that outside of the fcc environment.

Also, I am in 32 years old.

Thank you for your feedback.

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HI @JohnUtley !

Welcome to the forum!

There will be some courses that might seem easier then others.
But don’t be afraid to ask for help.

One of the biggest mistakes that new developers make is thinking that they have to struggle alone for a long time till they figure it out.

That is one of the worst things you can do though.
Start by taking some time to figure it out on your own first.
Google around, read documentation, articles, etc.
If after a while, you can’t figure it out, then reach out for help.

My manager at my last job told me that the biggest mistake junior devs make is waiting to long to ask for help.
They spin their wheels forever instead of reaching out much sooner and pairing with a more senior developer.
If you spin your wheels that long by yourself, then you are starting to cost the company money when you can just ask for help and get the issue resolved sooner and learn in the process.

Practice this habit now, so you are better prepared for your first job. :+1:

Yeah, I would say to continue with the courses in order to build a basic starting foundation for HTML and CSS. Then once you are done with that, move onto the javascript cert.

If by projects, you mean the certification projects, I would suggest doing the course in order with the practice projects and certification projects mixed in.

Yes.

The reality is cold applying for jobs, especially for your first dev job is tough.
If you have someone that can vouch for your skills or recommend you for an interview, then it will be easier then mass applying and hoping to hear back from companies.

Also, networking is about building real connections in this industry.
When done correctly, it should be more then just getting a job.

You can learn a ton from other developers and collaborate with them on a variety of projects and experiences. That will make you a more skilled developer and a more desirable candidate for jobs.

Once you finish the responsive web design curriculum, you can start the JS curriculum and build HTML and CSS projects on the side.

You can start with projects found on frontend mentor.

then you can start building projects based on your own ideas for sites you want to create.

You can start with online editors like codepen and codesandbox when it comes to building out your first few projects.

Then you can move to setting up your own local environment.
To get started you just need to know the basics of VS code like how to create new files and start a local server
There are plenty of great short videos on youtube to teach you those basics.

Then if you want to keep your projects on GitHub, then you will need to learn the basics of Git and Github.

There are plenty of great intro videos and articles on how to get started with that.

As you mentioned, you are still very early on into learning.
With time and practice, you will learn how to build projects on your own.

It sounds like you are on the right track.

Learning how to code and getting a developer job takes a lot of time and work. For most self taught developers it usually takes 1-2 years of learning and applying for jobs before they land something.

There is so much to learn to get ready for your first job.

Focus on building a strong foundation first and practice a ton by building a lot of projects.
Make sure not to rush through any of the learning process because it will create serious holes in your knowledge and you won’t be able to survive your first job.

You want to head into your first gig, with a good starting foundation because there will be tons more to learn once you are on the job. The healthier the starting foundation, the more you will be successful and grow in your career.

hope that helps

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Congratulations on new responsibility and you’ve reminded of myself in 2021.

Which country are you from ?

Do check below answer for similar question which I had answered yesterday

If you wish to be web developer then follow below path

  1. Learn HTML and CSS

  2. Build loads of projects ( refer to Frontend Mentor )

  3. Repeat above steps for JS and React ( or similar framework per JD in your location )

Do note building loads of projects in very very important step and make sure to maintain / update all your projects in your GitHub profile everyday religiously.

3 Likes

Thank you! That is some great information and advice. I appreciate the articles on freecodecamp you have provided. Very helpful, and again thank you.

Thank you, Vikram. I am from the United States!

1 Like