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Discussion on: I landed a Junior Front End Developer role after 3 months of self study, Ask Me Anything!

vstothard profile image
Verity Stothard Ask Me Anything

1) Yes and yes 💃

2) Amazing! You'll absolutely get there, keep pushing 💪

  • What languages did you know starting out? I knew the basics of HTML, CSS (SCSS), Javascript and Git. I built a website for my dad using Bootstrap's out of the box features and single page static website for myself with a #hectic smooth scroll navigation.

-What resources did you use?
My first deep dive was the Treehouse front end development track ( I used that to get a grip on the basics I would need to land a job, then after that it was a whole lot of googling and stack overflow (still my main loves).

-Did you ever feel like you were jumping the gun and applying to jobs too early?
I have a very 'all or nothing' type personality, and at the time was living on a savings account that was getting depleting fast, so I was highly motivated to land a job. I knew realistically that my biggest learning would happen once I started working on real projects, so I wanted that to happen as soon as possible. I also had no sense of how little I knew at that point, which helped with confidence hah!

-Did you ever reach a point where you felt like there just aren't any junior roles out there or you've applied to all of them?
I do think it is getting harder to find Junior jobs, as a lot of the roles that would previously have been done by juniors are now done by cheap and effective tooling. Having said that, a person with a drive to learn and adapt will always have value. If you can push yourself to build your value, you will absolutely find a company that would love to have you on their team.

-How did you stay motivated? And how did you handle the days where you may not have been so motivated?
I set a very strict schedule for myself, I had set hours every day that were for study and nothing else. Being self taught requires a lot of discipline and determination, no one else will make you do it. Getting little wins in everyday also helped a lot, if I was struggling with a concept or feature, I would take a break and work on something I was more comfortable with, so I felt I had achieved something at the end of each day.

-Did you ever get discouraged in the process? How did you overcome this?
Absolutely, learning Javascript was really hard for me in the beginning, I had never worked with anything like it before. When I struggle with a particular subject, I try to get a top level overview on the first pass, then go back and do it all again from the beginning. I find this really helps with filling in gaps of knowledge. It takes resilience and determination, but you have to believe in yourself and commit to your goal.

-Do you have any advice for a self-taught person like me who feels like they're never going to reach that point?
Make the decision that it is going to happen. Once you decide how your life is going to be, nothing will convince you otherwise, and all your small decisions and actions will start to line up with that goal. Try to know a little bit about a lot, get a couple personal projects under your belt, and look for feedback wherever you can. You'll be amazed what you learn from someone else's perspective!

Best of luck!

nataliecodes profile image
natalie stroud

This is awesome, thank you so much!! I hope we stay connected! Your path is amazing and I wanna land a junior web dev role so bad. For a lot of reasons obviously. I know it takes time and I have to build up my skill first. I like how you said if you were struggling you'd take a break and work on something you knew more, I tend to find myself doing the same thing. I also have to note it feels so much better to know I'm not the only one struggling with JS in the beginning. How did you come to understand it? Or did it just click for you?

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vstothard profile image
Verity Stothard Ask Me Anything

Presistence! Doing lots of small projects and focusing in one one part at a time really helped when I was learning, e.g toggling a mobile nav on and off was one of my first battles won. It took nearly a week for me to build a mobile nav that was responsive and had multi level interaction, but focusing in on small things like that really helps you learn to think in JavaScript :)