With so many programming languages and resources available, it can be information overall to learn to code. So let me guide you to be a self-taught developer
If you want to be a self-taught developer, you need to passion about learning and programming.
If you have both, let’s dig deep into how you can learn the programming languages, which you should learn in the post covid arena.
Furthermore, how to get a job doing what you are passionate about so that you may be doing doesn’t seem like work.
How to Learn to Code?
The first step is pretty basics to anything, and being a developer is no different – You have to learn to code.
You have to pick the right platform to learn to code, and the best one that I prefer to learn anything online has to be Khan Academy or Udemy.
Khan Academy is one of the best places for anyone to learn to code and design algorithms that make computers more efficient. With Khan Academy, one can make a career in programming and computing. The best part is, everything is free.
Free Code Camp
Everything you need to learn to code is available at Free Code Camp for free. In addition, they have thousands of videos, articles, and interactive coding lessons available for anyone registering on their website.
Such great resources are being offered without a price tag, but the information is invaluable. People can make careers out of them, but I have seen students don’t value it much.
If you don’t value free content, Udemy is the perfect fit for you. Thousands of programming courses are available. I am yet to see any programming language whose online learning course isn’t on Udemy.
The significant part is, real-world experts share their courses online, and millions of students take advantage of it.
Master any programing language with lessons, quizzes, and projects. The content is designed with real-life scenarios in mind, so you are learning and gaining experience.
You can start your journey of being a self-taught developer right away for free. However, one can always opt for the pro where they offer collaborative learning with interactive courses. As per their website, they have more than 45 million students.
More than 30k How-to tutorials and new ones are added daily: text and video-based online courses to help you learn anything related to coding or web design.
Most are free, but the detailed ones are part of the monthly subscription.
Learn online and earn valuable degrees as well from top universities like ISB, Michigan, Stanford. Furthermore, they also offer training from leading IT companies like Google and IBM.
W3Schools is possibly the best website to learn anything related to web programming like HTML / CSS / PHP. Unfortunately, they do not offer video tutorials, but textual content and an option to try out the examples and code online in a seamless interface make them above others.
Undoubtedly the most extensive online tutorials are available for free though in the textual form. You name a programming language, and you are more likely to find its tutorials at TutorialsPoint.
Which Programming Languages to Choose?
Furthermore, if you want to be an app developer, you can consider Java for Android or C++ or Swift for iOS.
One must remember that you have to consider your interest when you want to be a self-taught developer.
What Should One Do after Learning to Code?
Now you know a little bit of programming, and the next big question that may come up is what you should be doing now. As a developer, the best way to sharpen your skills is to get a job to learn and contribute.
Get a Coding Job
The next thing you should do is get a job in the programming language you have started learning.
When I was in college, I was very fond of C++, but when I wanted to develop something in C++, I had to go with Win32 programming or MFC. (We all want to build the TikTakToe game)
My first job was in Visual Basic 6, but I always wanted to be in C++ web technologies or systems programming in C++. However, I felt I lacked in both.
So I opted to appear for Win32 and MFC interviews. I even walked in for an MFC developer with two years of requirement as the criteria. Surprisingly I didn’t have a total experience of 2 years.
Interviewers asked me why I am in there, and I casually told them, do you want a person with two years of experience on paper or want someone who knows as much as two years of experience person.
I was grilled for an hour+ time in the technical interview but finally got selected.
So when you are determined to learn, there is very little that can stop you. On the other hand, if you want to cut corners, I am unsure about your future. The choice is yours.
It can so happen that you are already doing a job and can’t take up a new job as a freshers salary. So then you should consider freelancing.
If you can’t work for a fresher salary for an employee, you don’t need to. In the information age, there is so much that you can do online as a programmer.
You have so many freelancing marketplaces like Upwork to start looking for projects in the programming language that you have started learning and want to master.
Freelancing gives you complete control over your choice of clients and how and when you want to be working for them. You may not make a lot of money initially, but that is not the whole point either. You want to grow as a self-taught developer slowly. Remember, Rome was never built in a day.
You are free to work after days job and that way you can sustain your family and do what you want to be doing. The best part of being a freelancer is, you get paid for learning.
However, one has to adhere to client deliverables and respect the deadlines.
What if your job doesn’t allow you to physically or mentally work on weekdays. So you may not be able to meet the client deliverables and miss the deadlines. Don’t worry; we still have more options.
Work on Weekend Projects
You can’t get a job, and even working for clients is not an option either. So, then one should consider a side project on weekends.
A project that will help you develop functionality on weekends and help you grow as a developer. It will help you develop the self-confidence that one needs to be able to work for clients independently.
I always believe every entrepreneur should have a weekend project, and I do have one as well. Don’t underestimate the weekend work. It can help you earn a considerable amount of money.
A Computer Science Degree Vs, Self-Taught Developer
Finally, I believe knowledge is more important than a degree. However, a degree allows you to apply for jobs that may have criteria.
So if a fortune 500 company wants to interview only people with a certain degree, you may not be selected. Of course, you can appear for the interview, but everyone may not be as lucky as I was when I got selected for a post that needed a certain level of experience to apply.
However, I am not the only one who may have been lucky. IT companies are flexible and are more interested in hiring the right talent.
So don’t focus too much on the degree and focus on being a good learner. Once you know how to do it, the opportunities are endless.