As a Fullstack Software Engineer, I have already walked the path of learning. I wanted to share some of my tips, what I have witnessed from others and what worked for them.
1. Every number is different for each personAnyone can sit and start learning to program, but each person will arrive at the destination based on the path they took and if they had any help on the way. I have seen people taking almost a year and some just about 4 months to become web developers and find their first job. People that took a long time to learn had to make a lot of try and error, and unfortunately, no one was there to guide them. So if you are starting in web or software development in general, don't get discouraged because it's taking you a long time to understand a topic. But use this as an opportunity to learn and perhaps try to find a mentor who walked that path and can guide you.
2. Consistency is the key:
If you have decided to become a web developer (or any software developer), give yourself a deadline and how many hours you can allocate a day to work toward that goal. Now, this part is very important, ready? Be honest with yourself. If you say 12 hours a day and your deadline is 6 months from now. Can you study every day for 12 hours consistently for 6 months? Well, first, you shouldn't do that, so be reasonable and very critical of this part as you may discourage or burn yourself out halfway.
3. Create small projects:
At first, when I was searching for clients, I would make sure that I was able to use PHP, ReactJs, and MySQL/MongoDB. But with time, I wanted to expand myself to other languages and for more opportunities. So I started to learn & use NodeJs for the backend, VueJs for the frontend, and Postgres for the database. When I started to look around for a full-time position, I had more options to where I could apply as I felt confident in using new skills. Also during the interview, I got a positive note from them saying "you are using/have the experience in stacks that we are using in our applications". So at the end of the day, it's not a bad idea to learn new languages but it has to be with purpose and making sure you will be using them every day (don't waste time on learning things you won't use).
As you are starting out to learn to program, you should probably spend a bit of time getting to know people who are already in the industry. You could get a lot more information on what they are looking for, you could also tell them what you are doing and maybe once you are ready, you could apply to work at that company.
These are my top 4 tips on what you need to do in order to succeed without going to college. If you think it's getting difficult, try to find a community that is focused on learning the same things as you.
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