Being in tech is amazing. Why, you ask? Because of many reasons. Imagine you have a problem. Let’s say you would love to wake up early every morning, and have a routine accompany your mornings so you could be more productive and mindful. You can do two things: write the steps of your routine in a journal, or download an app and follow the “to do list” there.
Now which one sounds more exciting? To me, both work, but I would love to have an app where I can do all of it in as little as 5 minutes. The problem now becomes an exciting project that you start working on. And it can take you as little as 1 day or as long as a week, depending on how much you need out of it.
This is why knowing how to code is exciting! You can solve many problems, create fun apps, games, and much more. The question then, how do I get started?
Look no further.
So you want to learn how to program, but don’t know where to start. There is a plethora of resources, apps, courses, projects, programs, bootcamps etc. Or maybe you would like to attend a university course and go that route. Whichever you choose, there are free options available to you that you should know of, and that can land you your first job / client and give you the ability to create your first app!
Let’s take a look:
Just to name a few! The best choice would be to take a look at what is available and see what interests you: computer science, front end, back end, full-stack, embedded, web3, etc.
There is a lot out there, don’t get lost in all the courses and tutorials from Udemy and Coursera! Focus one one project / site, finish that, and only then move to the next piece. Most importantly, don’t get stuck in tutorial hell!
This is a great place to start: [https://roadmap.sh]
How long to study, and what?
Another popular question among aspiring developers is what course they should take, and how long it would take them. This is all very personal and depends on your current situation, how much time you can put aside each day and what it is you’re looking for. Someone learning how to make simple landing pages would take 1 month tops, while someone who is trying to create a full blown app / SaaS can take a year. Write down what your goals are, and break them down into smaller steps.
Important not to forget to take breaks, take care of your body and mind, drink water, workout, meditate/ journal, etc. Working long hours without breaks will only build your burnout, you want to take it slow and build it up through consistency!
Job vs freelancing?
Now that you have some knowledge on the basics, it is time to think about wether you would like to start out as a junior developer, or would you rather freelance and build your own company? Both paths require work, and it all depends on how much risk you are able to take. The norm is to get a first job in tech, learn the necessary skills on the job, and start a side hustle / business while you are working full time. Depending on your situation, you might like your colleagues and work, or you might work better alone.
Do not forget soft skills!
There is a big misconception that developers mostly work with computers and only have small talk with their colleagues and are all introverted. But what if I told you that most of the work is done in teams, meetings, by talking and discussing issues, ideas, features, bugs. You need to be able to express yourself, communicate, listen and most importantly, have empathy. You are working with human beings, not computers! We will talk more about this next week!
This is a very short introduction to the big world of tech. There is a lot to it than just programming, a lot of roles, routes to go, courses to take, people to meet. There are events, like the WeAreDevelopers World Congress, hackathons, and much more. It’s an exciting world, and although it is hard to get started, there is a big supportive community waiting for you!