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  • 1 Post By TheGAME1264

Thread: Greetings!

  1. #1
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    Greetings!

    Hi everyone,

    I have done a few pro bono web development jobs in the past few years, but I still consider myself a hobbyist. The Army is retiring me this year because of some injuries and I'm planning to take it much more seriously. I'm still working out the details of my plan, but I anticipate spending at least a year studying at a couple coding bootcamps in Denver starting this summer.

    I recently pulled a sample of 15 job listings in the Denver area and counted a total of 72 different technical skills, languages, frameworks, applications, industry experience, etc. as job requirements. There is so much to learn beyond HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that is difficult to find a school (or combination of schools) that develop skills to account for even half of what employers are asking for.

    I'm very interested to learn how developers pick up all the skills they need to be marketable after they've mastered the "essentials."

    Sorry for the long introduction. I'll be hitting up the rest of the forums very soon!

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Welcome! Interesting background. I didn't know the Army "retired" people like that due to injury, although it does make sense in a callous sort of way.

    I'm going to tell you weird but true as far as your job search is concerned. Now, because you come from an Army background, I'd imagine almost everything you've done up until now in your career has been pretty tightly regimented. Go to basic training. Spend 12 weeks or however long takes. Master these skills. Graduate. Get your assignment. Wake up at 0600. Make your bed tightly. Put on your clothes. Eat at 0630 hours. Brush your teeth at 0700 hours. And so on and so on. So you're used to routines, patterns, and pretty strict guidelines as far as what you're supposed to do and when.

    All of that planning and routine and scheduling will go completely out the window should you become a web developer or designer. It's a field where you can pretty much be expected to do or to find out how to do anything at any given time, day or night, weekends, holidays, whatever. You could be expected to configure a server, to help with a marketing effort, to draft a DMCA letter, to figure out why someone's email doesn't work, to learn a new framework that you never studied well enough to debug code five minutes ago because a site has gone down and you're the only one who stands a puncher's chance of being able to get it back up again. I'm not sure what going into battle is like and I don't intend to find out, but I'd imagine it would be a lot like that...stuff flying around all over the place, and your job is to stay calm, read, react, and for God's sake don't trigger a land mine. Chaos will be your new norm. I'm a freelancer, but from what I've seen this applies to the "employed" as well.

    As far as what to learn? HTML/CSS/JavaScript won't get you very far; you're right about that. You'll need at least one other language/framework; most would recommend PHP, because "it has a great community" and "it's a good starter language" or things to that effect. Unfortunately, the "competition" among "PHP developers" is steep...as in there are a lot of them. PHP is the language that good developers either learn because they have to having already picked up another framework or language or learn so that they can move on to learning something else. Do something along the lines of ASP.net, Ruby, Python, etc., if you can. Harder frameworks, but generally more useful and applicable.

    The other thing is that it isn't just what languages you know, but how you know to apply them. You can say you know whatever language you want, but until you demonstrate it you're just talking. I suggest that, while you're learning things, come up with projects that you can apply what you've learned to. You'll build a portfolio without requiring a client or employer and you'll be able to get a grasp of the types of things you may encounter that a school cannot prepare you for.
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  4. #3
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    Man! Thank you for the well thought-out welcome!

    I think in a way that the lack of routine is appealing to me. I'm not saying that the Army is a boring job, but after 14 years (most in garrison), I'm looking forward to something a little less predictable. Bring on the chaos! With that said, I just don't have it in me to dive in without some kind of plan (and several contingencies).

    My tentative plan is to attend a 48-week coding program (24 weeks front-end, 24 weeks back-end, 40+ hours/week) to give me as broad of range of knowledge and experience as I can get (not to mention building a portfolio and the networking opportunities it will hopefully bring). According to the curricula, the two courses cover 27 different frameworks/languages. While the 24-week back-end course covers Ruby and Rails, I was planning to focus on Java as the primary capability to hang my hat on. So from there, I was looking at a 16-week program specifically geared towards obtaining Java certification (I think they even administer the exam at the end of the course).

    Would you include Java in your preferred list alongside ASP.net, Ruby, Python, etc.? After about 15 months of intensive training, a few certifications, and a decent portfolio, do you think anyone would take me seriously...without a degree?

    Thank you again for your response.

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I'd say no. Java isn't really used very much these days, and when it is it tends to be used by engineers...which means the solutions often end up being designed, coded, and implemented by engineers for engineers.

    If I needed to pick up a new framework from scratch personally...and I don't, so this is strictly hypothetical...I would likely go with Python or Ruby in that order (since I already am familiar with ASP.net). Mind you, I haven't really studied either and I haven't seen whether I could apply either to what I do, so it's based solely on "this is what I believe other people use"...which is not the ideal way to make any such decision.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

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  6. #5
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    Job listings – The HR department hates to write these so they hire an intern to do job descriptions and job listings. An intern is a Sophomore or Junior at University, usually unpaid or paid at a very low salary. They have no knowledge about what the job entails and get limited input from management so they throw in everything including the kitchen sink.


    Wow, two bootcamps! A good bootcamp sees many of their students hired quickly after completion. You will find that your path is somewhat clearer once you finish a bootcamp.

    ETA: And thanks for serving
    BTW - Your Army career will often help since many employers like hiring Vets.
    Last edited by delstu; Feb 23rd, 2017 at 07:40 PM.

  7. #6
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    Howdy, I am a fresh graduate. I am now working in a SEO company, which gives me poor monthly salary. I can barely feed myself.

    Any advise for a new SEO guy? Is there any future for this industry?

    What should I do to earn a better living?

    World Peace!


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