Start Learning, Damnit!
This featured image is a screenshot of my first real success story: working with someone to get a job as a Software Developer, which happened a few days before this post. Three months.
To learn more about Better Developer, see the about page here. I’m changing this site as it’s live so a lot of things are broken, but I’m gettin’ to it!
GO GO GO
Start by programming as soon as possible. There are resources out there that allow you to start programming right from your browser, see the image below.
The discipline within the field of Computer Science that’s high in demand and most applicable to people without degrees or a relevant background are web developers. As you learn, try to dig a little deeper into the skills and responsibilities usually held by web developers. It’d be useful to even look into the overall lifestyle that being a web developer can provide. Don’t think that you NEED to cover these points with depth. I’d recommend it as something to do if you need a break from your learning or want to learn more, etc…
DO NOT give so much of a damn about what programming language you should start with or what kind of computer you need. You don’t need to buy a Macbook pro before you get started! These kinds of obstacles are BS and usually leads to decision paralysis, which usually leads to doing nothing.
Read on for the recommended resources, pick one or more listed below, or fine your own. Just freakin start.
Massive Open Online Courses
Udemy has a myriad of courses in which reviews are given by students who have taken the courses.
I highly recommend Colt Steele’s course on Web Development. All of his works are great, and each one is usually on sale for $10 USD!* Edit: The feedback I’m getting about this course suggests that it’s a bit out of date because of its inclusion with JQuery.
One useful resource that’s useful in getting started in building skills and creating a portfolio is FreeCodeCamp. As the name mentions, it’s free!
Edx features programming courses which collaborate with universities to bring their courses to the masses. For free, and not just for programming classes. You can take the introductry Computer Science Programming course at Harvard alongside actual students.
While the content is 100% free (to my knowledge), there is an option to pay for certification. Through the certification, your participation in the course is asserted, and more importantly, your competency in the course’s content. A quick glance here actually shows that university credit can be earned!
Zed Shaw’s series “Learn Code the Hard Way” is a great start. It’s practical. You code ‘for real’ as in downloading and installing the software and using tools required to write and run code in the most authentic way, instead of other means that abstract ‘nuts and bolts’ . Popular programming languages like Ruby and Python are included in the series, and Zed believes in promoting learning so much that the books are free online. He charges for offline content, such as ebooks, workbooks, and videos which supplement the course. Here’s a link to the main site.
Treehouse is a popular resource that makes starting very quick. Just sign up, take a course, and start coding in the browser right away.
CodeCademy is another popular service. Like Treehouse, you can get started pretty quickly here too, and while there’s a premium paid service, the free tier still gives you access to the courses.
Where to Go from Here
I’m gonna be real and say that I’m sure anyone can write code. With that said, I know that writing code is not for everyone. Instead of spending $15,000 on a boot camp, get started writing some code now and find out.
If you’re still interested in continuing farther and developing skills to change your life and become a Software Developer, please reach out via the resources below.
The point is that you get started. The motivation for me to create Better Developer is so that I wouldn’t have to waste anymore time explaining the ecosystem and minutae of web development. I would spent hours repeating the basics to different people and have most of them stop there.
IMO, people who haven’t already looked for themselves or started learning on their own pretty much just want to be told what to do. Those people usually don’t get any farther than clicking the Treehouse of Udemy link I would paste to them.
As always, feedback, corrections, and useful additions to the article are appreciated. If you haven’t already, join the Discord channel here so that you can talk, learn, and collaborate with myself and the rest of the team. You can also use the social media links below to get in touch. Seriously. Email me, tweet me, slide into my DMs, whatever.