Thinking of creating a successful future for yourself out of coding? You’re in luck. There are plenty of cheap ways to train yourself, and countless tech companies in need of skilled coders to hire. Some are even actively seeking out coders and helping to train them. Why not give them what they want?
You’ll be surprised at just how many technology companies will be more than happy to take you on. You can program for a large company like IBM or Facebook, or a smaller startup company. The choice is yours.
Even at entry-level, jobs in coding pay more than the average position. Google and Facebook coders, for instance, are paid a base salary of ~$125K. It all makes for a very attractive occupation.
Whether you’ve been coding as a hobby for some time – or you have zero coding experience – landing a job as an entry-level coder is within your reach. So here are some tips to get you started.
What to Specialize In
You can’t go wrong by choosing to specialize in web development. Much of today’s software runs off of the web, so there’s plenty of demand for people who can write it. Plus, the median salary for U.S. web developers is $62.5K per year.
Recommended Training – Treehouse
Although this site recommends various training services, our top recommendation is Treehouse.
Treehouse is an online training service that teaches web design, web development and app development with videos, quizzes and interactive coding exercises.
Treehouse's mission is to bring technology education to those who can't get it, and is committed to helping its students find jobs. If you're looking to turn coding into your career, you should consider Treehouse.
Web developers typically fall into one of two categories – front-end developers and back-end developers. The best way to decide which one to be is to try both forms when you train, and decide which one you prefer.
If you’re more of a creative type, you could become a web designer instead. Web designers specialize in user experience, user interface design and usability – and there’s just as much demand for web designers as there is for web developers.
Train Yourself in 6 Months
You don’t need a university degree or trade school to become a web developer or designer. In fact, about 38% of web developers have less than a four-year college degree, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.
However, you will need training. Many internet companies exist to offer cheap but high quality coding training. Online training is not only cheaper, but also more up-to-date than what you would find from a university or trade school course.
By leveraging online coding training, you can train yourself into a well-rounded web developer in about 6 months. To find out exactly how, read this website’s step-by-step action plan – which outlines exactly what you should cover.
Recommended Training – Treehouse
If you’re finding it hard to select the right online coding training, Treehouse is worth considering.
Whether you’re training to be a web developer or a web designer, Treehouse has some of the best, most up-to-date and high quality material out there. Best of all, Treehouse is committed to placing its students into jobs. There’s a full course on how to start a career as a web developer or designer, and a job board too.
For more details on Treehouse, read Code Conquest’s full Treehouse review.
Prepare to Get Hired
Once you’re trained, you are ready to start searching for jobs.
Pinpoint the kind of place you want to work at. Do you want to work at a multi-national corporation with a traditional culture, or a small startup company that’s modern and fun? Or do you want to work for a software development agency? The choice is really in your hands, because tech companies of all shapes and sizes need all the coders they can get at the moment. It really is the perfect time to be a programmer!
Before you start asking for jobs, it pays to do more preparation. To maximize your chances of getting hired, you want to make yourself look more interesting to your prospective employers – and more importantly, prove that you can program. Since you won’t have a university degree or any official certification, you’ll need to find other ways of building credibility. Don’t worry about this, because coders have been doing it successfully for years.
What you want to do is build your portfolio. There are many ways you can do this – work on some projects of your own, do coding jobs for others, or contribute to open source software. Showcase it all on a personal portfolio website. This will confirm to your prospective employers that you know what you’re doing. Plus, they like to hire those who are active in the coding community.
Find Your New Job
At this stage, you’ll have…
- trained yourself in coding
- pinpointed what kind of place you want to work at
- built your portfolio and your credibility.
When you’ve got all of the above crossed off, you can move on to the final item in the checklist – and that’s finding your new job. The best way to find a job is to get involved in the tech and coding scene in your local area, especially if it’s a particularly vibrant one. Network with other coders and make yourself known to all the local tech businesses.
You can also find jobs online. Here are some tips for attracting a job:
- If you use Treehouse as your training, you can search the job board there.
- Keep an eye out for job openings on Hacker News.
- Maintain a personal website or blog as your online presence.
- Network with other coders on sites like GitHub.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.