Before I started to code I used to travel a bit and before that I studied at University of Economics in Ukraine. Though I took a course of higher mathematics while studying my background is not really technical. That is why I’m often being asked about how I managed to switch from economics to front end. Other popular questions are where to start learning programming, how difficult is it, and how to understand if coding is actually right thing for you.
Is programming for me?
Well, you never know if something is a right thing for you unless you try it. In my opinion if you already hesitating whether yes or no — don’t lose your time, try it!!!
If you like quizzes or can spend a lot of time puzzling over different tasks (or used to do it in childhood) or if you tend to have what is called mathematical thinking than it is more likely that you will like to write code.
As well it looks like introverts are more likely to become programmers and spend whole days in front of computer, but of course it doesn’t mean that there is no extraverted programmers or that you shouldn’t try if you’re the one.
Is it difficult?
Well, it depends who you are, what you’re doing now in your life, what you expect and what you like.
Where to start?
Luckily, there is a plenty of online courses on the internet nowadays. A lot of them are completely or partially free. So you don’t have to walk somewhere very far, you should try it right now! Just google for it or if you don’t know how check this link.
Some of courses are really well done! They are interactive and are specially designed to involve you step by step into coding world. To my mind it is good way to check what programming is and try yourself. But be careful! A lot of courses are quite basic, so don’t put a crown on your head after finishing couple of them.
There’s also plenty of great books from which you can learn a lot. So hook up some as soon as you tried yourself online and liked it.
Offline courses and bootcamps
If you feel like that’s not enough for you to be confident with theoretical basics — try to find some proper offline courses or bootcamps in your city. Possibility to address your questions to a real person as well learning side by side with people with same level of coding skills will definitely be very helpful. Not only you will see someone alive who reached advanced level in programming and survived but probably you will also see that you are not the most stupid person in the world because other students will also have questions and have some difficulties.
But what if you’re 18 or around it? Or if you don’t have any university degree yet or may be you feel like you want to be a student again? Than of course the best option is university. It is definitely worth to get all the basics of the profession there and some employers expect you to have at least bachelors degree in computer science related field. So getting a degree is of course handy, though will take some more time than other possible options.
So you have got some practice, you’re familiar with theory. Now you need to have more practice!
At this point you have reached a new challenge — where and how to get practice and projects for your portfolio.
First real project
Your mother or sister or friend have their small business or yet just dream about it? Go ahead a make a website for them. Not your case? Make an app of your dream or just some that will make someone’s life easier. Don’t have your own ideas? Find someone who have ideas but don’t have coding skills and make a deal.
There is plenty of open source projects you can make your commitment to. I personally haven’t done it yet, but I’ve heard that it is helpful for upgrading your skills and a good point for resume if you have such an experience.
Want to get your hands dirty with real projects in a real team? It’s time to apply for internship/junior-developer positions. To get to this step you should already have some experience which you can get trough previous steps. Don’t forget to mention all your achievements in the resume.
Good luck with your coding adventures!