Taking a leap — learning to code and change career

Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash.

My journey towards becoming a web developer began almost 1,5 years ago today. I felt sort of stuck in my old routines and in a job that didn’t really challenge me anymore, and scrolling through social media one day I saw an announcement for a two-day coding course called “{hello, girl!}”. It was a collaboration between Science Park Jönköping, local companies and schools to get more women interested in programming. I thought “why not, sounds like fun!” and applied for a spot. The focus for these two days was to get an insight in the world of coding, and try out the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript by building a fun and simple recipe website.

Two days later I had created my very first webpage. My head was filled with new insights and code, and I couldn’t remember when I last felt this inspired and happy about learning something new.

Photo by Ian Schneider Unsplash.

One thing I remember thinking over and over was “This. This is it. This is what it’s supposed to feel like when you’re passionate about something you do.”
The road forward from there was crystal clear: I want to be a web developer.

I was off to a bit of a rocky start though… That’s why I want to share three of my best advice if you’re thinking about changing your career towards web development. This is some things I wish someone would have told me in the beginning, and I really hope this will inspire and help you to take that leap ✨

Before starting the Technigo Frontend Bootcamp I took some coding classes at university. Some of these classes were great, and some of them were… well, not that good. Sadly some of the bad experiences almost scared me off from wanting to learn more about programming. So, this is important: Learning how to code is a challenge, and you have to work hard, but it is supposed to be FUN! 🌟

  • If you don’t get the help or support you need, if the material is outdated and you don’t feel that the education is giving you anything: find another way, just don’t give up and let one bad experience frighten you from wanting to learn how to code. There are so many great courses, tutorials, teachers, schools and communities out there, you just have to Google and ask around.
  • If you want to begin with something small: Mimo is a fun app for learning the basics with short exercises you can do in your phone.
  • Have a look at some online tutorials and communities like Technigo, TjejerKodar, Codecademy or SuperHi, and pick something that suits you.
  • Have you found a program or course that seems interesting, but are still a bit unsure if it’s for you? Get in touch with the school, and see if you can connect with some of the students currently enrolled there and ask them how they’ve experienced the program.
  • Do you know someone who’s working with or studying web development? Just reach out and ask them about their experiences. Most developers are just really happy to help and answer all your questions.

If you have a chance to code together with others, do it! You gain so much help and experience from learning together as a team like we do at Technigo. We all have different backgrounds and experiences that are useful to the group, and you always have someone to ask for help/panic with/laugh with and learn from.

  • One important thing to remember though, is not to compare yourself with others when learning to code. There will always be someone with more experience than you, or someone that seems to be grasping everything a hundred times faster than you do, but remember that your journey is your own. You will get there in the end, and learn in your own time.
  • Instead of feeling insecure and nervous about showing your projects, find inspiration and happiness in others success! See it a chance to learn more, and that you have some really great people around you to ask for help ❤️. And if someone has a problem, make an effort and try to help out. Even if you don’t have the right answer up front, or come up with the correct answer in the end, at least doing research and trying to help hopefully leads to both of you learning something new anyway!

Something that you will have to learn to accept when you dive in to the world of coding is that you will run into errors and problems. A LOT. But just sitting in front of you computer, staring at that one piece of code and wonder why the f*** it’s not working??! will not get you anywhere. When this happens it’s good to just take a step back, breathe, and do something else for a moment.

  • Go out for a walk, get a cup of coffee, hang out with a friend, watch a movie… When coming back to your code, you usually know what to do. I often get my best ideas and feel most creative when I relax and do something completely different for a while. Find out what works for you. For example you can ask yourself: in which environments do I feel most creative? What do I need to feel good? 🧘‍♀️
  • Do you have someone you can ask for help? Then do it! Getting a pair of fresh eyes to look at your code can save you hours of not getting anywhere.
  • And of course: Don’t forget to celebrate success! 🥳 When finally solving that problem you’ve spent hours on and see the result popping up on your screen, it’s the most rewarding feeling in the world. Be proud of yourself, and celebrate what you’ve achieved this far. 🎉
Image by Prateek Katyal on Unsplashed.

I just handed in my very first mobile app made in React Native (🤯). If someone had told me before this bootcamp started that I would be able to do something like this after just 13 weeks, I wouldn’t have believed them. But here we are.

Learning how to code is a rollercoaster, and attending a fast pace bootcamp is a real challenge, but I wouldn’t want to miss one second of it. And neither should you, so just go for it! 🎢 🌟💪

Frontend developer with a background in communication 🚀