Learning to code and getting hired in 2022!

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

6 min read
Learning to code and getting hired in 2022!

Hello 👋 and thanks for checking out my post on why I think learning to code is a fantastic option for 2022 and how I would go about learning code to getting hired with what I know today.

With a brand new year upon us and the enthusiasm for making big changes in our lives is at its highest, now has never been a better time to learn to code and make that transition into a rewarding career in tech. In fact, alongside starting this blog and creating content around the topics in tech I love, one of my big goals this year is to learn something new in the industry each month. I will talk more about that in a future post, so sign up for my newsletter if you are interested in my learning journey this year.

Why should you learn to code

This is a great question and one that I feel you must really answer for yourself, every developer has their own reasons for why they love their job.

For me personally, I love how learning code helped turn my life around by giving me the financial freedom to work from home on meaningful and challenging projects while being able to spend time with my family.

But what does that mean? There are quite a few reasons in there, right? So let's break them down:

  • 💰 Lucrative - You can earn a great living for a skill anyone can learn without the need for a degree or years of training. Depending on location it's pretty common to have a six-figure salary.

  • 🏠 Remote & Flexible Working - The ability to work from home or a location of your choice. With the encouragement of the pandemic, more and more are opting for either semi or fully remote teams, often with the ability to choose your own hours.

  • 🛡️ Future Proof - The development industry is expanding at an incredible rate. There aren't many things we do on a daily basis that hasn't required a programmer. If you stay relevant and adapt with the industry, you'll have a long career.

  • 🧠 Challenging - Your role as a developer will provide you with all the creative and cognitive challenges you desire. Providing plenty of opportunities to grow as a person and to help ensure no two days are ever the same.

  • 🏆 Meaningful Work - Quite often you will be working on projects that will serve thousands if not millions of people either directly or indirectly. Select the right company to work for and you could be positively impacting the lives of people all around the world.

  • 💼 Entrepreneurial - Some learn to code to build their own products and apps or event to start a freelance/consultancy business. If this is a route you are interested in check out this awesome freelancing course.

These are just a few reasons I think being a developer is appealing. If you are already a developer drop me a comment, I would love to hear your reasons.

If you are new to development and need more reasons or more information on what a developer is/does, be sure to check out this highly detailed article by one of the devs I am privileged to work with.

I'm too Old/Young/Uneducated!

I'm gonna go ahead and call that one absolute rubbish. The team of developers I work with are all self-taught, not one of us has a degree (at least in computer science). Two of us learnt to code in our 30's from very different backgrounds and I know of a few that have transitioned much later in life.

The one thing I have come to appreciate is that the different background, ages and education/experience makes for a very diverse team that can utilise that variation in knowledge to overcome challenges in unique ways.

Still not convinced? Check out this poll:

and this tweet:

At the end of the day as long as you have the motivation and drive to learn and persevere when things get tough, you have what it takes to become a developer.

What should you learn first

Okay, so now that we have established learning to code is a great career choice for you and that you are totally capable, let's take a look at where to start and what to learn first.

This really comes down to the type of developer you want to be. For a breakdown of the most common types check out these career paths. If you are fortunate enough to have a membership to the academy, following your chosen path would be a great way to get into the industry and level up along the way.

However, would you be surprised to know there are plenty of high-quality free resources online you can learn from if you know where to find them and how to organise them. Fortunately, this post does just that: Learn to code for free, get hired in 5 months, and have fun along the way

How should you go about learning

Learning a new skill can be difficult, it can be overwhelming. There will be times when you question your ability. It will feel like everyone around you picked it up and you are struggling. Just know that everyone not only went through that phase but likely still does from time to time. So my advice would be:

  • NEVER compare yourself to others, no two journeys are ever the same.

  • Take your time, just because an article/course/friend tells you it can be done in X months, doesn't mean you have to. You are far more likely to absorb the knowledge without burning out if you do so at your own pace.

  • Learn a topic, build a project, repeat. I see too many people fall into "Tutorial Hell", where one more course/tutorial will provide them with the knowledge/confidence to start working on their own projects. ⚠ Spoiler Alert: You will never feel ready! So learn a topic and build a mini project to practice and consolidate the new skills you have just learnt.

  • Concentrate on one skill at a time, but don't obsess. You do not need to know every HTML tag or know Javascript inside out. Truth is, in all the years I have been creating HTML sites, I'd happily bet I have used around half of them at most. I'm still learning new things about CSS and Javascript too. There will be occasions when you ask your senior devs a question that they will have to Google and even humbling occasions where you will teach them something. At the core, we are just professional Googlers with an apt for solving problems.

Did I miss any tips? Let me know in the comments.

Learning resources

Did I miss any awesome resources? Let me know in the comments and I will be sure to add it to the list.

Wow, you made it! I do hope you enjoyed my first post and found it helpful. If you did please do share it and join the newsletter to be notified of my future content, I have lots of exciting stuff planned.

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