I wasn't happy at my job. In September of 2020, I decided that I needed to make a change. After 5 years of working as an electrical engineer I bit the bullet and left my job to pursue coding. This is my journey. I hope that my journey can be used as a guide for anyone that wants to take on a similar path. It's never too late to learn how to code!
In the past 4.5 months, I have learned so much. It makes me so happy to share this experience with the world. It also acts as a reminder for how far I've come and to not be too hard on myself when I feel like I'm not progressing fast enough. I hope people will find this useful. If it is - feel free to come a long on the journey by giving a follow!
I start my Python class and my SQL class at Bunker Hill Community College.
I learned a lot from these classes but it's definitely not required. Actually, I recommend new coders to AVOID taking classes (unless it's low cost). Make sure to check back in for a future blog post where I go into detail on my experience and when structured classes are worth it!
I'll go into detail on my experience and if this course is right for you in a future blog post.
10/5/20 - 10/9/20:
I participate in live webinars for Springboards conference "RISE". Springboard is a coding boot camp and RISE is their annual conference that discusses the software engineering and data science industries. At this point I was still trying to see if a boot camp was right for me. Spoiler alert - it's not! I'm very happy with my choice in taking the self taught route. Even though I haven't attended a boot camp, I've done a lot of research. Boot camps are expensive. The guaranteed jobs are sketchy. The career mentorship is not worth the tuition. As long as you're disciplined, you can learn everything a boot camp offers for a MUCH cheaper price point. At the bottom of this post, I have a table that shows how much I've spent so far. Make sure to check back in for a blog where I discuss my findings on boot camps.
I participate in Liquid Hacks. This is my first "test" to see what I have learned. I tried building a website called "a team liquid story". Honestly it was supposed to be extremely simple. I fail at completing the project by the deadline and I end up not submitting. Even though I wasn't able to complete a project. I don't regret participating. It showed me how much I still didn't know.
Back to The Complete Web Developer by Andrei Neagoie. At this point I did every exercise up to the React section. I felt like I needed to focus on the fundamentals. I "finished" the course by watching the rest of the videos. Finishing the course without completing the exercises helped me learn broad pictures of what other tools are used and how they are used. It gave me a good idea of what to expect in the future so that I wouldn't be completely lost.
I complete my semester project for my Python class. A program that takes a summoner name from the game League of Legends and outputs the user's match history and charts the frequency of each champion played. The program is coded in Python using Jupyter notebook.
12/16/20 - 12/24/20:
I start learning React by working through the tutorial in the official docs. I can't find quality material on how to learn React until 12/28/20.
My Python and SQL classes end
12/28/20 - 1/20/21:
1/20/21 - 1/22/21:
I finish going through Pure React. At this point I feel comfortable and I decide that I am ready to build a web app from "scratch". Scratch is in quotes because I actually decide to build a Discord clone in React. I decide to build a Discord clone because building an actual app from scratch would involve designing UI/UX which is not the current goal. I want to test my developer knowledge.
I start off by prototyping the frontend.
Frontend prototype is complete. I start thinking about the backend. After some research, I end up going with Firebase. I have some familiarity with databases from my SQL class and The Complete Web Developer course but Firestore is a noSQL database so there is a a bit of a learning curve. I end up buying Fireship's course Firestore Data Modeling Master Course. This course is perfect for someone that has some database knowledge because it's short and sweet. It covers everything you need to know quickly. It shouldn't be used as your first course in databases.
I have some familiarity from fetching data from my Python project where I fetched data from Riot Games API. I build my first feature that combines both frontend and backend: a side bar that fetches real time data and outputs the community name and avatar links as a list.
This brings me to dev community and my first post. I've learned a lot... enough to where I felt like I needed to share my experience.
|Money spent so far|
|The Complete Web Developer by Andrei Neagoie||$13.99|
|Pure React by Dave Ceddia||$59.00|
|Fireship's Firestore Data Modeling Course||$19.00|
|Not worth it|
|Python at Bunker Hill Community College||$1248.00|
|SQL at Bunker Hill Community College||$1248.00|