When I would read about other’s success stories, I was extremely skeptical.It is only until I went on my own journey that I began to appreciate how hard work can pay off.
A few years ago, I decided that I would teach myself to code.I was unhappy at the job opportunities in my field. I wanted a change and I felt programming was the right fit.
It is very scary to completely give up on a career. I was working in finance, but I felt as though the opportunities were limited. Unless I was willing to work the insane hours of an investment banker, I was not going to have the type of career I wanted.
I also felt there was too much personality in banking, particularlyhaving to gain favor from the right people in the company to advance. I wanted a job where I could progress on merit, not because I was building the right relationships.
Learning to Code
While many people take the route of a paid coding course, I decided to teach myself. It is partly because I wanted to save money, but also because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it on my own.
I looked at how I could use free resources, such as forums, Code Academy, Skill Crush and more. There are so many websites that can help to teach people the different elements of coding. I used as many of those as I could fit into my routine.
Aside from going on forums, trying various coding exercises on free websites and reading coding books, I also used free courses to my advantage.
Courses such as Udacity CS101 and Harvard CS50 are incredible resources. These are free courses that anyone can sign up to take. The resources are available on the course site, while it is possible to log percentage after every exercise is done.
If there is one step that truly helped me “understand” programming, it is when I decided to dual-boot Linux onto my Windows computer.
It was an initially frustrating experience, as I had no clue how to work Linux. But after much Googling and research on forums, I started to get comfortable with how it worked.
Linux is helpful because it shows the practical aspect of inputting various code into the system. I was learning so much just from trying to add various functionality to my Linux OS.
There are thousands of little lessons on the site that helped me learn how to code. I will admit, some of the lessons took me a LONG time to complete. But it was worth it.
There are also five final projects that each provide a certification. Only when I was done with all of them did I feel confident enough to apply for my first coding job.