[LRUG] Beginner advice

Najaf Ali ali at happybearsoftware.com
Tue Apr 10 16:40:22 PDT 2018

Hi Sam,
> I'm currently going through other basic tutorials(html, css etc) and was
wondering what the next step would be after being comfortable with the basics.
I would strongly second what Graham said about getting as much practice as you
can. If you don't have a specific project that you're focused on right now,
there are plenty of exercises available online for you to work through. 
exercism.io gets a lot of good reviews, some other examples include project
euler, SQLBolt,rosalind, and cryptopals. (If you manage to complete up to
challenge 6 in cryptopals, or even attempt 6 and get stuck part way through,
then it would probably be worth us discussing the potential for an
apprenticeship as plenty of senior developers can't do that exercise).
I particularly like this post about learning  (and more specifically learning to
program) about fluency vs. understanding and structure vs. imagination.
However, in addition to building fluency, we also encourage apprentices to read
books. For learning Ruby our standard text is The Well Grounded Rubyist  by
David A. Black. Other books on our apprentice reading list include High
Performance Browser Networking  by Ilya Grigorik (available online for free) and
 Designing Data Intensive Applications  by Martin Kleppmann. The former is
ostensibly about performance and ends up being a sales pitch for HTTP2, but on
the way there the author has to explain how the internet works. The latter is a
book packed with a lot of knowledge and clear thinking about how to make good
decisions with databases that I wish I'd had earlier in my career.
> It would also be nice to know what possible paths there are for becoming a
fully fledged developer.
Having advised (and subsequently hired a few) graduates from code schools,
career changers, and coding meetup attendees, without knowing more about your
circumstances I would wager that from a standing start this is a project that
will take you between 6 and 24 months, depending on your life circumstances,
your prior experience, and connections.
Here are some things you can do to help make your first job as a developer
happen: * Start talking to people in the industry. Go to the LRUG meetups. One of the
   most common concerns about attending that new programmers raise with me is
   that the talks will be "at too high a level". They're not at too high a level
   for you (sorry everyone!) and even if they are, isn't that the point of you
   going? Try to stay for drinks afterwards if you feel comfortable doing so and
   maybe introduce yourself to some people that have also been to LRUG that
   evening. Maybe think about attending Brighton Ruby  too, Andy knows how to
   put on a good show. In addition to this, if you happen to be from a
   background that is underrepresented in tech then I super double plus turbo
   recommend you attend codebar. It is the gold standard introduction to the
   industry. You will be in an office where developers work, with other people
   learning to code, and a handful of developers teaching you how to code, for
   free. If that doesn't make the prospect of becoming a developer more real for
   you, I don't know what will.
 * If you can afford to do so, attend Makers Academy. I have no affiliation with
   Makers other than I know a lot of the students and occasionally have lunch
   with Evgeny who is one of the founders. After years of watching Makers launch
   cohort after cohort into the industry, I don't have any hesitation in
   recommending them to you (though I suspect out of all of these
   recommendations, this one will be the most controversial on this list). They
   will definitely make it more likely that you get a job as a developer more
   quickly than you would be able to do so on your own. They also at this stage
   have an extensive alumni network, and a lot of good connections with
   companies that are actively trying to hire people that are new to the
   industry. This is a really good set of advantages to have at the start of
   your developer career.
 * Start the campaign for your first developer job early. Let's say you have to
   make 100 applications for a developer job, 30 of which get a reply, 9 of
   which lead to an interview which result in one or two offers for a job. You
   still need to make those hundred applications to get those one or two offers.
   As you improve your skills, make more connections, and get more experience
   interviewing, your likelihood of getting an offer will increase. So the
   earlier you start writing CVs/cover letters, making lists of companies you'd
   like to work at, and reaching out to people hiring junior/apprentice roles,
   the better.

You'll get a lot of other good replies on this list and this is just one set of
opinions to weigh against all the others, but I hope there are one or two things
there you find useful. If there's anything I've said here that you would like to
discuss further then feel free to get in touch on or off list.
Best of luck!
Najaf Ali - Founder atHappy Bear SoftwarePhone: 07590 073 977Skype: alinajaf85
Timezone: London, UTC + 1LinkedIn |Twitter |Medium |GitHub

I run a technical consultancy specialising in Ruby on Rails. Have a look atthis
one-page info sheet for a summary of the services we provide. We're always happy
to meet people building software, so if you think of anyone appropriate for us
we would appreciate being put in touch :-)  

On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 7:48 PM, samuel brown samuelbrown201195 at hotmail.co.uk 
Hi all

I have started getting into programming(initial through basic ruby tutorials and
onto hartl's rails tutorial). I'm currently going through other basic
tutorials(html, css etc)  and was wondering what the next step would be after
being comfortable with the basics.

It would also be nice to know what possible paths there are for becoming a fully
fledged developer.

Any comments would be much appreciated


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