I’ve had a lot of fun the past two years watching Twitter explode every time Elon Musk did it. I consider Musk a great example of a successful self-taught developer.
He is not the first; of cours. From Ada Lovelace who created the first algorithm, to Steve and Steve who turned our favorite fruit into a global tech giant, there have been plenty. Every generation has had at least one name that has proven that the best developers are the ones with the best skills, not the best resumes.
If you are looking to join their ranks and learn coding on your own, where do you start? Let me help.
Step 1: Choose a niche
There is a famous adage “If you want to be successful, limit yourself”. Trying to learn everything at the same time will only overwhelm you. Start by getting an overview of what each area of software programming involves.
Cloud computing, AI / ML, Full Stack, and data science seem to be career options in the post-pandemic world.
Step 2: Find Online Resources
Today there is a plethora of resources online. If you are a beginner, try sites with introductory lessons – CodeSchool, Treehouse, several YouTube tutorials.
At an intermediate level, use community platforms like HackerEarth that allow you to train, duel, hone, and interact with other developers.
I cannot stress enough the importance of joining a community. It is very helpful to have your peers for advice and mentorship while learning a lot about the industry from experienced developers.
Step 3: Build, Break, and Rebuild
A developer is only as good as their code, so try to build as you learn. Remember to keep a repository of your builds on GitHub or similar platforms. Keep adding new features you’ve learned to your project.
Don’t worry about being too “fancy”. Make mistakes, learn how to fix bugs, and eliminate errors from your code.
Step 4: Practice for interviews
After gaining an appropriate command of your preferred language or technology, it’s time to look for a job – freelance or full-time.
In addition to writing clean code, a developer should also work on his interview communication skills. In addition to coding knowledge, technical managers look for effective communication in the workplace and a good work ethic.
Step 5: Read, Learn and Network
Software development is a rapidly changing landscape. I recommend reading and following the tech blogs of top brands (the Netflix tech blog comes to mind).
One interactive way to improve your skills is to use hackathons where you present breakthrough ideas and network with developers around the world.
Expertise began to trump other traditional criteria like academics and previous post-pandemic experience. Now is the time for developers to seize their moment in the sun.
It is important to recognize that self-study has its own challenges. It takes a high degree of autonomy and comfort to learn in a non-traditional format. There will be bad days, and having a community or mentor for support would be beneficial.
In the long run, hard work and self-reliance pays off. Solving real world problems with technology is a wonderful feeling. So go ahead and keep coding!
– Article by Akshat Saxena, Head of Growth Marketing, HackerEarth
Read: Tips for Learning Coding for Beginners of All Ages: A Complete Guide to Get You Started Coding NOW
To read: Why learn programming? 5 Easy Ways To Learn To Code At Home
Read: 5 Startups That Are Teaching Coding The Easiest Way