Now that you have decided you want to start a career in tech, congratulations, one of the most difficult decisions to take in life is deciding what career path to choose. A career in tech is an exciting and rewarding one but the journey into tech irrespective of the specific domain or stack can be slow and full of hurdles with a lot of price to pay and sacrifice to make, but then since you have decided you want to work in tech, you definitely are more than capable to overcome these hurdles. If you are determined to make 2020 count, put your best foot forward, I will highlight some things you can do to get you started:
hey! tech is like an ocean, you can easily get lost without a direction, there are so many fields in tech so make sure you do your research and pick a specific domain that suits you and stick to it and know it and be known for it, what do you want to be? A Web developer? Check The 2019 Web Developer Roadmap - A Visual Guide to Becoming a Front End, Back End, or DevOps Developer by Quincy Larson and for other tech fields check this article How to choose the best tech career path for you by Colin Smith and Which Tech Career Path Is Right For You? A Guide To Four Of The Most Rewarding Jobs In Tech Right Now by Emily Stevens for the several rewarding career paths in tech. Pick one and invest your limited time in mastering it, as it is said:
Code, Eat, Sleep and Repeat.
You cannot afford to be random this year, as I noted above, you will get lost, having a goal will be a compass to lead you to your destination, be very specific about what you want to achieve and pursue it with your all, let your goals be
SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
There is always a limit to the extent to which someone else will be willing to push you into achieving your goals, if you don't push yourself sorry then, because you will be left behind, let the benefits of becoming a developer in whatever domain you choose or where you see yourself in the near future be your motivation, the benefit you may derive from choosing a career in tech may vary depending on your current situation and need, so don’t give up.
There are several styles of learning as there are also learning methods because “everyone learns different ways and has various opportunities to learn.” The style of learning you might eventually choose will be depended on the learning path you have chosen and they include Self-Learning, Coding Boot Camps and College degree. talk2MeGooseman has done a good job highlighting the pros and cons of each and also listing some learning resources if you chose the self-learning path in his article How Do I Get Started Coding? Pros, Cons & Advice to help you. I think one of the most effective learning styles, when it comes to learning tech is Project-based learning or learning by doing that is the pattern many tutorials and videos are designed with. Building stuff in your domain is in itself a motivation to keep learning. A caution here, don't just fall into the habit of learning without really practicing what you learned, be proactive in your learning learn as you build, build as you learn. Doing this will both keep you motivated and it will help you master what you have learned.
Understand your specific industry and know where it is at every point in time and where it is heading to, knowing this will help you tailor your learning to in-demand skills. You can subscribe to any of these online technology media for updates Techcrunch, Engadget, The Next Media and many more, you could also read yearly State of the Developer Report, that is published by different organizations.
I recommend building a community around you
Build relationships with people who already developers
Get to know people who are on the journey with you
Look for and help people who are at the start of their journey
As you build a career in tech, it will become obvious that you need to be close to people of like mind, especially when you are just starting out learning technology things can become boring sooner than you think. That's why tech communities are so helpful, there are usually general tech communities or technology-specific tech communities, find one in your region and join, you can easily find one on Meetup. There are also online tech communities and you can find them on Twitter, Slack or Facebook, these are also very helpful.
Either of these, GitHub or GitLab is your developer profile, it is most likely where employers will want to look at to determine if you are a good fit for the position you are applying for, so create your profile and start pushing your code regularly.
It is also important to learn and improve on your algorithm skills, most companies that you might want to apply to will want to test your algorithm skills, so start practicing in whatever programming languages you choose and there are platforms for this, such as leetcode and HackerRank, or you can as well join the #ProjectEuler challenge by FreeCodeCamp.
One secret of becoming better than you were in tech is your ability to ask questions and as it is always said “Google is your friend”, no matter how foolish you think your question may sound, you will always get an answer to it if you learn to use your search engine. You can also get helpful answers from platforms such as Quora, Stack Overflow, Coderwall, Dev.to and Hashnode to your questions.