The Second Last Guide I’ll Write for People Who Want to Get Started

A bunch of posts that I wrote were lost a few months ago. One of the posts was titled, “The Last Guide I’ll Ever Write for People Who Say They Want to Get Started With Programming.”

The lesson I’ll give myself is that I need to make more dependable backups, but here’s my attempt at rewriting what I’d like to say.

You’re Probably not Uncomfortable Enough

If you’re like me, oftentimes you’ll have an emotional asthma attack because you sit back late at night and think that you’re in a shitty situation. You’re eager to make a change, so you google and find things out and try to take action. Two or three weeks later, you find your conviction waning.

This happens to me so many times for so many things. Most of the people that I work with have an extremely strong drive to get shit done and start. The momentum is great at first until other things come into the picture. You get “busy” or some other things come up over and over again until the work that represents your drive are just thoughts.

I’m not going to make any assumptions about anyone’s situation. If things came up, then things came up. That’s life. For real though, think back to all those times that you said you were going to work on achieving. All those times in the beginning where you started and you cleared your schedule to learn. How proud it felt to spend a few hours or even half of a whole day trying to better yourself.

You probably don’t notice when you prioritize other things over your goals, but if you look back and think about all the things that you’ve done VS all the things that you could have done, I’m confident that you would agree: you could have done more. So face the truth, the goals aren’t that important to you and you’re probably not uncomfotable enough to make shit happen.

If a dude has a gun pointed at you and the trigger is about to be pulled, you move. If you feel like shit at your current job and you’re unsatisfied as fuck, you apply to other places. If you hate your current situation and you think that a high five figure, or even six figure software engineering job is going to make you content, you bust your ass or at least do the ass busting in moderation and stay consistent (I’m channeling you, lozdogz).

I’m writing this post at 1AM on a Friday after complaining to the other half for SO long how I want something more than a 9-5, especially after being silent for so long in the community and Discord channel. I’ve been talking shit about myself, to myself for months!

And I know…

It’s Hard

Let’s lay down a likely scenario:

You’re trying to literally change the course of your life, your destiny, learning a shit ton of extremely technical things you’ve never done before. You don’t really know where to start and you don’t know anyone who can guide you or help.

You also might be betting a shit ton of time and money learning and doing stuff, FOR FREE, trying to achieve things on a path that isn’t as laid out as, say, 4 years of college = success; things that are not guaranteed to happen, and your competition includes people with more experience professionally, people who have college degrees on this stuff, and people who market themselves better.

You DAMNNNN right that sounds bleak, I’m not gonna sugar coat it but I will put it in words for you. As we all know, a degree in the field of Software Engineering is not required. I will be honest and say that there’s a lot from college/university that I don’t use for my job, but I also admit that it has helped me.

But Remember, There’s Help and Examples

This push you might have as bleak as the Fathers of America fighting for independence. People have done the “no degree, no technical background, now I’m a Software Engineer” post on LinkedIn many times. People I work with refer me to Youtube videos depicting the same thing.

Content to learn can be free, cheap, and abundant. I’ve helped about 7 people get jobs now from just one on one direction and coaching. If I could go back, I would have ditched college and traded the stimulus for self teaching, supplementing growth with participation in some community or projects, byt as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Seriously, don’t just spend your time watching Youtube videos or have your head down focused on a Udemy course and do nothing else. I feel like people do that and then further lose momentum because they expected the course to be all they needed to get a job. There’s so much more to it. Reaching out to people with experience can help.

Don’t underestimate the power of community.

So Where Can You Start?

I have faith in Udemy to have an archive of solid choices of courses to learn from. A bunch of the top rated ones are on sale all the time. I used to refer people to Free Code Camp but it seems a bit outdated. It still covers the foundations in HTML, CSS, and JS, so you can’t go wrong.

For community, I really like Reddit. There are TONs of resources:

r/AskComputerScience

r/CSCareerQuestions

r/AskProgramming

r/LearnProgramming

These are just a few of the ones I’ve quickly looked up for ‘ask/help’ kinda stuff, but don’t forget that there are subreddits for specific technolgies like r/kubernetes or r/javascript and topics like r/programming, r/devops, Please let me know if there’s something you’d recommend or found that works and I’ll add it here.

I’ve gotten shit for not providing content before, but hoping that things will change in the near future… We’ll see.

Let’s Go

I’ll never say that getting into this field is easy but I’ll always say that starting isn’t hard. Take stock in what you’re trying to do: change your life for the better.

You’re going to have to do things you’ve never done before, and you’ll find that sometimes you are your worst enemy. You’re going to risk looking stupid (most of the time you’re just over exaggerating, I feel this way all the time), you’ll constantly feel frustrated and flustered, and you’ll battle decision paralysis more than ever.

On the bright side, you’ll get a chance to find yourself and see what you’re made of. You’ll learn new skills and have a chance to refine those you already have. You might make some good friends and have great experiences, as I have since starting this community.

You have a very, VERY real chance at changing your life and the lives of future generations just by sitting in your room and twitching your fingers on a keyboard. Historically, people were born into situations they couldn’t change, be it access to technology, social status, or anything else. You have a chance!

Everyone’s path to success in this field is different, but sacrifice and struggle is common among most.

I’ll to make updates more frequently, but most of the community is on a Discord server. You can reach me for anything at corey.prak@gmail.com

Keep going! We’re here for ya.

Corey Prak