Experiences from other Software and Front-end Web Developer
Getting started as a front-end web developer can be a daunting task, but don’t get discouraged. This is a place for programmers to get help on being the best web developers and software engineers in the world. Coding Articles is a way to brighten up the profession and to share ideas and solutions to help other developers solve problems.
What does these Software and Front-end Web Developer have to say?
I got in touch with several of my favorite Front-end Developers and Software Developers to ask them how they got started in their career. They all were really generous to send me a video of talking about their journey how they began or they wrote me a small message explaining what they did to get there. I was blown away when they sent me a personalized video because it showed how much they really cared about having newbies succeed in becoming a developer.
Basically John started as a Web Developer at 10 years old by playing mud as a kid, which are multi-user dungeons and a precursor to the World of Warcraft. He wanted to create his own mud, so he downloaded the source code and taught himself C and C++ programming languages. He taught himself to program by reading and making changes to the source code. From that point on he created his own applications and went to college for a short while. Afterwards John got a summer job at Hewlett Packard, which started his career in web development. John Sonmez is an author, a talented programmer and retired from his regular job by age 33. He’s one of the best mentors to have and the first guy that encouraged me to blog about my web development progress.
Stefan Mischook – Software Developer
Watch this informative video on how Stefan got started as a front-end web developer. He got some valuable information on how he got started by building a website for a small business. Think way back in the day when the web wasn’t popular. Stefan figured it out all by himself. There was no online courses to learn or Google, so you basically had to learn to code on your own. Stefan is a very talented developer with many years of experience.
Definitely check his YouTube channel out.
Andy Sterkowitz – Software Developer
Andy is a self-taught Software Developer and he gave me some really awesome advice packed full of knowledge. I’ll also have his video below, so you can watch it. Here is Andy’s story.
After about a year or so and having built a portfolio of projects, I decided to head out into the job market and see if I could get some responses. It took about a month and nearly 40 applications when I found a company who was interested in hiring me. The interview process went well and I was lucky enough to receive a job offer. Since then it’s just been a dream to have a career doing something I love.
As far as tips go: find a company that cares about developing you and your skills. It’s not super difficult to find companies that will offer competitive pay and benefits, but it’s rare to find companies that will allow you the freedom to develop your talents as a developer. If you can find one, stay with them for as long as possible and develop your skills to the highest ability you can. This is much more important than being paid a lot of money. It’s also much more fulfilling.
As far as breaking into the field: develop grit. You will have to overcome obstacles and push through adversity. Whether you are trying to debug a difficult issue in code or study for a white boarding interview, much of being a developer comes down to persistence. Always do your best to enjoy it and love the challenge.
Watch Andy’s story in a nutshell
Daniel Shiffman – Coding Train
Real Tough Candy – Full stack Software Developer
I always wanted to be a musician as a kid, an entertainer.
By 19 I had produced my first album and moved to Minneapolis, a city that gave birth to the musical careers of Prince, Bob Dylan, Morris Day and The Time, The Replacements and many more. It was a great city to experience as a young adult, just so many different scenes with a pulse you could feel all across town.
But for every artist that get signed to a label, there are thousands who don’t.
I was one of those thousands, despite playing out and selling albums.
After a couple of years struggling as a musician and trying to figure out life, things came to a head and I ended up homeless in Duluth, Minnesota.
One night after a gig, it was getting late and the buses had stopped running for the night. I’d been staying at a women’s shelter about 15 miles away and had no money for a cab to get back, so I slept in a dugout of a nearby baseball field, guitar by my side. I was desperate, frustrated and angry with myself and the world. Just mad at everything. I had tried so hard to make a career as a musician and music producer, and the end result was me stuck at a baseball field overnight because I had to wait for a morning bus to bring me back to the shelter.
It was pathetic.
It was around this time I realized I had to make a major change. Not only was I broke but I was also involved in the rock ‘n roll, party 24/7 lifestyle. I was headed nowhere fast and had ran out of options. So I enlisted in the United States Air Force. Thank God my Aunt Kathy had made the suggestion, or I might not even be here today.
I served honorably, and once my enlistment was up, I eventually found myself back in Minneapolis in 2015. This time around I was working on my Masters degree using my G.I. Bill.
To help pay bills during the holiday season I worked the night shift at the U.S. Postal Service scanning packages. It was during one of these long, mind-numbing shifts where I started fantasizing about moving out of the city and starting my own creative agency. I didn’t know much about web development at the time, mostly just basic WordPress, so I was dreaming more of graphic design, video, photo, and social media development, while outsourcing the code-heavy stuff.
By 2016, I had moved out of Minneapolis and started focusing on my dream after wrapping up my Masters. My first few clients needed social media work and other non-dev work, but eventually my first website client came through the proverbial door. They were a local non-profit. When I showed them their new site, they loved it and I thought, “Hey, maybe I can do this web stuff after all.”
Freelancing with WordPress can be steady work, but I wanted more – I kept seeing all these awesome technologies like GraphQL, React, Laravel – the list is endless – and was like, “I want this.” And not just in a personal project setting, but I wanted to be a part of it in a real-world development scenario. I learned everything I could about the “hot tech” everybody was buzzing about.
Although a 9-5 job has never been a long-term goal of mine, I applied to about 60 or 70 job openings throughout 2017, and by 2018 landed my first “official” job as a full-stack software developer at a data company. The company was also an IBM partner, so there was a lot to learn about proprietary tech in addition to all the other stuff, whether it was Git, PHP, explaining tech issues to big-
dollar clients, troubleshooting 1000-line SQL statements, and so on.
Looking back, the job position and company were both hot messes, but I was just grateful to have a dev job. And I think I tolerated a lot more than I normally would because I treated it like an undercover assignment, taking as many notes as possible to funnel them into my growing business – which I was developing on the side.
A series of fortunate events (I sold some land I had purchased after I got out of the Air Force) allowed me to transition to building my developer business and leave the enterprise development world. Currently my business includes freelancing, government contracting, writing and teaching, and doing YouTube. I love every minute of it and love meeting all the new people who are entering the career field, especially via the self-taught route. It’s a tough road with so many distractions, but seeing people change their lives in a positive way is inspiring.
Web development is one of the only fields where I’m never bored and that’s always been a critical factor. I wake up nearly every day excited to share and build and don’t have to worry constantly about being broke or desperate. I’m very happy and grateful to have found a tiny place in the world where I feel good about my work in a career field with unlimited potential.
Check out Candy’s YouTube Channel and Udemy Course – link below
What advice I can give you as a front-end web developer?
I’m still learning from others everyday.
The best advice is to really get comfortable with writing and reading code. Know your basics well. Don’t jump into learning a framework too fast, which I think many people do. I’m guilty of learning React.js too fast. Finally, get a mentor or follow the experts that I’ve mentioned above or whoever you may like. And have fun!
Hope you found the advice very helpful. These guys deserve a round of applause. Thanks guys!
What Coding Articles Focus on as a front-end web developer?
I’ll also track my progress while learning Codeigniter, which is a PHP framework. I’ve always wanted to learn a PHP framework, so I’m thinking on every Tuesday I’ll post a new article to the blog.
If there’s a certain topic you want to talk about please let me know in the comment section or contact me here.
I want this category to be a discussion too, so feel free to tell me about your opinions.
For example, some people like myself may want to know what is the best framework to learn, or how do they find their first job?
Career suggestions are also welcomed!
Front-end Web Developer Jobs Statistics
As far as I can see, Front-end Web Developers are going to be in high demand. I’m going to list some statistics for you, so you can base your decision on the facts.
According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics, here are some data:
Lots of people are deciding to become Front-end Web Developers or Software Engineers, so any advice about how to get your first job will be in high demand here.
The workforce has seen an increase of jobs in front-end web developer and Software Development. Just check indeed.com or glassdoor.com to see the amount of jobs in your area or state.
Technology has changed so much over the years and to keep up with constant changes is mind boggling to me.
How do you keep up with trends in web design or development?
It’s hard. It’s very hard.
What may be in style today, might be gone tomorrow.
So if you’re thinking of becoming a front-end web developer, I would explore the subject a little more.
Some things to consider in getting started as a front-end web developer:
Do you like sitting long periods of time?
Do you like solving problems, especially on your own?
Are you logical?
Do you like change?
Do you like learning?
If you answered yes to all these questions, then you might be well-suited for this position as a Web Developer or Software Engineer.
Stay tuned for more. Every Tuesdays a new blog post from yours truly.