by Seth Alexander

A Recap from the freeCodeCamp Nashville Meetup

At a recent freeCodeCamp meetup, a small group of campers got together to solve some coding challenges and we talk shop.

Leland brought up the scope of the projects. How it’s easy to go off on tangents and hours later be so far away from what you initially started working on.

We shared some tips on how to stay focused and keep within the scope of the project. A lot of the time we’ll learn things after we complete a project that makes it even easier to implement what we truly wanted to do. So sometimes it’s more frustrating to succeed in going the extra mile by trudging through the dirt only to realize that you didn’t know about the free shuttle that could’ve gotten you there much quicker and easier.

We put our heads together and helped Andy with a checkbox problem he was having. We were calling checked (MDN) to return true or false, and it was throwing an error complaining about not being able to be called on null.

We discussed the job landscape at length. Phillip is on the prowl but doesn’t have the 1–3 years professional experience it seems like all Jr. Developer roles are looking for these days. Which we all agreed is a Catch-22 that just doesn’t make sense.

Networking is a big key to getting the first job in this industry it seems. Having a Sr. Developer who can vouch for your skills is typically needed for a company to take the leap and risk it. We discussed HackerRank as well as the usefulness of some recruiters to open doors when the resume is lacking.

We found out about CHINGU from Matt. This is an interesting project that looks to throw people who are self learning web development into cohorts of like minded people to level themselves up in a quicker fashion.

I was able to find the “Welcome” doc they send to new cohorts and it’s an interesting framework. I’d be interested to see how one actually is executed but don’t think I want to take part in one now. I have enough going on. It’s a solid option for others though to look at how they can speed up their progress.

I shared some of the resources that we came into contact with this weekend with Music City Code. Technologist Federation of Nashville aka TechFed, has an awesome thing going on. I encourage everyone to sign up with them on their site.

If you’re looking to get more involved with the Nashville tech scene then volunteer at tech events. The networking is invaluable. Also, the Complete Developer Podcast are a couple cool dudes. They run a weekly podcast as well as a bi-monthly (that means twice a month right?) developer meetup. Subscribe and go check out their meetup.

We’re looking forward to bigger things for freeCodeCamp Nashville. We’ve got a bigger meeting space in the works. Also, some possible sponsorships that’ll allow us to do more and maintain a small budget. We received a lot of positive feedback from Music City Code attendees who stopped by the table. We also found out that Nashville Software School shares freeCodeCamp as a resource for people wanting to learn more about coding.

Finally, a huge congrats to our very own organizer Dave who landed his first dev gig this weekend! Yet another one showing the people can make the transition to web development without a CS degree and without attending a bootcamp. Persistence and hard work do pay off.

You can read more about my coding journey on my blog.