I’m going to try and be concise but effective with this.
23 Years Old
No College Degree
Couldn’t afford school (No Debt Policy / DOE Won’t lend to us anyway)
Strong Technical Affinity
Sometimes Impatient with Computers
Dabbled with C++ at 13, Java at 17
What I do now: Web Developer - I am building a node project to dynamically serve product pages with a top of the line designer giving me some pretty challenging CSS tasks. We also have an Angular 2 project going on with some prospect.io stuff for leads and marketing.
I had been studying for something like five to eight months. I was a salesperson without a degree that woke up a little after our Director of Sales said we may not be relevant anymore after the year 2020. He suggested Udacity’s nano degree program. Needless to say the fact that a Director at a Fortune 10 company suggested something piqued my interest.
I used indeed to look at the skills in the area that were e needed to become a front end developer.
The skills I came up with:
Angular or React
After about 8 or 9 projects on my website, I quit my job and applied applied applied and reached out to recruiter after recruiter. I made my Linkedin look as impressive as possible and prayed – a lot.
After scouring Craigs List on a gut feeling, I landed a 3-month contract to hire at a home automation start-up.
Tips, Tricks, and Advice:
Recruiters are your friend but will be very skeptical that you actually know what you are doing. You need to convince them otherwise.
You don’t have jack if you don’t have a portfolio
Looks sell. Most recruiters wouldn’t talk to me until I made my site very cosmopolitan and designer worthy even though I didn’t claim to do that
Linkedin is very important and making your profile “All Star” should be a top priority. Most of my leads came from here.
Ignore Indian recruiters. They often times spam submit your resume which will render you ineligible to be interviewed wherever they submitted it for a whole year.
-Find a mentor if you can
- BUILD BUILD BUILD BUILD The more you have in your portfolio, the more likely you’ll have a job soon.
-Do not list skills on you portfolio
Resume should be cosmopolitan and designer worthy too; Avoid adding retail experience if your goal is programming
Do not half-ass learning. You will need to be proficient. There will be more time, however, to learn on the job.
Anybody can code. My sister took a coding class at Arizona State for her Journalism Major and is loving it. She’s not a logical person at all. She’s social.
-Your ability to code well, whatever that means to you, is directly related to how much time you spend doing it
Learning and not having a life may suck, but your life will probably suck more if you don’t stay motivated and learn. After all, you’re here for a reason.
Try not to overthink a solution and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I use stack overflow at work and Reddit a fair amount and my boss is totally okay with that.
You will get frustrated many times but it will be worth it when you change careers
Do something for free. You won’t think of the lost money when you transition into 9-5 with good pay and benefits.
Go to a Church, Temple, Mosque whatever. (Church was hugely important for networking and had many leads from there too; Maybe even over linkedin from the people I have met there)
Interview well. If you’re likeable and kind of still suck at coding you’re more likely to get a shot than someone who isn’t very nice and is pretty good at coding.
Don’t be afraid to act in humilty and ask for help finding a job. There was someone very kind who decided to help me and I’m not sure where I would have gotten without his encouragement. At times I stuggled with all of this emotionally (and technically).
Udacity - Least favorite for learning - very cool projects
FCC Forum (Thank you!)
Tyler McGinnis (or something like that) does a great video on React, so does egghead.io
CSS is best learned and tweaked in Dev Tools first
Always use JSON tree for viewing JSON
Copying code will almost always trip you up (YMMV)
Try to use a plugin or library if one exists. Make sure someone updated it recently and has updated it several times in the past
You will run into things at work even that are difficult and need time to find a solution.
There will be plenty of google when you find a job
I’m not sure what I’m missing. Ask me anything and I’ll find time to respond.
P.S. I’m highlighting the fact I’m in Chicago because I feel like there are few american cases here and everything changes based off of locaton.