[LRUG] Beginner advice

damilola odelola damzcodes at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 02:34:00 PDT 2018

Hey Sam,

There's been lots of good advice and useful advice, & I agree with pretty
much all of it. I have two additional suggestions:

1. If you're working full-time or don't have the money to attend a bootcamp
(either for tuition fees or living costs) I'd recommend getting a mentor.
Luke Morton, who's on this list, runs a mentoring network (& happens to be
my mentor) where he connects mentors and mentees, if you'd like me to put
you in touch with him, I can do that. A mentor can help with the practical
job of coding as well as help with career advice.

2. If you do have the capacity to forgo a few months salary, Maker's is a
good option to check out & I'd also recommend 8th Light's Student
Apprenticeship program <https://8thlight.com/apprenticeship/> which is free
but also unpaid but the benefits of 8th Light is that you'll be learning in
a professional environment at the 8th Light offices and once complete you'd
be eligible to apply for the paid internship program & they have a pretty
good retention rate.


On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 10:04 AM, Brandon Burton <
brandon.anthony.burton at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Sam,
> I was in your position about 2.5 years ago. I had no real coding
> experience other than a few encounters with html/css exercises and I didn't
> have any relevant education.
> What helped me was what Graham and Ali suggested, practicing. That was
> either by reading books like The Well Grounded Rubyist or utilizing online
> tutorials. I found structured online tutorials worked best for me so I paid
> for a subscription to TeamTreehouse after looking at a few online MOOC's. I
> told myself that if I enjoyed it and found myself continuing to do it then
> I would start planning to change my career path.
> About a month or two in I decided to find a meetup and came across NWRUG
> (the Manchester sister group to LRUG). I certainly felt apprehensive about
> showing up, having little to no experience, but the reality was far
> different. I was able to pair on coding challenges with knowledgable
> developers, ask questions about topics in some of the talks where I didn't
> initially grasp the concept, I received helpful advice on continuing my
> journey to become a developer, and I was even lucky enough to have one of
> the developers kindly spare their evenings to mentor me.
> When I first decided that I was going to try and switch careers to become
> a developer I set out a goal; at the end of 1 year, I would have my first
> job. Having this goal in the back of my mind helped me push through days
> where I didn't feel like coding very much. Even on my laziest days I made
> sure to code or read over blog posts for at least 30 mins.
> About 6 months after starting my journey I was encouraged to give a talk
> on my experiences of trying to become a developer at our local meetup. It
> was from that talk that I was introduced to my future (and current)
> employer. A few weeks after that talk I was arriving at work for my first
> day as a full stack dev.
> It's definitely possible, whether it happens in 6 or 24 months. If you
> have the ability to join a bootcamp like Makers then I can recommend that,
> you'll have a stronger understanding of the basics and better opportunities
> for finding your first job -- two juniors I work with came from Makers and
> both came in quite strong (and still are). If you can't afford a bootcamp
> then there are still plenty of online resources to help you get where you
> want to be.
> I'm still using online tutorials, reading blog posts, or reading books now
> to help me learn new and difficult concepts. It's an important trait to
> have when looking to become a developer. Employers really like to see that
> you learn in your spare time, it means they can rely on you to continue to
> become a better developer.
> I would definitely recommend you attend LRUG and chat with a few people
> there about your goals and get some advice from them.
> Best of luck,
> Brandon
> On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 12:40 AM, Najaf Ali <ali at happybearsoftware.com>
> wrote:
>> 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
>> <https://links2.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/AHeGerJSe1ejiQ5oU?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>,
>> SQLBolt
>> <https://links6.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/EA2X1Mg361mIib8gH?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>> , rosalind
>> <https://links5.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/3uZPfphPKpLAite8l?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>,
>> and cryptopals
>> <https://links8.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/tSwHjQp56F6R8P5NA?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>.
>> (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
>> <https://links7.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/pUQ1EAGyzrojkODgp?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>> (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
>> <https://links10.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/dJXYviaJX4QfuOIHq?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>> by David A. Black. Other books on our apprentice reading list include High
>> Performance Browser Networking
>> <https://links8.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/6Eiu9QlZGg35El8Su?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>> by Ilya Grigorik (available online for free) and Designing Data
>> Intensive Applications
>> <https://links6.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/9KFV67uLpuJDyATcr?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>> 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
>>    <https://links10.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/6T4XqSs7Ut8I7Z3YZ?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false> 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
>>    <https://links7.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/3JyKp8CSOjQKj4lQn?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>>    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
>>    <https://links1.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/ZlIh01s1kqTP4B4WQ?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>.
>>    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
>>    <https://links4.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/TUOwHD5lOlnXQ8jXl?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>*.
>>    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 at Happy Bear Software
>> <https://links4.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/6Ruohd7dHMfHeT1a4?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>> Phone: 07590 073 977
>> Skype: alinajaf85
>> Timezone: London, UTC + 1
>> <https://links7.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/g75wimnKBoVFEkEYG?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>> LinkedIn
>> <https://links10.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/2bRAkTZhK9SbKJvE9?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>>  | Twitter
>> <https://links8.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/CQJxZdkCqrufc1yud?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>>  | Medium
>> <https://links7.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/Bd5gegp8mSMQn5WVT?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>>  | GitHub
>> <https://links7.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/szeRW7CJlUBsueml6?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false>
>> I run a technical consultancy specialising in Ruby on Rails. Have a look
>> at this one-page info sheet
>> <https://links4.mixmaxusercontent.com/rSxCBSBNkaSyYEvDv/l/BZtwTzqL1Oa0x1zOv?messageId=yAaWHPoia63A4r4b7&rn=gIwV3bydEIzJXZzVFI5JWdSBibvRmbvxkI&re=icmcv5yZ1JHbuMHdzlGbARXYoNmI&sc=false> 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.u
>> k wrote:
>>> 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
>>> Regards
>>> Sam
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Lola Odelola

blackgirl.tech | @blackgirltech <http://www.twitter.com/blackgirltech>
www.damilolaodelola.com | @lolaodelola <http://www.twitter.com/lolaodelola>
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