For a while now, I feel like I’ve been at that point many aspiring developers reach when they think to themsevles, “Okay, I’ve been through countless coding tutorials, completed numerous online classes, read the books, have a plethora of course-completed certificates.. so what next? I’ve got a fair amount of knowledge, but how do I make that leap from simply following these code-alongs, to actually making something worthwhile to start building up something of a portfolio which I can show off to prospective employers and prove my value?” So I was skimming through my Twitter feed one day when I ran across a retweet by FreeCodeCamp, which led me to an interesting piece:
“When starting out, the idea of building an app from scratch is daunting. I felt overwhelmed when I tried, and I gave up. So I continued taking only coding tutorials — and my learning soon plateaued. I was stuck. I began to figure out how I could get to building projects, but not ones that seemed so complex that I’d lose all motivation to keep going. Eventually, I found ways to ease off my tutorial training wheels and start building my own apps. And later, when I got my first job working as a developer..”
In another, linked article, one of the factors Madison attributes to her success in transitioning to a software developer role was enrolling in a course through Udacity, and specifically, the Intro to Computer Science one. Now, I had visited their site previously, but at the time, I was new to the Python language, and was still debating whether to pursue it, or going back to game development with Unity and C#. But after reading about Madison’s success, I decided to give Udacity a try, and signed up for their Programming for Data Science nano. I was really drawn to their project-for-portfolio mentality, and feel like I came out of it with some valuable skills. For a while, I had been sitting on an empty GitHub account with no comprehension of how repos and forking work. But after finishing the course, well-ahead of schedule, I now have a much better understanding of Git and GitHub, and even have a few repos up for some of the course projects, as well as a few from a local Python meetup I recently started attending.
Now, armed with a zeal brought on by these new skills, and with a proliferating GitHub account, I then set upon the tasking of creating an anchor to tie all those coding site profiles, LinkedIn account, etc together. A bit of a homebase, if you will, to showcase all the wondrous things I am learning, out there in this vast and magical world of development.