If you're asking yourself - Can I become a developer - the answer is yes. Yes you can but it won't be easy.
You want to be a coder and don't know where to start?
You're not alone. Developers, software engineers, UX designers, mobile developers, cloud engineers, blockchain developers, AI developers are all part of the top 10 most in-demand tech jobs in 2019.
A career as a developer offers job security, above average income and the chance to work with leading edge technologies. The average salary of a full stack developer in Australia is $110,000 according to neuvoo.com.
Most courses quickly get you into building a small 'Hello World!' project because there's really no other way to learn to code, then by doing it. Replicate small unambitious projects you've found in your course or video, starting with tutorials and improving with documentation.
You'll find tutorials on GitHub, YouTube and on many of learning platforms listed above. Use them to get you to a starting point where you can experiment and change things.
Documentation is the source you should always be learning from. Every framework or library has its own and whether it's good or bad, it's where you need to go back to master that particular technology.
Don't forget Google! Google is your best friend when you've got a problem because it's better than Stack Overflow or anything else for finding a fix or solution for your problem.
Getting lost when tackling a problem or learning something new is commonplace when you're learning to code. The pace of change in development technology is frenetic and even senior devs with 15 years experience get lost sometimes.
In the path of learning to code you will have moments of self-doubt, discouragement and crises of confidence. You will think, like I did, that 'you just aren't getting it' and you'll never be able to do the most basic job that a developer does.
But don't give in! Every little bit of learning you gather, piles up and eventually aggregates into understanding. And suddenly things add up - you'll solve a problem, understand where you'd didn't before and things will get a little clearer. Go back to your tutorial or the documentation and read it again with newly awakened understanding.
The whole object of this exercise so far was to get a job as a developer so don't waste time. Put your CV and portfolio together and start applying for Junior Developer roles.
Your portfolio is the key element here. You should have a handful of public projects that showcase your skills. They don't need to be polished but they do need to show improvement in your skills from one to the next. Don't delete your early projects, no matter how bad the code is. When we're looking for candidates we are interested in those who can learn and improve - everyone's first projects are terrible.
Expect to complete an assessment task - this is common practice for most employers in the tech space. Read the documentation of your chosen language or framework again and practice common tasks. You'll find plenty of examples online.
Don't waste your time talking to recruiters. Employers aren't interested in paying a recruitment fee to find a junior so you'll be wasting your time. Instead look for direct employer job posts, follow likely employers on LinkedIn and network with other developers to hear about opportunities when they happen. More than 80% of jobs come through your network rather than from responding to a job advert so apportion your time appropriately.
Find an employer that is a fit for you. Evaluate the employer as they interview you. Ensure the job is one you'll enjoy and that gives you the opportunity to learn and develop. Find out if there are resources such as senior developers, libraries, sponsored learning or training programs that will develop further skills in your chosen field.
Communication is often a hard-to-find skill in a developer so demonstrate your strong verbal and written skills at every opportunity. Strong communication skills will make it easier for you to work effectively within a team, interact with other employees and with clients. Your communication skills may sway the hiring decision and quickly cement your place in the team.
You CAN do it.
I became a front end developer in just 3 months and I'm well on the way to becoming a backend developer after 5 months. It's a challenging journey but well worth the effort.
Give it a go - I'll be cheering for you. 🙋🏽♂️