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Yavor Dimitrov
Yavor Dimitrov

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Getting employed as a self-taught developer with no degree, no experience, and no investment!

In my journey to getting a Front-End developer job, I was inspired by every personal story I read online and every resource that I came across that was sincerely aimed at helping others. All articles that shared people’s challenges, thoughts, and vision were like a breath of fresh air for me, as they offered insights, motivation, or simply reinforced my decision to be on that specific path. Therefore, I am going to share a bit about my story with you, as I believe there can never be too many articles that would take away the value of sharing knowledge and experience or the feeling of belonging to a community.

The most important step to take:

Before sharing more about my journey, I would like to straight away emphasize on applying to jobs from the moment you have created your first personal project. If you don’t read the rest of the article, this is the number one thing that I hope makes an impact on you, as I truly and fully believe that it will translate into direct value creation for you and your career. Feeling that you’re not prepared or you need to take your best shot in landing a job, as there aren’t that many job posts is a completely normal way to feel, but that is entirely subjective due to the uncertainty around being a beginner, but it has nothing to do with reality. Job boards change every day and get updated with new openings, and the experience requirements on those job posts should be completely ignored. I would recommend having two main pillars that keep you motivated to apply:

  1. practicing interviews and exploring the job market requirements
  2. getting a job as early as possible so that you get paid to keep learning.

Before I had landed my first job, I had a constant feeling that I am completely unprepared to be a developer, but once I started working, I realized that I could’ve got a job 3-4 months earlier with just JS, CSS and HTML and that would mean that I would get paid to learn React.js in my case, rather than me knowing it already (which is what a colleague of mine is doing).

The tech I learned:

The route I took in learning is I learned JS, CSS, and HTML and then went on to learning React, which I would recommend to others as it’s high in demand. After learning React and creating your first project, you should learn Redux, as it’s the most popular framework for handling state management in React if you decide to go down that path. In my opinion, another very important step to take is creating a project, which fetches data from a database, as most companies will do just that. Firebase by Google is a great technology to use, as it is serverless, which means you won’t have to spend time learning and building a server, which will give you more time to focus on your Front-End skills and still be able to showcase a project, which resembles a real-world product.

The learning resources I used:

In my learning process, I didn’t go to boot camp and I didn’t pay for any resources, courses, or mentors. If you’re also in a position, where you don’t have the time or money to invest in learning, I would recommend the youtube channels TraversyMedia, CoderFoundry, Fun Fun function, which are extremely professional and highly invested in truly helping and creating value for you as a beginner programmer. Freecodecamp is also a great resource when getting started on your journey. The above-mentioned free online resources have more than enough materials to completely cover you from starting out with no knowledge and experience to landing an actual job.

To structure and organize my learning, I followed the step-by-step guide in this article, which was extremely helpful in motivating me to keep going and monitoring my progress. The guy who wrote it - Andrei Neagoie has many other super interesting and helpful articles, which you can also check out.

To conclude and highlight the most important takeaways from this article:

  1. Apply to jobs straight away after creating your first project
  2. Keep learning and keep a structure of what comes next on your learning agenda
  3. Create a project, which implements a database, such as Firebase
  4. Don’t get discouraged, as the question is not how, but when - getting hired is just a matter of time!

As this is my first article sharing my experience, I hope I have been able to add some value and I would be more than happy to offer further help, guidance or just having a conversation with a likeminded individual, so feel free to drop me an email at

Top comments (6)

ramshengale profile image
Ram Shengale

That's a great journey Yavor. I'm a firm believer that you don't need formal education to become a developer and can self-teach yourself any programming language with the resources that are available online. And being a part of community like always helps!

uzair004 profile image
Muhammad Uzair

Awesome article 👍 , but first one isn't less then a dare devil stunt for me though 😂

killianfrappartdev profile image
Killian Frappart

Thank you, it is a really inspiring post for me since I'm learning by myself and I don't have a degree!

carlosds profile image
Karel De Smet

Thanks for sharing Yavor. That Medium article seems like a nice reference too. Will check that out in detail when I find some time.

yavord10 profile image
Yavor Dimitrov

Hey Karel, thanks for commenting. That article is incredibly informative and very well structured. I guarantee you will gain some value out of it. Let me know if it helped when you find the time to go through it.

killianfrappartdev profile image
Killian Frappart

Wow, that is exactly what I needed.