Learning Code and How to Get Your First Job

Learning to Code and Getting a Job

10/08/2020

In today’s market knowing how to code is a highly sought-after skill and will transfer well into a long and profitable career. In most cases, anyone with internet access can learn programming languages from a variety of free resources (we even posted a list of our best picks for free online resources), but the issue that most people think about before they even start is; Can I really get a job after I spend hours learning all this?

The reality is that starting a career in coding is easily attainable from being self-taught. We investigated how others have accomplished this and will pass on their best tips to you. Don’t worry we will focus on all the major steps such as best practices to learn, how to get a job with limited experience and how you can start applying for positions shortly after completing the basic learning material. Let us start at the beginning; how should you start to learn.

The major first question is what do I want to learn? An easy way to do this is to research what types of programming jobs seem to be in high demand. Checking job sites is a great way to start this. After you find what jobs are popular consider thinking about which of those jobs you’d like to do, some of the major programming jobs are web developer, application developer, systems analyst, and database administrator. Each job will have a corresponding language or language(s) you’ll need to learn. A web developer is a great pick that we personally like, and the main coding languages associated with it are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You don’t have to master each of these coding languages just having a good understanding of the basics is plenty to start with. Once you pick the job type you can start to consider which resources to use. It is always a good idea to start with free resources (here is our recommended list), but some paid resources may have different teaching styles or features like practice examples that you prefer over the free resources. You can learn from more than 1 source at a time if you prefer a part of the teaching style from 1 source to another. The paid resources may be cheap as well, Udemy is a great example of this with major sales all the time. Once you finish the courses its time to start getting ready for some experience. 

 

After you complete the courses and learn the basics its time to get some practical experience. This will be a big component for starting your career as a programmer. You can get experience making projects on your own, in an internship, freelancing, or by participating in an open-source project. Open source projects are projects that people work on and invite others to join them and help contribute to the end goal of the project, because coding can be done remotely there are a large number of opportunities for new coders to get some hands-on experience. You can also consider joining a community of coders for support and for networking to receive tips about projects or positions. After you get some practical experience coding from one or more from the suggested sources above you record and present your work as your first portfolio! During your time gaining experience and building a portfolio you should be applying for paid positions. The number one mistake that many people admit to is that they did not start applying for positions as early as they should have.

 

Applying for interviews as early is extremely important. Don’t worry if you feel that you are not ready, you will never feel like you are 100% ready, besides that is for the interviewer to decide. Applying for positions like paid internships or jobs that may be hybrid positions that deal with Coding plus another skillset. An example of a hybrid position would be a digital marketer. Many digital marketing positions would be ideal for a coder, as maintaining and operating a website is a big part of the job. You may even be able to negotiate a higher salary due to your skills with coding. Even if you do not have all the required skills for a position, having a depth of knowledge for coding that is applicable to a position may help balance out your skillset to the position in question. You will most likely be expected to prove your skillset with not only your portfolio but also with an exercise. Many recruiters will use coding tests to see if you can figure out a solution to the problem. The good news is that you can find many test banks online for free to study before you are tested by a recruiter. Recruiters are also a great resource to use when looking to get your first position. Applying for a position that requires intermediate or senior experience may be very difficult to get when you are just starting, but a recruiter can certainly help you find an entry-level position. From there you can work your way up and have a promising career as a coder.