Computer Programmer

Cartoon of a computer programmer in front of a computer

I’m writing this post more for myself and anyone else who might be considering programming as a career. As you guys might have known, I’m learning web development because I think it’s a really cool career that will allow me to go mobile and make a decent income. Imagine pulling in a solid entry level salary living in a third world country…you wouldn’t worry money and bills so often.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about whether to take a bootcamp or not so I can get my career off the ground. There are both advantages and disadvantages of self-teaching but I think it’s a better way to go overall.

Bootcamps will give you exposure to learning in a focused manner in a group environment. You’re free to ask questions and follow a set curriculm with other students. The only problem is that you have to pay a lot of money and also lose out on at least 3 months of making money.

On the flip side, learning coding is a solo journey for at least the first month in my opinion. I’ve decided to stick around at home until March 2017 as a way to save money and develop my skills. I will be missing on the opportunity to meet other travelpreneurs in hotspots like Medellin though.

I was debating whether I should just jump into a 3-month bootcamp and then landing a job so I can start my coding career. After much deliberation, I believe that you can learn just as much on your own and meeting with people in your local area to collaborate.

I made this decision after deciding to pursue Free Code Camp’s Curriculum and talking with some of the admins on there. The end advice was that if you have enough perseverance, you can do it. If you stick with it, it is totally worth it! It will take at least 6 to 9 months to become competent and then continuous learnings after that.

Here are some really good articles that swayed my decision to go the self-study route.

Article: How To Learn To Code For (Almost) Free

Laurence Bradford talks about the code learning culture and cost to entry.

Andrew Charlebois was a carpenter was able to do it in 5 months. He was laid off from his job but worked at it like a new full-time gig and eventually did it. To top it off, he spent $40 bucks on Udemy courses.

Even spending money on monthly subscription courses is still cheaper than a full fledged 4-year degree.

The key is dedicationresilience, and persistence. Where all else fails, consistent practice will take an amateur up to a proficient level. The big tip is to code every day and hang out with other developers.

If there are no groups in your area, you can still start one.

Article: From Carpenter to Front End Developer in under 5 months

Andrew Charlebois talks about his journey to become a front-end web developer.

He treated like this was his new time job and took his time. He advises understanding basic fundamentals since they set up for more advance theory.

He purchased some Udemy courses and read some books. He recommends a free resource called You-Dont-Know-JS series ” to get more understanding of the javascript. On his spare time, he would listen to podcasts.

He noticed a pattern when he was applying for jobs after updating LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed. Certain languages and applications were preferred so he used that to tailor his learning.

He eventually landed a job on his 43rd application out of 78 interviews.

Article: You might not need that $15K coding bootcamp

Per Harald Borgen talks about how bootcamps are not the path for everyone.

By learning on his own and taking part in a peer-to-peer free bootcamp, he was able to learn what he needed and be involved in working with others instead of solo.

With the hefty price tag of between $12k and $18k for a bootcamp, that’s not even considering the lack of income while you’re in the course for 3 months.

Dan Sofer, found at FAC in London, made it clear though: “teaching highly motivated students to code is actually not that hard.” Those who are committed will become proficient regardless.

The 3 questions to ultimately ask yourself is:

1) Is your motivation strong enough?

2) Can you learn stuff on your own?

3) Are you a team player?

Also check out free sources like Founders & Coders or Recurse Center.

Article: How I Became a Web Developer in 5 Months

Per Harald Borgen talks about his broad arc to becoming a web developer.

He applied at multiple bootcamps but finally decided on Founders & Coders. Though it is a free bootcamp, you don’t get the added instructor guidance and purely rely on your peers.

You’ll learn quickly to solve problems on your own and make new friends as you tackle all the projects. He spent about 10 hours a day coding.

Author quotes “Just find an environment you can grow in, and self-discipline will get you as far as any teacher will.”

Article: The hardest part of learning to code is also the funnest part

Corey Slaven talks about his difficult journey on learning to code.

He was a self-taught developer and found out one key fact about the field:

A web developer must always be learning new things.

He says to stick with it if you’re a new developer because it will be worth it.

Not everyone has the patience or technology-saavy personality which is why the field is in such great demand.

There simply isn’t a supply that is growing quick enough in an age where everything is surround by the internet.

Article: IS A CODING BOOTCAMP WORTH IT? 12 QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF

Laurence Bradford writes 12 questions that will guide you towards bootcamps or steer clear of them.

In the end, it’s a matter of personal preference. If having dabbled in coding and want to take a more accelerated rate of learning to code with a community, than bootcamps may be a right path.

If you’re able to learn yourself and disciplined enough, going solo might be best. It’s not to say that you can’t join groups in your local area or anything. Just be prepared to not have anyone to answer questions right away for you.

The 12 questions are as follows:

QUESTION #1: “IS A CODING BOOTCAMP VITAL TO REACHING MY GOALS? ”

QUESTION #2: “HAVE I EXHAUSTED OTHER OPTIONS?”

QUESTION #3: “WILL THE SKILLS/TECHNOLOGIES I LEARN BE IN DEMAND?”

QUESTION #4: “WILL THIS BOOTCAMP TEACH MORE THAN HARD SKILLS?”

QUESTION #5: “AM I FINANCIALLY READY FOR THE INVESTMENT?”

QUESTION #6: “DO I WANT TO MOVE QUICKLY?”

QUESTION #7: “CAN I HANDLE FRUSTRATING AND HIGH-PRESSURE SITUATIONS?”

QUESTION #8: “AM I WILLING TO PRACTICE ON MY OWN TIME?”

QUESTION #9: “DO I DESIRE ONE-ON-ONE HELP/INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION?”

QUESTION #10: “DO I VALUE COMMUNITY?”

QUESTION #11: “DO I WANT INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS?”

QUESTION #12: “AM I REALLY COMMITTED TO THIS?”

Some cool things I’ve seen:

Online Business Idea Generator

Pretty cool site which helps you generate a business idea or consulting idea. Enjoy!

WHY BEING BROKE IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

Let’s face it, there’s never a perfect time to travel. Sometimes you just have to go out there and find opportunities for yourself. Find reasons that you can, not the excuses.

Why Every Entrepreneur Should Have a Bucket List

It’s easy to forget your goals while scraping to build a business! You have to remember why you are doing it in the first place and now is a good a time as any to do your review.