My Coding Journey

Well, not that anyone will read this, but if you do, welcome aboard!

I’m starting this blog to talk about my journey from coding newbie to professional coder, i.e. where I’m making a living doing this. I’m not sure if I’ll be working full-time with a company where I go in to the office, working remotely for a company, or maybe even freelancing where I can support my family just doing jobs on my own.

My adventure started a few months ago, when I got laid off of my job as IT project manager. I immediately started looking for a new PM position, but I quickly found out that it was harder than it looked. Sure, plenty of jobs for application/SDLC project managers, but infrastructure? where I had most of my experience? Not so much.

Nevertheless, I scoured the job sites, contacted everyone I knew, talked with some recruiters, and generally put myself out there for anything that I might be qualified for. Well, after 100+ applications, I have a grand total of 2 in-person interviews.

Let’s back up a bit. Before I even got to this point, I decided that although an IT PM job would start me back on the track to paying bills, it’s not what I wanted to do with the rest of my career. I always wanted to code, or at least learn to code. I’ve been a geek my whole life, hacking games on my Commodore 64 and generally just loving what I could do “behind the scenes” with computers.

So I looked and found a few sites that would teach you coding and lead you to getting a job as a (junior) web developer. Some of the sites aren’t cheap, like GA. Some are reasonable, like SkillCrush. Some are free, like freeCodeCamp and CodeAcademy. I tried the paid version at first, but being unemployed, the cost just couldn’t be justified. It is more work and more “on your own” with the free courses, but that’s all I could do.

So right now I’m going through freeCodeCamp (fCC). I’m just getting to the Javascript part, but I wanted to take a break before moving forward. I am also working on a free CodeAcademy class to learn HTML and CSS. It’s good, but not one I want to focus all my time on right now.

On Udemy, I found an awesome course taught by Colt Steele called The Web Development Bootcamp. It’s pretty hands-on with lots of coding exercises, and there is pretty good support through the Udemy course page. I plan on continuing through this course probably until the end before picking up fCC again.

Well, I’ve rambled as usual and I’ll leave it here for this blog entry. If anyone leaves comments, I will reply and give you any advice, or take some as the case may be.