I finally get to make a “I got a job post”! So, for what it’s worth, here was my path.
I was a high school teacher for 6 years teaching classes ranging from Bible and leadership to math, science, and computers. My wife and I wanted to start family and I had been thinking about changing careers for about a year. So finally after finding FreeCodeCamp, I dug in to begin learning.
I started on Jan 1, 2018, a New Year’s Resolution… but kept sticking with it. On Feb 21, I started 100 Days of Code, which you should totally do! It poetically ended on my last day of teaching.
During that time, I worked mainly on FreeCodeCamp, but also on MDN Web Development Tutorials.
By this point, my wife was pregnant, we moved cities to be closer to her parents, and I was no longer teaching full time. It is also this point that I realized how lucky we were to be able to stop working for a bit, to just focus on learning. I treated this time like going to school, but I paid for tuition with coffee, parking, and rent.
Right after we moved, I signed up on meetup.com and started going to as many meetups as I could: Tech Tuesday, Web Devs, Game Dev Coffee, Cyber-security, Python, Elm, and a Golang book club. So for the next couple of months, that was my full time job: to go to meetups, continue FCC and other tutorials, and apply for jobs.
I really thought things would work out faster… but I was still getting ghosted by employers. I met lots of people who thought I should be hired, but none of them were hiring.
My son was born on Oct 19, so my Github history dried up for a few weeks. In fact, I thought I might actually get a job in the next few weeks by someone I met right after we moved in June! (That never panned out… but they got some free work?)
But, in November, I volunteered to do my first real website for someone! There was going to be an open source festival in just under a month and they needed someone to do a website, so I volunteered! I had recently found syntax.fm, an awesome web dev podcast, and they kept going on about how great Gatsby is, so I said I’d do the website and would build it in Gatsby!
For the first time, I felt like I kind of knew what to do and how to make something! All in all, the site was a little ugly, but nobody else knew how to build a gatsby site or didn’t want to volunteer At the end of it, I had a site under my belt and a little money (very little…) to show for it.
I felt confident enough to start building things and actually got a few clients (one that I need to finish up with this week!) That site helped me meet people to build another site which came with a bunch of code review and mentoring! Which then got me an introduction to a CEO of a software startup agency in town and another company from Silicon Valley. Long story short, after lots of interviews, they both gave me offers!
I’m just finishing up my first week as a full-time developer, and I have 2 massive monitors to prove it!
So, my timeline is 16 months after I made my commitment and 11 months after quitting my job, along with 45 resumes, 5 callbacks, 4 interviews, 4 second interviews, 3 code challenges, 2 offers, and 1 job. We were EXTREMELY fortunate to be able to make the switch like this!
TLDR; Go to meetups! Volunteer to work on projects that are over your head! The people on my journey were so happy to work with me, help me, teach me, and encourage me! So many people I met came from non-traditional backgrounds and wanted to help someone out who works earnestly and hard.
Good luck putting yourselves out there!!