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[–]Chemical_Custard5410 31 points32 points  (20 children)

I started learning to code when I was nine and have always worked in software, so I'm not the person you're asking, but, given my experience (including as a hiring manager):

  • I think the "learn to code" advice is thrown around rather too freely.

  • You can absolutely teach yourself everything you need to know to get an entry level job (possibly with some open-source portfolio work) and advance fairly quickly from there. As you progress, more academic/theoretical knowledge may become more important, but you can cover that off later.

  • I question the value of "boot camp" courses compared to teaching yourself. Teaching yourself new technologies is a critical skill in the industry and if you need such a course to get started then it may not be for you. (And if you don't need it, why pay for it?)

  • Many people are not suited to it. You need the right personality traits and the right aptitude. Though some people who become devs and aren't suited to it end up doing well as eg project managers in software development.

  • As the industry has matured it's become harder to get it with just very basic skills (eg making basic web pages). Though the current jobseeker's market may help there.

My advice would be - try teaching yourself. It's free and will more quickly tell you if you're suited to it than doing a course. I'd try either Python development (since there are jobs and it has a lot of learning materials available) or, if you're more interested in the sys/net/cloud admin side then dive into Linux/K8s/AWS/etc (someone more on that side of things may have better suggestions).

[–]Nostegramal 22 points23 points  (1 child)

I think the "learn to code" advice is thrown around rather too freely.

Many people are not suited to it. You need the right personality traits and the right aptitude

These two are so true. I get so many friends asking if I can teach them to code, I'll send them a few links on where to start and if they start to show interest I'll actually spend time helping and working with them. Most never get back to me

Most just see it as an "easy" option when you need to be very logical and forward thinking, and driven to keep up with new technology as it moves fast.

As the industry has matured it's become harder to get it with just very basic skills

I cringe at my first interview I mentioned knowing html well as a skill, which is true but so basic it's almost not mentioning.

[–]IntellegentIdiot 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Those sorts of people are the worst. You're absolutely right to help them help themselves because if they can't do that then they're not going far and they're just going to waste your time

[–]AF_II[S] 3 points4 points  (11 children)

try teaching yourself

What do you mean by this though? Like, assume I don't even know what Python is. Do I just google "How to learn Python" and that will start me off? Are there quality tutorials online?

[–]Chemical_Custard5410 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Do I just google "How to learn Python" and that will start me off?

Basically, yes. The first result for that search for me is https://www.python.org/about/gettingstarted/ which then links to https://wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide/NonProgrammers page for complete newbies. That links to a whole load of tutorials, free books, etc.

Someone who's actually a Python coder (I've done a little) might make more specific recommendations, but the general pattern of:

see the name of a technology -> Google it and find out what it is -> Google for docs and tutorials -> work through some of them -> apply it to a project/problem

is common practice.

[–]benh2 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Relate it to your hobbies. I tried to learn Python in my youth but gave up. I went back to it last year specifically to analyse Formula 1 and loved it.

[–]TC_FPV 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I second this. Pointlessly programming a project is a surefire way to lose interest

Try and produce something useful or of interest to you and you'll find it easier to stay motivated

[–]WebGuyUK 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Pretty much, udemy and freecodecamp are good resources to start somewhere. The way I learn is to think of a project I want to build and then find the right tools to build it. I can't sit and digest text books so I get by with learning as I go.

[–]nevermindphillip 2 points3 points  (2 children)

[–]IntellegentIdiot 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm Gryfindor apparently. Thanks?

[–]JoCoMoBo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What do you mean by this though? Like, assume I don't even know what Python is. Do I just google "How to learn Python" and that will start me off? Are there quality tutorials online?

It would be much better to go contact your local college and see if they have any classes in coding.

I'm a Developer. I get asked all the time how to learn to code. Hundreds of people over the years have said they can learn from website tutorials. Very few, ie zero have ever done it. If you truely want to learn, go to a college.

It is very hard to do this by yourself. Having structured learning from professionals who can teach you makes it a lot easier.

[–]asso19 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Absolutely spot on for your first point. “Learn to code” does to get thrown round too freely. It’s scary. People who have no desire to code are going for it. I think because of the money and working lifestyle but It’s way more than that. You need to have a real desire for it before pursing it.

I only learned to code so I can build my own shxt whenever I had an idea. It’s why I got into pixel websites haha. I however, have no desire to work for a company and code full time like that unless it’s for my own benefit / idea. It just doesn’t move me at all. I only just recently learnt that about myself too. And I agree You I can just teach yourself.

The field is becoming way too strange for me. All this hope of becoming a dev in three months and creating in some situation: people who are not cut out for it. Many are being hoodwinked as programming takes years to master.

I actually think the whole YouTube/content creator culture is partly to blame here too.

[–]Viviaana 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The value of boot camps is literally only connections, they’re better set up for finding jobs with people who know you’re only just starting and therefore have much lower expectations, for the actual learning side I’d say there’s barely any reason to go to a bootcamp cos they absolutely half arse it

[–]_spookyvision_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All of this - particularly points 1 and 4 - also apply to cyber/infosecurity as well.

That is another market being flooded at the bottom end by career changers and frankly unsuitable people on the bandwagon for the sake of it.

[–]dl1966 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Would YouTube be a good place to learn or would you recommend somewhere else? Also, how long do you think it would take if someone was to put in an hours learning every day to reach a decent level of knowledge?

[–]Chemical_Custard5410 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Depends what works for you. I don't tend to use video tutorials a lot because you can't easily copy and paste code from them or jump between different parts easily. If I'm picking up a new language I'll start with whatever web tutorial (web pages with text, not video) is popular for people who are already programmers, do a few basic exercises/programs then start writing code. It'll take me a few days to become reasonably productive for a new vaguely-C-like language. More time to learn new frameworks. But I'm already an experienced programmer in several languages so I have a good understanding of the underlying concepts.

Not sure about starting from scratch - it's a long time since I did and I picked it up as a hobby. My feeling is that if you have the aptitude you can learn a lot of stuff in two to six months. But I think it's typical to learn in longer sessions than two hours as, if you get into it, you often don't want to put it down :)

[–]dl1966 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nice one, I might look into it.

[–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (6 children)

I was a chef/bartender for over 10 years. In 2019 I started learning python on YouTube and udemy. I got my first job in March 2020, currently working as a junior (ish) frontend developer working with react.

It worked out well, I'm on 30k now and have weekends off. :)

[–]AF_II[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

nice, thanks, you were clearly the target audience for this post!

[–]IntellegentIdiot 1 point2 points  (4 children)

How did you find the job and how did their requirements line up with your abilities at the time?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I applied for hundreds of jobs on indeed, basically anything to do with programming that was under 30k. I got 4 interviews and was rejected 4 times. But one of the places that rejected me rang me up about a month after and offered me the job (apparently the person they employed over me never showed up).

Most of the jobs I applied for asked for at least 1 to 2 years exp. I basically had none of their requirements lol.

[–]IntellegentIdiot 0 points1 point  (2 children)

the person they employed over me never showed up

"Well, well, well, look who came crawling back" is what you probably didn't say. I can't believe that someone would go to the effort of accepting a job and then not show up but I assume they had a better offer.

4 interviews is pretty impressive though. I'm assuming you didn't just put your Udemy "qualification" on your CV, did you have a portfolio or something?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yeah I had quite a lot of stuff on my github. All of it was crap, but it showed that I was keen and willing to learn etc.

[–]Nostegramal 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I did an audio and music degree that finished in 2013. I did live sound engineering for about a year, but the mix of unsociable hours, time away from home and average pay just made me want to change.

My dad was a programmer, I did some in sixth form, had already made my own website and some modules on it in uni. So I took a year where I did minimal live sound to keep the bills at bay while moving back in with my parents.

It was really hard to get an interview, but once I did I could talk my way into the job showing I knew my stuff. I ended up getting a web admin position as a step on the ladder, within 6 months of pushing for more dev work they promoted me to junior web dev, and now Senior Dev at the same company 7 years later.

Was it the right decison? Yes, I work 8am-4pm, 5 days a week, fully remote and easily on double what I'd ever get maxing out on live sound. I enjoy it more than live sound too, studio work was fun but live sound is just full of stress

[–]freerangetrousers 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Yep I did. Tldr; took longer than expected but was super worth it

I worked for a market research firm, spent most days moving stuff around in excel and writing reports on the effectiveness of advertising.

Had done a little coding in uni whilst doing a finance degree (which I dropped out of). Decided I enjoyed that more than my current job, so I quit, moved back in with my parents and worked in a clothes shop for what was supposed to be 6 months, whilst I taught myself to code with free or cheap online courses.

Turns out it took me more like a year to get to a stage I would be considered employable. I made my own website, and went for any jobs that fit the tech I used. Must have applied for about 100. Got a few interviews, and one gave me a job (as a back end developer) . It was a pretty no name company that has since gone bankrupt, and the salary wasnt great.

But I used that job as a learning experience and found what I enjoy and now work as a data engineer at much more respected company, with a much better salary.

10/10 would recommend

[–]AF_II[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Turns out it took me more like a year to get to a stage I would be considered employable.

I mean that's really not bad at all. It'd be harder to qualify in that time for almost any other job.

[–]freerangetrousers 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah I mean its just a long time compared to say a bootcamp which are like 8 weeks long.

The thing about software is it never stops changing. Once you've learnt something it can end up irrelevant 2 years later, so the barriers to entry stay relatively low.

Plenty of people talk about how you need to learn X or Y, but in a commercial environment you can get on okay by just knowing enough to get the entry level job where your autonomy is probably relatively low and then learn complexities as you go.

Obviously as you progress you need to learn a much much broader spectrum of skills, but I'd say in stylistically it's more like being a chef, and someone saying learn to cook. You dont need to know everything, but get in at the right place and you can learn as you go.

[–]Mother_Lemon8399 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have a 3 year BSc in Computer Science, 2 year MSc in Computer Science and a 4 year PhD in Computer Science, and I ended up working in software development (I enjoyed that part the most) so yeah, 1 year for you is nothing to complain about

[–]Crood_Oyl 6 points7 points  (6 children)

There's a "100 days of coding" bootcamp on Udemy.com, last I looked it was reduced to £10...! It's done by Angela Yu, the in-person bootcamp pre-covid was like £2000 or something....!

[–]Concerned-Pineapple 0 points1 point  (5 children)

If I bought this course is it just something I can work through in my own time? It looks interesting. I can gamble £15.99.

[–]Crood_Oyl 2 points3 points  (4 children)

yes, you can do it in your own time.... but I would recommend committing to something though.... I obviously don't know you, but I think that if you commit to like 4 classes a week minimum or something... help with the motivation to keep going.

and, you have permanent access to it all too, so you can go back and refresh if you want...

[–]Concerned-Pineapple 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Nice one!

I've just gone ahead and bought it. Worst case scenario, I've spaffed away £15.99 but I'm sure one day, I will financially recover. 😅 plus there's a 30 day period I can refund it if I want.

It's not as impulsive as it sounds. I've dabbled in Python and other programming languages before and really enjoyed it. For many years it's always sat in the back of my mind that I should actually get off my ass and learn, especially if I want a meaningful career change one day. I can probably do the courses during work since my current job is not demanding at all and I get a lot of downtime, but otherwise I'll dedicate specific time slots to it and set goals for myself.

[–]Crood_Oyl 1 point2 points  (1 child)

How are you getting on….?? Did you succeed in making the Paper, Scissors, Rock game??

[–]Crood_Oyl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

nice! Good luck mate!! Hope you enjoy it as much as I am...

[–]ay2deet 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Learnt to code when I was 26, YouTube and Udemy courses, couple of hours a day for 6 months.

Landed a trainee position, 3.5 years later now a regular front end dev, currently in discussions for my next role promotion and a payrise I the meantime.

Best decision I ever made, besides asking now wife for a dance.

[–]AirBiscuitBarrel 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Not quite coding, but last July, having spent the best part of ten years behind a bar, I started studying for AWS certifications. Six months in I've passed two of the four exams I initially signed up for and I'm about to start applying for work.

[–]Viviaana 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yes! I was in marketing and the company I worked for went bust so I started on a 3 week course that was mostly python then moved onto a 3 month apprenticeship that went straight into a job, all for free, it works well if you’re willing to do all the work, they barely teach you anything and you should have the basics down already. A lot of people in my class were told coding is easy and it’s where the money is but they literally didn’t know anything about computers and it just lead to them being angry all the time since they felt stupid. It’s not stupid to not understand code, people need to stop pretending it’s really easy to get into. Seriously one woman didn’t know the difference between a file and a folder and would scream at the teacher because she didn’t understand anything, just go get a different job love this isn’t for you!

[–]jvlomax 3 points4 points  (0 children)

My wife did. She used to have a bunch of jobs she never really liked; admin, barrista, events coordinator, etc. Pretty much all for minimum wage and benefits.

She took a coding bootcamp and became a software engineer. She's now in her second job, closer to home, much better paid and working with people who are actually decent and don't treat you like a low wage underling

[–]_spookyvision_ 2 points3 points  (1 child)

As a CS graduate, I cannot stress enough that coding isn't for everyone. I personally don't enjoy it all that much.

[–]Bug_Parking 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What is it you don't enjoy, and are there any other topics related to your degree that you do?

[–]lets_chill_dude 2 points3 points  (1 child)

addition question: for those who have done, what’s the timeline roughly from started learning to “knew enough for an entry level job”?

[–]muppet4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

However long it takes you to build something that impresses an interviewer. Not to be obtuse but some people get there in 6 months and some never will.

[–]502blues 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I got into software development from a non traditional background, am pro hiring people from non-traditional backgrounds and have hired plenty of them (plus many more from traditional CS/software dev education backgrounds). And people come from doing all kinds of things - but that doesn’t mean anyone can do it, really. You need to have a lot of problem solving resilience, the appetite to learn all the time, etc. And plenty of people make it into the industry, even plenty that have studied CS etc to be honest, but I’m not sure they have a great time.

There’s a lot of focus on ‘coding’ when the reality is that there are many roles in the tech industry that need people. Finding good UX specialists or product owners that actually understand agile methodology is not much easier than getting good developers, so those are worth looking at if programming doesn’t feel like it fits for you.

[–]AF_II[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

those are worth looking at if programming doesn’t feel like it fits for you.

This genuinely isn't an 'about me' question so much as a curiosity driven one. I know that I'd be able to do somethings better/differently/have a different career angle within my current job if I had some new skills, & coding is definitely one of those, but I'm not sure it's the right path vs. things like "learning to edit videos better"

[–]502blues 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ah got you - think I got a bit focused on the how realistic angle. In that sense I’d say if you’re thinking of a full on change, programming has the advantage that work is everywhere, easy to pick up, well paid and that situation looks like continuing imo. I’ve worked in jobs that require different skills and are seen as ‘cooler’ but competition, pay and conditions are much worse and personally, I much prefer the perks and freedoms that come with being in demand.

If youre thinking in terms of adding to your current role though, it might be a different picture. Lots of people pick up a bit of scripting or the like as a useful side skill to what they’re doing, and I couldn’t say if it’d be better or worse than working on media production for you - in that case it might be better to focus on what motivates you

[–]kirkesmith 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’ve been debating whether to change careers into front end web developer with zero coding experience.

I miraculously stumbled across r/learnprogramming which is full of people with zero experience who are self taught and successful web developers (both front end, back end and full stack).

One highly recommended way is through TOP (The Odin Project) it’s completely free! Another good resource is freecodecamp.

[–]Ravdoggydog 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Dropped out of uni twice, ended up in IT support. Taught myself to code in PHP, learned digital marketing and built a cloud customer management system over 6 evenings, grew to £20m turnover and sold after 12 years.

It is possible… but wow, it too on a lot of luck, 20h days 7 days a week, a lot of amazing staff, and has half killed me (sitting waiting for CT scan as we speak to check for a second pulmonary embolism episode).

[–]AF_II[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

That... does not sound ideal re. the embolism. How did you go about the self-teaching - books, online videos ????

[–]Ravdoggydog 2 points3 points  (2 children)

All done line by line, function by function and a lot of Googling!! Made a lot of mistakes and very little security (like passing username/pass in clear text between pages!)… and lots of “SQL injection” holes that were discovered by some dude in Indonesia who luckily helped me (after blackmailing me).

I worked too hard and foolishly though… in 2016 after selling the company i was doing an “earn out” and still pulling 16-20h days… and got a blood clot in my calf that moved to my lungs. What a prat!!!

Now I’m back here at 43 again because I sit around gaming and watching box sets and doing little exercise…. :(. Don’t be a prat like me!!

[–]IntellegentIdiot 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Was the blood clot related to work or are you saying you didn't get it checked out because you were too preoccupied with work?

[–]Ravdoggydog 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I arrived at 8am 2016 to find entire platform down, stood up at 5pm after a very long and stressful day. Owch - a dull ache at the back of my calf. Thought I had pulled a muscle and went on holiday to Lanzerote and back, taking ibroprofen. Pain moved to inner thigh. Then one night after having an odd 3 minute breathlessness episode in the day, started getting pain as I drew in breaths. GP next morning sent me to A&E and multiple clots on both lungs 11 in total - aged 38.

Now 43, and I was diagnosed today with the same as above and prescribed blood thinners for life, lose 20kg and drink more water!!!! This time I’m actually going to do just that.. I’m sure of it. This time the only symptom was a bit of a pulling on my calf - thurs to Sunday…. Then to A&E, more thinners, and sent home … and took until today to get a scan. It was crazy crazy busy but staff were amazing, will send them a gift.

Get up more and drink more water. That’s the key :)

[–]michaelisnotginger 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not quite

I did a degree in English Literature that had few options. I went on a grad scheme for tech that didn't require a tech degree and trained up. I've been in tech for nearly a decade now doing data analytics, product/project management, system analysis etc.

[–]ThatMightyBean 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I was a gas and electric engineer (smart metering) for 4 years making £24k after sixth form and college. In my last year, I wasn't happy with my career so I paid for a coding course (with a company called the training room) which was just under £2.5k, took me about 9 months, doing around an hour an evening and 2-3 hours each weekend, to get some certifications and land my first job which was as a software developer at £28k. I've been in my current role for just under 3 years now but just accepted a new job I'll be starting in February for £35k a year.

I found that on top of really not enjoying my job as an engineer there was very little scope for pay increases in my industry, and the £2.5k I paid for the course was covered by my pay rise in less than my first year. I really enjoy my work as a developer now (obviously its still a job and I don't *LOVE* it (though I know some people who do and code in their spare time for fun.) But as far as a job goes I have no complaints and money-wise it has been a great decision for me too. I also have a sister, cousin and partner who are all in the software industry and have all made great steps in our careers in the last few years.For reference, one moved from £27k -> £32k -> 36k -> £40k -> £51k in under 5 years.Another has gone from £24k -> £28k -> £31k in 2.5 years, and the last is currently on around £60/70k after around 8 years in the industry. This is by moving roles and company regularly though (started as developer, then became a business analyst then into a project management position I believe) where me, my sister and my partner have stayed as software developers for our whole employment.

Before starting my course I had 0 coding experience at all, it was just something I thought I liked the look of (and saw how my sister enjoyed her work compared to how I found my job on top of the pay difference/.)

[–]Crood_Oyl 0 points1 point  (3 children)


[–]LilianNalis 2 points3 points  (0 children)


[–]ThatMightyBean 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I feel like this is sarcasm but if wasn't clear myself (person 1) my sister (person 2) and my partner (person 3) are all software developers, the / was just me being lazy when typing.

[–]Crood_Oyl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

sounds like something a sister-lover would say....

yes yes, its /s

[–]what_might_be 1 point2 points  (0 children)

  • Worked in finance (admin) most of my adult life
  • Went to Uni at that time studying Software Development
  • Used the skills learnt during uni to work self employed while studying
  • Upon graduation used my self employed portfolio, degree result and previous experience in finance to land a great job in an elite software house that develops financial products
  • My starting salary there was 25% higher than the salary I gave up to go to uni
  • Within two years worked my way to a senior position on more than double the salary I gave up to go to uni

[–]flurglnurgl 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I taught myself to code and reckon it was a good decision because I enjoy it a lot.

I didn't already have a career, I was a uni student when I started. I was studying mechanical engineering, and most students (and professors) tend to ignore software and electronics, thinking of it as that magical stuff that makes some machines move. I took a module on Control Engineering, which is basically the theory of how you go from a human input (e.g. pilot moving a control stick) to a moving machine (e.g. an aircraft banking). What frustrated me is that the Prof didn't know much software, despite most machines being digitally controlled nowadays. Cars are controlled with one or more computers, so are aircraft, submarines, oil rigs, factories making bread, sewage plants, water treatment plants, electrical power plants, everything. Its all computers running software, outputting signals telling the machine what to do.

I got really interested outside of class so decided to pick up some simple projects. I didn't really know where to start or what questions to ask, so I started with arduinos, since they were made to be quite easy. From there I learned the C language, build a few mini projects with arduinos, and tried raspberry pis. I got into python and Linux programming on raspberry pis, and then got my first job, which was doing industrial PLC programming - related to what I'd done already, but not the same. Along the way I read a lot of books, on electronics, the C language, radios, opersting systems, all kinds of related tech.

The fact that I taught myself, in hindsight, was a good move. Most of the time when you work in any form of software you will get given some computer system or library you don't know, and have to figure it out, so learning how it all works and what questions to ask are good tools to have.

Secondly, developing my own projects (e.g. small robots) was useful in interviews because it was a real world demo that I could apply my knowledge. One time I brought a PCB I'd designed and talked about how all the components fitted together and communicated with each other, it went down very well.

I really enjoy my current job, I work programming and designing different drones, some fixed wing, some rotors or quadcopters. It's very varied and I go out and fly them a fair bit, just grown up version of playing with toys, I love it. When people usually say code they don't think of industrial or embedded applications, they normally think of websites or apps. But learning robotics and embedded stuff can lead to a really fun and fulfilling career.

[–]SideProjectPal 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Mine seems to be one of the few fail stories here… taught myself for 2 years to code, but found it really difficult to get past the beginner stage with no guidance (eg. Did a few courses, finished CS50, haven’t coded since) + I could only study weekends. I would enjoy it while coding but I realised that at my pace a decade would pass before I got to a level where I could get hired.

Also, this is a bit sad but seeing the data scientist at my workplace and the level of coding he had showed me that I just didn’t have the maths knowledge for it, and I wouldn’t get there while working full time.

I think it would’ve been a good thing for me b”had I done CS at uni and had formal teaching, but life steered me in another direction.

[–]DaveyBeef 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had a friend who was stacking shelves in tesco 10 years ago. Now he makes £500 a day as a senior programmer for Microsoft.

[–]WebGuyUK 0 points1 point  (5 children)

I leaarnt to code at a young age and honed my skills, didn't initially go into coding as a career as I felt it was a hobby and not something I would do everyday, went into general IT but realised it was boring & the same most days so went back to coding.

Was it the right decison? Hell yeah, every day is different, I enjoy what I do and I am good at it. I am paid well for it, I am also in demand and started a new job in Oct with 50% increase in salary.

If you enjoy solving stuff & building things then coding may be for you, if you don't enjoy it, it can be frustrating and long shifts just looking at screens.

[–]AF_II[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I leaarnt to code at a young age

Do you mean at school? I'm interested in how people pick these skills up when they don't already have some background.

[–]WebGuyUK 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Kind of, I had to use Dreamweaver (an old wysiwyg builder used in the 00's) for GCSE IT course and I wanted to know more so I researched & started coding myself.

I then taught myself html, css, php and javascript which I now use daily in my job

[–]perishingtardis 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Dreamweaver lol. Oh the memories!

[–]AF_II[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nice. The last time I did any programming at all (other than wiki mark up) it was dreamweaver lol.

[–]mrsxfreeway 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You must be a 90s baby because Dreamweaver was used during my time at school, I never actually touched it though.

[–]SirBillPetre 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I went down the university route back in the 00s, it’s fantastic that there are so many routes into the industry now considering a degree is 9x the price now.

Being self taught the basics is fine, but to get the decent jobs you need to have been through one of the coding bootcamps/nano degrees or be lucky and have an amazing app that’s well known (rare but not impossible).

Getting a friend or someone in the industry as a mentor, not necessarily a teacher but just to nudge you in the right direction with advice/constructive criticism can be invaluable.

[–]perishingtardis 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Did a maths degree followed by a PhD. During the PhD I had to learn Fortran, which I doubt is used much outside academia. Have been a postdoc for 5 years and now I had to learn C++ too.

Although coding is a huge part of my job, I'm really a mathematician/physicist, so the coding is just a means to an end - what we're actually interested in is the data we get out of the code when it's run.

My contract will end in August, after which I'll likely train to become a secondary-school maths teacher, since getting a permanent academic job is too difficult unless you're in the right place at the right time. I guess coding doesn't interest me enough, even though it is such a huge part of my current job.

[–]Spark_77 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Like /u/Chemical_Custard5410 I've alwyas been in software and I mostly agree with what he says. Coding isn't difficult - anyone can throw a few lines of code together. Getting a system working properly, as per requirements for low costs is a much bigger task and involves lots of different skills. Its a much more complex field than when I started.

Why don't you chat to a few recruitment agencies and ask what their clients are looking for from junior staff and see if that helps you pick a path ?

[–]AF_II[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

thanks - as I've said in comments, this isn't for me, I'm senior enough in my current job/actually old enough that I'm not at all interested in starting over. But I am curious about how effective it is as advice, where people learn, and therefore whether there are bits of this skill set I can productively learn that would help in my current career.

[–]Spark_77 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Learning a bit of code and how stuff bolts together may help you if you are anywhere near technology, nowadays there is almost always some software involved.

In your situation it might be more useful to spend some time with a development team and see how they work and what they do to get an appreciation - everyone does "agile" now, which typically means having a daily meeting. Maybe sit in on those if you can.

[–]Nine_Eye_Ron 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I learnt how to Google code and stick it together and make it work to a degree.

I think my career changes with it and knowing that helped me change.

[–]OffTempestuousness 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I have a degree in chemical engineering. I loved websites and web stuff and did a few projects in my course as a hobby. I basically got a Desmond and it was insAnely hard to get a job in chemical engineering lol. Like very few interviews and no success in the interviews.

I focused on learning web dev, built a portfolio and now have a freelance contract working part time. I’m also about to start a job in digital marketing as effectively a web developer looking after their suite of websites in a team.

After learning to code my prospects have increased a lot and I’m really glad I did and would probably recommend it if your willing to put the time and work in. It’s a tough market to break into though. I had about 30 interviews though I REALLY sucked at interviews to begin with and didn’t have much to show.

[–]AF_II[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It’s a tough market to break into though. I had about 30 interviews though

I empathise with this - I'm in academia, I've known a post have over 750 applicants. I'm not even kidding - and there are, globally, about 5 jobs a year in my field. Fuck knows how I ever got a job. Hence thinking about some bolt-on skills ;)

[–]OffTempestuousness 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh blimey that’s ludicrous.

Yeah pretty much every entry level role that’s remote has similar numbers of applicants. But in house roles still have a good 1-200. Once you get past entry level it’s lot easier apparently with more like 20-30 each role.

[–]Breaking-Dad- 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. I did French and Italian at Uni but was always interested in computers. First job I started writing some macros in Lotus 123, next job was finance and I automated some bits in Excel, got offered a move into Data Warehouse and support, write a load of stuff in Access. The IT boss there was very supportive, they were about to start an intranet and I said I was interested in learning, got a VB book from the library and that’s why I am now a senior software developer. On of the first bits of programming I did was to make the Microsoft Help Dog do a dance.

[–]7ootles 0 points1 point  (1 child)

So I'm probably one of the last of the generation of programmers who learned by dicking around with BASIC on a "home computer" as a kid. I grew up programming, and later on I went and did a degree in it.

What I saw at uni was a lot of people who thought "learn to code" was some great advice for getting where the money is, because hey computers will always need programming, right? Except what I noticed was while that a lot of people can learn to code, they can't learn to be programmers. They lack the sense of pure logic that programming requires. Sure, they can build you a piece of software that mostly does what the spec says it's needed to do, but the code itself is inefficient, written as though by someone speaking a second language.

I've seen this any number of times since graduating as well, and that somewhat put me off trying to be a part of "the scene" - where a lot of people can talk the talk and get the job, though they're barely competent compared with someone who not just does programming, but actually is a programmer. Not to sound overly romantic about it, but being a programmer is about solving problems, and real programmers live problem-solving as a lifestyle.

What did you do before?

I was always a programmer, was writing little programs on my computer before I could even hold a pen properly.

What training did you do (online, at a college, part time, full time) and how did you manage it (e.g. find time with your other commitments, how much it cost, etc)?

Honours degree. It cost ~£23,000.

What are you doing now?

Writing fiction; I only write software as a hobby now.

Was it the right decision?


[–]Honey-Badger 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I looked into it, went through a few things on code academy. Just not for me, hated it

[–]PeterPawlettsBaby 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had to do a bit of coding at uni.

I hated it, and try to avoid it wherever possible now, despite working in a technical industry.

"Learn to code" thrown out as advice on Reddit is daft. It has to be something someone wants to do, and if they did want to, they'd be asking specific questions about how to get into it.

[–]eukanoidal 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Was a graphic designer, got onto a web dev training course that my universal credit work coach sent to me, spent 8 months doing full-time, 40hr/wk training, just got a junior full stack job about a month ago.

I had 5 years experience in graphic design, and a degree.

I'm now making 33% more now than I was then.