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Steps I Took To Become A Developer

dthompsondev profile image Danny Thompson Updated on ・4 min read

If you like this article, chances are you'd like what I tweet as well. If you are curious, have a look at my Twitter profile. Or check out my podcast - "Commit Your Code!" where I interview and talk to some phenomenal developers and motivate you to stay on the coding journey!

One of the most common questions I get asked "What path did you take to become a developer?". Now I am a pretty firm believer in it doesn't matter where you start AS LONG as you start. Normally I recommend beginning on freecodecamp since that is where I began. The real reason why I recommend that is it is HARD to know where to start when you don't know anything. You don't know if you like frontend or backend. You have very rough ideas because you just don't know what you don't know! Education is a window and your understanding increases once you are exposed to something. If you spend a little time learning, you will actually have an idea of what you enjoy the most, then it is significantly easier to make a decision on what you like as a career path.

So I began with HTML and CSS.

HTML and CSS were the beginning of my journey and I started making static websites. This was my real first taste of programming. This is usually a great beginning for a developer and the truth is, HTML and CSS are extremely powerful! Funny enough, the very first website I ever sold was only made with HTML and CSS! Was to a Mexican Restaurant that just needed a place to display their menu and store hours. I was eating there, before I ever had a job in tech, and mentioned that the current site they had could be significantly better. After a short conversation, I had my first client that I have had repeat business with over the years!

Open a github account

You need to start storing those projects. Especially if you are an aspiring developer, you need to show your code to employers to demonstrate that you can do what you are saying you can! If you make a project, big or small, put it in your github.

Learn Javascript

Javascript was my next step. Now my websites can be more interactive and dynamic! I increased the level of projects and really focused on making something that could stand out! Something I could talk about.

Went to meetups

Meetups where the biggest thing that changed everything for me! It made me so focused and determined to become a developer because I walked into a room filled with developers that were passionate about helping others learn, grow and just hung out together! I instantly wanted to keep learning more and helping the community grow! I would bounce ideas off of developers and get tips. They were practically unofficial code reviews. They would critique my code and give me tips on how to keep getting better.

Now meetups are all online and you can find a meetup pretty much anywhere and join. Highly recommend it! A great place to start searching for meetups is on meetup.com

Linkedin

Linkedin was the biggest thing that led to my career. Linkedin is also the tool that I have used to help over 60 people land their first jobs in tech. You need to stand out where the hiring managers hang out! Create a stand out profile! If you need help there, check out my series on linkedin. I had 4 different hiring managers with me and we critiqued linkedin profiles and showed what actually shows up in the search to help you land in their job searches! youtube.com/DThompsonDev

Keep on learning!

I am always learning. There is still so much that I just do not know! Tech is a life long journey of learning. You will never know it all. that is kind of the exciting part about this! You always get to learn new things and become better!

Backend

I jumped to backend! I started with Python, absolutely love it but there were no jobs in my area for Python. So I dropped it and picked up Java. I really love backend and solving problems. From there I also learned SQL. This was what I needed to find my dream job in tech!

What matters the most is, you just don't stop.

There will always be something to learn, there will always be things you can improve. Just don't stop. As long as you keep moving, even at the pace of a turtle, the possibility of your dream in tech is still alive. If you stop however, the only guarantee is that you dream in tech stops. So just don't stop. Keep progressing slowly. If you keep moving slowly, you will eventually reach a place, turn around and be shocked at how much you have actually achieved!

Keep doing amazing things!

If you like this article, chances are you'd like what I tweet as well. If you are curious, have a look at my Twitter profile. Or check out my podcast - "Commit Your Code!" where I interview and talk to some phenomenal developers and motivate you to stay on the coding journey!

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dthompsondev profile

Danny Thompson

@dthompsondev

Software Engineer and Chapter Founder/ Organizer of GDG Memphis

Discussion

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Great article.
Thanks for sharing.
As a newbie, I am inspired to keep on growing. πŸ’―πŸŒŸ

 

I am really glad you liked it Jane! Trying to help as many people as I can!

 

Great article. I already know you on twitter. Thanks for keeping me motivated.

 

Thank you! Really glad that you like it and have been staying motivated to reach your goals!

 

Any particular reasons as to why you prioritized Python and Java over C or C++?

 

Python because I saw that it was the most in demand language in America. With there being ZERO job opportunities in my city with it, I dropped it. I found out what tech stack the companies I wanted to work for used. I learned it. Then started to network and reach out to them.

The companies I wanted to work for used Java and Angular.

 

Good article for CodeNewbies...
I recently started Node & express
And almost every 2-3 weeks regularly attend some meetups as well..
Also waiting for your tomorrow's session πŸ€—

 

That is awesome! Thank you Karan and I can't wait to see what new levels you reach!