Starting My Self-Taught Developer Journey
NOTE: This article was originally posted on dev.to. From November 20, 2021 to Feburary 16, 2022, I wrote 63 articles in my self-taught developer series on Dev.to documenting my first 100DaysOfCode journey and sharing it on Twitter. It is an accomplishment I am proud of and helped curate my love for writing. Throughout the 63 days, I made a lot of pivots and changes. This series reflects the ups and downs of a new developer. If you would like to read through my journey, please check it out on dev.to. But my self-taught developer journey didn't end though. The journey continues here through my blog. Thanks for tuning in!
Hello, fellow self-taught developers! I am going to document my journey as a self-taught developer as a reminder and motivator to myself. I also hope this will help others who might be struggling with the same things I am.
Let's get started.
A quick introduction of my coding background, I majored in Geography and minored in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. I currently work as a GIS Technician and primarily use Python and SQL. I’m also taking Harvard's CS50 and participating in #100DaysOfCode on Twitter.
Deciding where to start
After deciding I wanted to become a developer, I began looking into various boot camps and self-taught developer paths. I watched videos, read articles, listened to podcasts, and reached out to people for advice. The more advice I received, the more stressed I became from the overwhelming amount of resources to choose from (paralysis by analysis).
All these options made me realize there isn't a perfect answer or right path to becoming a developer. So I just need to start with what I think would work for me. I narrowed down my choices to what advice resonated with me.
Here is my current study plan:
Review C and the Fundamentals
A Full Stack Developer I know, who's been working for almost 20 years, recommended me to learn C as an intro. They told me C could be used to teach the core concepts, data structures, and algorithms. They suggested I read The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition by Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis M. Ritchie.
I have previous experience with C from taking Harvard's CS50 so this will be a good review.
The reason I am going to utilize this in my developer study plan is because I am not confident on my fundamentals of programming. My hope is C will help me grasp concepts easier in the future. Specifically, data structures and algorithms.
I will be taking a crash course for each language to learn the basics. I don't want to get trapped in tutorial hell so I will not be spending too much time on watching tutorials.
After finishing the tutorials, I will start building projects, save them on my GitHub, and add them to my portfolio.
The majority of the advice I received emphasized the importance of creating projects. I prefer applied learning so I understand things better from building out and dissecting code.
Determine What Kind of Developer I Want To Be
Researching what kind of developer I want to be and then focusing on the languages, frameworks, etc. for that role.
This is the beginning of my self-taught developer journey. In the future, the plan I laid out might change, but I’m excited to see where this takes me.