How to start a programming career
Hello people! After some busy times I am back in my blog. The last 2 years that I have been kinda successful in my job, I have been asked many times for advice on how to start a coding career. So here are some of the tips that I would give you!
Of course they are based on my personal experience, that I gained through my own coding journey.
1. Make your choice!
First of all, decide what you want to do! Working on all sorts of projects is nice, but when you are starting a coding career, I believe it’s better to get specialised in something. This could be a backend language or a frontend framework. But make your choice and do not try to learn everything at once. Becoming a trustworthy fullstack developer is awesome, but it takes time.
Neither clients nor companies will trust you, if you pretend that you are a master of all trades out of nowhere. Huge CVs that contain several programming languages and claims of expertise in all kinds of programming fields are the first ones that would be rejected from a company, unless this expertise is proven by professional experience.
2. Start building stuff!
Do you want to learn your first programming language? There are many nice websites out there, where you can buy a course for a relatively cheap price. I am mostly using safaribooksonline.com for e-books and udemy.com for video courses. My only advice when you are taking courses.. The learning process shouldn’t stop on the theoretical part! When you are done learning something, please practice it as much as you can! Create repos with them and put them on your GitHub profile!
3. Choose your career path!
Another thing that you should choose upfront in my opinion, should be the career path that you want to follow. I mean either the freelancing path or the employee’s path.
Freelancing has some nice perks, you can be the boss of yourself and work from wherever you want, but you should keep in mind that dealing with clients and implementing solo projects brings a ton of responsibility. Also don’t forget the taxation/logistics/insurance thingies that you have to deal with, on your own. In any case some sites that can help you acquire clients as a freelancer are upwork.com and freelancer.com .
So what should I do?
In my opinion, when you start a coding career it’s better to start as an employee. Being a member of a development team (given its a modern/agile company) can bring you plenty of knowledge that you wouldn’t acquire elsewhere. Pair programming with experienced developers and code reviews can boost your skills and help you in avoiding mistakes that you would do and you wouldn’t notice as a beginner, if you were on your own.
Don’t forget that in some countries you can be an employee and a freelancer in the same time. So you can start as an employee, increase your fame and when you begin feeling comfortable with your code, switch to freelancing or do both.
So that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed reading, in a following article I will try to write down some advice regarding coding interviews from my personal experience.