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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!

For example, if you are taking a Javascript course, you can start implementing a small JS calculator. Nothing fancy, just something simple where you can practice whatever you learn. Ideally, you could even create a simple portfolio site for yourself (WordPress or a bootstrap template are more than enough) and start putting your projects in there. By doing this, soon you will have a portfolio, of which you will be proud!

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.

Stay tuned!

    • Ruslan Anisimov
      Jun 18, 2018 at 9:49 AM / Reply

      Great article! Thanks for good advices. Seems a lil’ bit obvious,but all genius is simple 🙂

    • Phil
      Jul 1, 2018 at 1:54 PM / Reply

      it was very good thank you very much.

    • Fatemeh
      Jul 2, 2018 at 11:21 AM / Reply

      Thanks that was great!

    • Vasu Moradiya
      Nov 23, 2018 at 7:12 PM / Reply

      Dimitris is a expert and thanks to giving advice about how to begin as programmer

    • Muco
      Jan 5, 2019 at 9:50 PM / Reply

      Thank you i liked your post and this website should you tell me the stack is built on? i mean (kiriakakis.com) thank you for your reponse

    • Sameer Ajmani
      Feb 15, 2019 at 3:32 PM / Reply

      This was amazing I could relate many things through this article being started coding a few months back. I want you too please guide me perfectly and be my teacher, and make me a master.

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