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David Rodriguez
David Rodriguez

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How to Start a Career in Coding: FAQ's from Aspiring Developers


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So you're captivated by the allure of coding, eh? You're not alone. The tech industry is booming, and the demand for skilled developers is skyrocketing, regardless of what doomsday prophets might tell you.

But let's be honest, diving into the world of coding can feel like navigating a labyrinth.

This guide offers the stunning secrets and manageable steps to kickstart your coding career, even if you're a complete newbie or coming from a non-technical background.

Demystifying the Fundamentals

Coding is easy to learn. How to learn is not.

Before you even think about mastering a specific language or framework, you need to get cozy with the core programming concepts.

We're talking variables, data types, conditional logic, loops, functions, and algorithms.

Free online courses like CS50 or Codecademy's intro courses are your best friends here.

Or, if you're looking to get a ton of high level experience fast, you can start on our free front end prep curriculum, which will get you up to speed on all things static HTML/CSS/JS.

Understanding these basics is like learning the ABCs before writing a novel.

Picking Your Poison: Choosing a Language

Hello World is a universal thrill

When it comes to programming languages, you're spoiled for choice.

  • Python is the darling of simplicity and versatility.
  • JavaScript is the lifeblood of interactive web pages.
  • Sometimes an older base language like C or Java can land you roles in modernizing systems - this is a HUGE need in tech right now!

The key is to pick one and go deep. Mastering one language is far more valuable than being a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none.

The Art of Building Projects

Commitment is important

Once you've got the basics down, it's time to get your hands dirty. Start with a simple project like a calculator, a 2D game, or a to-do list app.

Break it down into bite-sized tasks and tackle them one at a time. When you hit a roadblock, don't shy away from seeking solutions online or asking for help.

These projects are not just for practice; they're portfolio gold!

Freebies Galore: Utilizing Free Resources

Free is good

Who says you need to break the bank to learn coding? The internet is a treasure trove of free resources. From YouTube tutorials and podcasts to forums and documentation, the list is endless.
Some top picks include

  • freeCodeCamp
  • Codecademy
  • MDN Web Docs

And, of course... you can always dip your toe in with one of our free intro to web dev preview nights.

Tip: Keep a progress tracker and celebrate your small wins; they add up!

Plugging into the Coding Community

It's easier with friends

The coding community is more welcoming than you might think. Attend local meetups, engage in online forums, join Twitter chats, and find a study buddy.

Networking isn't just about landing a job; it's about learning from others, sharing knowledge, and building a support system.

Bootcamps and Certificates: Yay or Nay?

Reddit Post - meme on coding requirements

After you've built a solid foundation, you might consider leveling up through a bootcamp or certificate program.

These programs are like coding on steroids—they're intense, fast-paced, and they get you job-ready.

However, they're not for everyone. Weigh the cost, curriculum, and time commitment before taking the plunge.

If you ARE interested, you can learn more about ours here:

The Job Hunt Saga

Ai will not take your job

You've got the skills, and now you need to show them off. Start applying for entry-level roles, internships, or even freelance gigs.

Your resume should scream "I'm a coder!"—highlight your projects, community involvement, and any relevant experience.

And remember, persistence is key. You might have to face a series of rejections before you hit the jackpot, but that's all part of the journey!

The Never-Ending Cycle of Learning

Machine Learning vs Human Learning

The tech world is ever-evolving. New languages, frameworks, and tools pop up like mushrooms after the rain. Continuous learning isn't just recommended; it's required. Even when you land that dream job, the learning never stops. Keep up with industry trends, take up new courses, and never stop being a student.


  • How should a beginner start coding?

    • Focus on understanding core programming concepts before diving into a specific language. Build simple projects to apply your skills practically.
  • How do I start my career in coding?

    • Start by building a strong foundation in programming basics and a specific language. Engage in networking, consider further education, and start applying for entry-level roles.
  • Can I start coding with no experience?

    • Absolutely! With consistent practice and the right resources, you can go from zero to hero.
  • Can I learn coding on my own?

    • Yes, self-study is a viable path. Utilize free online courses, tutorials, and community forums to build your skills.
  • Can I learn coding at 40 and get a job?

    • Age is just a number in the coding world. With dedication and the right resources, you can become job-ready at any age.
  • Is 30 too late to start coding?

    • Not at all! Many developers start their coding journey later in life.
  • Am I too old at 40 years old to start a coding career?

    • Absolutely not! Your unique life experiences can actually be an asset in the tech world.
  • Can I get a high paying coding job without a degree?

    • Skills trump degrees in the tech industry. Build an impressive portfolio to showcase your abilities.
  • How many hours does it take to learn coding?

    • Many experts agree that you should expect to spend at least 300-400 hours to become job-ready. Consistency is key.
    • The good news? YOU decide how many days, weeks, months, or years that 300-400 hours takes to plow through - there are no bonus points for spreading it out over years.
    • If you can speak to your experience, it will count in interviews - whether you gained it in 6 months or 6 years!
  • Is there a difference between programming and coding?

    • Coding is the act of writing code, while programming encompasses the broader process of developing software.
  • How long does it take to learn coding from scratch?

    • With consistent practice, you can go from a complete beginner to job-ready in 6 months to a year.
  • What is the easiest coding job to get?

    • Entry-level roles in front-end web development, QA testing, and data analysis are generally more accessible.
  • Why did you quit programming?

    • I didn't quit; I love coding and teaching others. Some people quit due to burnout or realizing it's not a good fit, but many find it rewarding long-term.
  • Is 55 too old to learn coding?

    • It's never too late to learn. Age is not a barrier in the tech industry.

I hope this empowered you to go satisfy your curiosity and dig into some code!

Have more questions? Connect with me on LinkedIn:

David @ Windrose
QR code to connect with David on LinkedIn

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