1. Be very specific about your end goal:Were you ever asked to draw anything on the paper but you didn't know what because there was no topic? Well, this is no different, and here is why. You will hear a lot of opinions on what language you should learn and after spending 2 to 3 months learning it, you find out that what you want to build cannot be accomplished because you didn't learn the right language. So by identifying from the very beginning what you want to build in the future (let's say you want to build web applications), will help you to filter out what tools and languages you should not waste your time on. #savetime
2. Choose appropriate language and tools:
After figuring out what you are planning to build, you still need to identify what languages or frameworks you should focus on the most. Because when you will look for a job, you want to be relevant to the positing and match the languages/frameworks that they are using it. I would recommend to take a look at a few jobs and see what they have in common. Once you figured that out, you are one step closer to the goal.
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.
Subscribe to my youtube channel DevPool as my goal is to help beginners and juniors to succeed in the tech industry.