DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»

DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» is a community of 966,904 amazing developers

We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.

Create account Log in
Natasha Talukdar Elam
Natasha Talukdar Elam

Posted on

Opera pianist looking to get into coding!

Hi everyone! My name is Natasha and I have been a pianist for 21 years. I am now 26, and in my first professional job as an opera pianist at an opera house and am looking to leave the opera industry to pursue coding full time.

I am a very green #codenewbie and would love some advice on where to start. I am looking into bootcamps and free resources and would like some advice on any free/affordable bootcamps that I could try. My end goal is to get a job in coding in the next year or so but am completely lost on where to begin. I would also love to know your story and how you came into coding!

Top comments (11)

Collapse
 
brewinstallbuzzwords profile image
Adam Davis

I'd recommend building a few small projects related to the type of bootcamp you want to do before you sign up. This will give a decent idea if it's something you want to do before spending a bunch of money. You'll also get more out of a bootcamp if you have some baseline knowledge going into it.

Collapse
 
natashatalukdarelam profile image
Natasha Talukdar Elam Author

Thank you for this advice!! How would I go about building a project? I’m very clueless to all the different types of coding languages as well. Do you have any advice on how to find out what type of project to start with/which bootcamp I could be interested in?

Collapse
 
brewinstallbuzzwords profile image
Adam Davis

So to start out, I want to say that I probably can't give you the most detailed advice since I didn't go down the bootcamp path (I have a CS degree).

Ali Spittel posts a lot of good beginner-friendly content, and her website has a section dedicated to career advice. Here's a couple posts you should check out:

welearncode.com/beginners-guide-pr...

welearncode.com/25-tips-new-devs/

As far types of programming languages and bookcases, that's a pretty broad question. I think most bootcamps tend to focus on either web development or data science as those tend to require a bit less experience before you can create things of value (although those areas still have very high skill ceilings).

If you want to learn web development, you'll probably want to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (it sounds like a lot, but they're designed to work together). If you want to learn data science, then you'll probably want to learn Python.

With a bit of googling, it shouldn't be too hard to find some tutorials in those areas that are designed for complete beginners. Once you've done a few tutorials, you should try to come up with an idea you want to make on your own.

One thing I do when learning a new programming language is I'll find a tutorial, but try to build the final product without the instructions. But if I get stuck, I can use the tutorial to get past the tricky parts.

I hope this helps!

Thread Thread
 
natashatalukdarelam profile image
Natasha Talukdar Elam Author

Thank you, yes this helps a ton! I'm definitely looking into going in the web development path and will be checking out free courses on HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I will definitely do some googling on my own, thank you so much for this-its all super helpful especially for a beginner like me :)

Collapse
 
sargalias profile image
Spyros Argalias

I don't have personal experience with bootcamps, but from what I hear they're great for getting a job quickly. They seem to have high success rates for getting a job after completion. It may be worth it if you have the money and want to go that route.

On the other hand, I started my career with self-learning and so did a close friend of mine. He recently got his first job after self-learning for about 1 year. In my opinion, he was good enough to get a first job 6 months in. However, he held off until he got to a point where he was comfortable. He's also crushing it at work and has already gotten promotions and higher responsibility.

But, he works and studies hard. His route and my recommendation were to:

  1. Learn the basics of HTML and CSS from a course of your choice. He used Scrimba and did some courses from there.
  2. For JavaScript, he learned the basics from Andrew Mead's course on Udemy on JavaScript. A similar course by someone else would work fine too.
  3. I also recommended going through MDN. When I was learning, I was going through the relevant MDN section after the relevant part of a video course (so I was doing a video course and MDN in parallel), Instead, he went through MDN after fully finishing the previous courses, which seemed to work fine for him.

In the meantime, he also did FreeCodeCamp for practice. This was in parallel to the courses he was doing. They have exercises so you can practice. They also have projects that you can do.

After the courses and plenty of FreeCodeCamp he built a small portfolio of projects. He built a fairly good looking website with some cool parallax effects to showcase his HTML, CSS and BEM skills. He also built a simple JavaScript project showcasing his JavaScript skills. (FreeCodeCamp has similar projects.)

Then, he started applying for jobs and got one. The portfolio helped a lot. In fact, I'm pretty sure my portfolio is what landed me my first job too.

After, he continued learning topics like:

  • git
  • webpack
  • accessibility
  • testing
  • React (he only started learning this after his job, because his job didn't use React. However, it might be worth to learn the basics of this before if you want a job that uses React)
  • and of course much more of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.

Anyway, as with any field, it takes at least a few years to get good, so you'll have to keep learning for a while. Well, technically you could stop learning after your first job, you'll just progress slower.

It was a lot of work, but it worked out for him and me.

When I became a web developer, I went a similar route. The difference was that I did a lot of bad courses which I helped him avoid, and I learned a lot of stuff that I realised later I didn't need, at least not for a long time.

He's a front end developer. I started as a front end developer but now also work as a full-stack developer.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

Collapse
 
natashatalukdarelam profile image
Natasha Talukdar Elam Author

Hi Spyros! Sorry for the late response-I've been meaning to reply to this days ago! Thank you SO much for all of this advice. For now I am looking into beginner courses and just doing a lot of researching, but this gives me a framework of how to begin. I would like to do as many free certification courses as possible and then see if a bootcamp is right for me in a few months. Would you recommend starting on the front end side of things? (again I'm very new so sorry if my wording is confusing or incorrect)

Collapse
 
sargalias profile image
Spyros Argalias

Hi Natasha. No worries, your wording is fine. Sorry another essay coming up.

I think starting with learning front end is a good choice. I'm sure that many bootcamps start on front end and move on to back end for the second half of the course (or maybe do 1/3 front end, then 1/3 back end, then 1/3 building projects with both of them or something).

However, if you're going for full-stack, one thing you may want to do is do less learning on the front end than I suggested and start back end earlier. My previous post was basically how to learn front end and get a job at it. It might not be the most optimal if you want a job at full stack in a similar timeframe. Unfortunately, I wouldn't feel as comfortable providing recommendations for learning full stack as a beginner.

Here's some more advice, if you're interested.

I also recommend doing a quick job search now. See what jobs and technologies are popular in your area or your target area. (Just search on a job website.) I recommend trying a few searches for "front end", "back end", "full stack". Maybe add a level in there such as "junior" or "mid". Perhaps also try a few popular languages and frameworks such as "Angular", "React", "Node", Ruby on rails", "Python django", "C# .NET", "Java Spring".

Some job descriptions are written by people who don't know what they're writing that will expect you to have 93 years of experience for a junior job. But, most of them will be good and will give you an understanding of what some good options are for you to learn. They'll list things like they expect you to know X and Y. You'll see what are good choices for things like frameworks (e.g. React or Angular) and back end languages (e.g. Node, Ruby, Python, etc.).

Realistically, you'll only learn one back end language and framework to start with (such as Node with Express or Ruby with Rails). So this will show you your possible options that are popular for jobs. Then, you can also consider things like how beginner friendly those languages / frameworks are, your personal preferences and maybe even what bootcamps in your area teach (so you don't have to start over with a new language in the bootcamp).

Also, I recommend ignoring any "new and exotic" stuff that doesn't have a lot of jobs. E.g. ignore things like solid.js or fastify.js or nest.js. Instead, go for what will get you hired and what has a lot of learning resources. Leave the exotic stuff for after you're hired. They're 90% the same as everything else anyway so you'll learn them in no time. In the meantime, being able to tell employers you know Express (or an equivalent) will be more favourable than saying you know an exotic technology that they don't use.

One last thing, many jobs will list things that they only need you to know the absolute basics about, but they won't mention that. E.g. security, accessibility, git. In my personal experience, unless you go for a senior position, they only need you to know very little of those. Really. Keep that in mind and don't feel overwhelmed. I don't think you need to specifically learn them. The other courses you do, e.g. on JavaScript and HTML should cover the basics of them anyway. In the worst case, you can do a very basic course on them. For example, for accessibility, I recommend the course frontendmasters.com/courses/access....

Collapse
 
vadimkolobanov profile image
Vadim Kolobanov • Edited on

Hi! There is a video on the Internet "How to become a professional in programming in 5 seconds". The video lasts really 5 seconds and there the person just says the word "code". Reading books and articles is very good, but this knowledge will come today and go tomorrow. Only practice is diligent, merciless practice. My favorite motto is "You will start to succeed after you have your hands down 5 times." I'm not sure if I've stated my point correctly in English, but I can duplicate it in Russian. The main message is that you will abandon this idea several times and if you do not give up, you will succeed. Even if you get disappointed, the main thing is to overpower yourself, do further, try to come back, and regain interest. It may work out from 1 time or from 5, but the main thing is not to deviate from the idea. despite the fact that everything will be very bad. It's unclear, There are no ideas, everyone around knows better than you, you're afraid to do it because your work will be of poor quality. Be patient and everything will work out. With love and best wishes I am)

Collapse
 
natashatalukdarelam profile image
Natasha Talukdar Elam Author

Thank you so much for your advice!! I will definitely take it to heart. I know this will take a lot of practice (which I already do a lot of because of my profession) but I know when it gets hard I won't give up!

Collapse
 
vadimkolobanov profile image
Vadim Kolobanov

When you're on the rise it's easy to say) I wish you real patience and steady progress towards the goal. The programming community is very responsive and warm) We will always help. The main thing is to keep the desire

Collapse
 
joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

I mind writing a full answer here but instead I'll recommend you this two posts:
improve your skills
and
Building a portfolio from scratch <- as you'll do on -almost- any company.

I'll recommend you to stick into frontend as in the backend you need to know more deep technical stuff.
The learning order would be:
1- HTML
2- CSS
3- JS
4- React or Angular

At this point you can start building projects by yourself, you can add Express and PostgreSQL and/or MongoDB if you need a backend for yourself. Or maybe you can use Next js if you use React as well to end up with some sort of MVC.

It's not an easy way, not gonna lie. Learning those things and learning them well in a year is almost impossible but if you keep coding every single day and don't stop learning you can get a job for sure. Just make sure that you understand that going into a bootcamp is not going 4h a day to sit down and listen, it's making your life to be 70% coding, 10% eating and 20% sleeping for some months. If you agree with that you'll be able to reach your goal for sure πŸ˜„

🌚 Friends don't let friends browse without dark mode.

Sorry, it's true.