re: Transitioning from traditional PC apps to Web Development VIEW POST


Ohhh I recognize this thought process, as I was recently living it too.

Step 1: Take a deep breath and don't freak out. :) The web dev world is totally overwhelming right now. SO many new languages and methodologies, it's easy to feel like you know nothing even with years of experience. You are not alone. This is gonna be OK.

Step 2: Read this pep talk from Scott Hanselman - I may or may not have been the inspiration for it.

Step 3: Realize job listings are asking for their ideal, most perfect unicorn candidate. And that they know most of the time they're not going to find them. If you can demonstrate that you're capable, have a solid foundation and are willing to learn new things, most places will want to hire you regardless of years in the field! Being a programmer means always learning new things. Always.

Step 3: Make an effort! You obviously can't learn everything and get the "years of experience" jobs are asking for in a short period of time. The good news is you don't need to! Just make an effort to learn. Just get started. You say you can't just do a tutorial and also you need a GitHub portfolio... When I was in your (almost exact) shoes, I did both at the same time. I found a tutorial to teach me the new stuff I needed to know. I started a new project and followed the tutorial... but I modified the tutorial to put it in a context I already understood. Instead of building the exact app in the tutorial, I rebuilt an app I had already built using the new language and methods. It's a great way to teach yourself new concepts! Then I set up my Github account and bam - instant portfolio.

I know, I know, you're thinking this isn't enough. It will never work. Except it will, and I know because I literally just did it. After nearly 15 years working with outdated .NET programming and never using git in any form, I landed a job asking for all kinds of skills I don't even have. I was able to demonstrate that I have a solid foundation and my employer was super impressed with my initiative in creating the practice app and the Github portfolio (even though they were far from complete or perfect). You can do this :)


Would you be okay with being my spirit animal? I cannot convey how encouraging this post was. I live in a place with extremely limited opportunities in programming, and just today I have started filling out paperwork to be an Uber/Lyft driver because I have just about given up. Giving up would be heartbreaking. I worked so hard to learn all I have. I am not going to give up. Thank you very much. I really, really appreciate it.


I'm happy to pass along the pep talk, as I got a killer one when I was in your shoes too. Good luck, you've got this! :)

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