My Journey from a Newbie to Web Developer

My Journey from a Newbie to Web Developer
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#1

I am a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from India. I was in my second-to-last semester of college and up until then I had always thought that I wasn’t cut out to be coder. I thought coding was a skill that people had naturally or they can’t do it all. The present me would scoff at the idea that the younger me had.

I had some acquaintance with computer languages like C and C++ before and took up course on it. But they were too textbook based and had an end goal that I had to pass this exam. The courses never aimed to create a spark of creativity, it was just a course. They fed into my assumption that coding was a chore or a task.

I started #100DaysOfCode and the FreeCodeCamp curriculum hoping I would have something to do while my college finished and I was looking for a job.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. I started from the beginning at FreeCodeCamp, spending 2 hours each day on it in the beginning. Focusing on the smaller aspects of HTML and CSS and then moving up to other aspects made me excited. I had never thought of finding that this could be fun! After finishing my first Responsive Web Design Project - Tribute Page, I was convinced that I liked coding and had the sudden enthusiasm to learn and make it into a career.

The supportive community on Twitter as I updated my progress each day there also helped to uplift me. It made me realise that I wasn’t alone and there were other people learning there with me.

I did a few other things along with FreeCodeCamp curriculum. I would usually have a strict 10-5 period, 7 hours everyday where I would learn. I stopped occasionally when I had my end semester exams and college classes.

Some of the few things I did in the span of 6 months:

  • Completed the Responsive Web Design Curriculum (except 2 projects which I completed a few days back)

  • Almost completed the Javascript Algorithms And Data Structures Curriculum (except half of the Intermediate Algorithms and the projects)

  • These two made me learn the Front End basics and did not allow me to skip forth and just tackle big problems. I had to learn how to tackle the smaller problems first.

  • Completed the ‘MongoDB for Developers’ course from MongoDB University. It was a 4 weeks course which made me familiarize myself with NOSQL Databases and how to implement database in an application.

  • Created an IoT project from scratch for the final year college project along with two other team members. We just had the concept of it and didn’t know how to actually implement it. We would spend days thinking about how to connect Raspberry PI with a Javascript Application that we were creating and how to perform the tasks we wanted. We achieved the objective eventually, and we learned a lot on how to apply the knowledge that we had to create something.

  • Every project I created, I made a repository of it in Github. It helps a lot. The internship I got saw my projects on Github and shortlisted me on the basis of that.

I had come far than before but not quite. I was still looking for a developer job. I got rejected a few times. I also used to freeze up during solving real time whiteboard coding challenges especially when someone was watching me. I was getting better at it though as I no longer looked at the problem on the surface level only, but I actually knew how to begin to solve it. Some of the jobs I rejected, because they didn’t have a position for a developer, only analyst positions etc.

Then finally I got accepted for an internship as a ‘Front End Developer’ for 2 months. My goals were being achieved!

All through my internship, I never stopped learning or stopped asking questions wherever I got stuck. Everything wasn’t easy, some of the simplest tasks I had to do, I got stuck and looked to Stack Overflow for help. But after I got through it, it felt amazing.

After 2 months, they reviewed my performance and promoted me as a full time employee! I have just started learning the backend and to manage it. So far, I’m doing great!

Earlier when I was given a task to do it and see if it possible to implement or not. I would say ‘I am not sure. Let me research it.’ Now I say, ‘I’m sure it would be possible. Let me research about it!’

We usually think that we aren’t good enough for something or we don’t know enough to apply for a job or an internship. But that’s not true. Everything is achievable and if we don’t try, we won’t learn. Learning is a continuous process which does not stop. We just get better!

26 Likes
#2

Congrats.

Can you post your portfolio or github?

#3

Thank you! :slightly_smiling_face:

The link to my Github: https://github.com/shresths

I had made a separate 100-days-of-code repo containing the JavaScript algorithms I solved on a day to day basic.

1 Like
#4

Congratulations!

I really like your practical approach for learning web dev. This is a mistake I’ve been doing, reading too much, focusing on theory, and not really building stuff, and I really neglected interacting with the community because I thought I should be studying 24/7.

What do you do on an average day at work shresths? I’m really interested.
When did you realize you were ready to make the jump to an actual job?

Have a nice day!

1 Like
#5

Thank you for the encouragement! :grin:

Earlier I used to be theoretical about stuff too. But it never stuck, I learnt concepts but soon forgot about it as it wasn’t being used anywhere. Creating stuff, no matter how trivial it is made me brush up on those concepts again and again.

My average day at work is different everyday. It is a startup, so I have to fulfil many different technical roles as it is needed. During my internship, I mainly used to manage building small features for our application and testing the whole application. Now, I manage the front end and the back end too along with other employees. I have also done some SEO and Email designing work too. It is fun and I learn new things every single day!

When I had a grasp on the initial HTML, CSS and Javascript concepts from FCC. And made a online portfolio for my sibling, albeit it was just some template modification. I realised I should start applying. It is now or never. I did get rejected a few times, but I only learned from those experiences. :sweat_smile:

1 Like
#6

That sounds awesome!

I hope I could post something similar by the end of the year.

Best wishes :smiley:

2 Likes
#7

Great post! :slight_smile:
All the best to your career. Web development in JS is awesome.

1 Like
#8

It’s all you can do for now. The learning doesn’t really start until someone gives you requirements and gives you a paycheck when you fulfill those requirements.

If it helps, I’ve been a fan of gritty quotes of perseverance. Especially the Japanese proverb of “fall down six, get up seven”

Keep on coding

3 Likes
#9

Thanks for posting this! I decided to join the 100 days of code challenge because of this. I am a bit past a newbie at this point but plenty of ways to go. About to complete the Responsive Web Design Certification here at Freecodecamp but i also follow tutorials on youtube and read code to get better ideas. Thanks for some new inspiration for the day!

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#10

I’m sure you will! Good luck and best wishes on your journey too! :grinning:

#11

Yes! We all fail but then we get back up stronger than ever. :slightly_smiling_face:

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#12

I’m glad that this post was helpful to you. :grin:

100DaysofCode challenge really helps build up a habit to code daily. Once it does, it becomes hard to miss a day. I found it fun and supportive too! And interacting with the community and lifting each other up in our journey is one of the best things that keeps us motivated.

4 Likes
#13

It’s really nice and encouraging to read how you’ve changed your mind regarding programming but specially about your own skills during this whole process. I’ve just started at FreeCodeCamp and I hope to improve as much as you and get to feel that confident as well. Thanks for sharing this!

2 Likes
#14

Congratulations.
Thank you for such a motivational post. Now I will try hard to learn. I have problem that I am not consistent. I have been motivated by your post.:heart:
(Can I contact you. I have some problems, I want to ask)

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#15

@TamiBerrocal I am sure you’ll grow and improve as well. Good luck! :slightly_smiling_face:

@shami Thank you. Yes, you can message me. I will try my best to help!

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#16

Wow, congrats on your new job.

If you don’t mind telling, where did you start applying for developer jobs?

I too am a CS grad (2016 passout) but still looking for a job. I worked for a brief while at TCS but didn’t like the tech support work and quit. I then completed the FCC front-end certification a few months back, applied to a couple startups but didn’t get any reply. So that too has just been a dead end.

So please, if you could give me any tips or suggestions regarding how a person like me (zero experience, ~3 year career gap) could get their foot in the door of software development, I’d be really really thankful to you.

Good day and keep coding :slight_smile:

1 Like
#17

Thanks!

I didn’t have any experience beforehand, so I started applying for internships too. As I’m from India, I applied on job sites like Internshala, CoCubes and AMCAT as they are specifically for people who don’t have any experience.

If you have zero experience, then I would suggest you can apply for internships too. They sometimes take you as a full time employee if your reviews are good.

Also, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t get any reply from companies. Don’t let it stop you! I had to apply for more 20-25 companies, out of it I got 7-8 interviews from it, then I got my current job.

Best of luck on your journey. :slightly_smiling_face:

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#18

Thanks a ton for your reply Shruti. Really makes sense.

Keep smiling and keep coding :slight_smile:

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#19

Hats off to you @shresths can you share some of your case studies/portfolios here? Thanks!