So, you've decided to pursue a career in tech. Great choice! Technical roles are in high demand, and with the industry's competitive salaries and opportunities for remote work, it's no wonder so many people are turning to the field.
But where do you start? Which programming language should you learn first? And, once you've learned how to code, what's next?
With the many different roles and specializations, languages and frameworks, etc., it can be hard navigating through the process of training and finding a new job. The good news is, there are actually pretty standard steps in the journey to landing a great job in tech.
Below, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about this journey and show you how learning to code can help you launch your career.
1. Finding the perfect role
The first step is figuring out what it is you want to do. Sure, you want to be a Web Developer — but do you want to be a Front-End, Back-End, or Full-Stack Developer?
Or maybe you want to work with data. Do you go down the Data Scientist route, or would you be happier as a Data Analyst or Engineer? In this phase, you'll want to do as much research as possible on all the different roles, their various responsibilities, and the tools they use.
You'll also want to consider what it is you're looking for out of your new career. Do you thrive in collaborative environments, or do you prefer working alone? What are your salary expectations? Having the answers to questions like this will help you narrow down your choices.
To get started, check out the articles below:
- What does a Front-End Developer do?
- What does a Back-End Developer do?
- What does a Full-Stack Developer do?
- What does a Data Scientist do?
Once you've got a solid understanding of your desired roles' responsibilities and requirements, it's time to start building your skills.
2. Skill building
When it comes to building your skills, you've got quite a few options. Some people pursue a degree in computer science (or something related). Others turn to coding bootcamps. But, more and more, people are taking their learning into their own hands.
For example, say you decide to become a Front-End Web Developer. In that case, you could use our Front-End Engineer Career Path to teach yourself the languages behind front-end development, such as:
Similarly, if you're more interested in the back end, our Back-End Engineer Career Path will teach you how to use tools like:
Regardless of which role you choose, we've got an extensive catalog of programming courses that'll help you master the languages you'll use throughout your career. Check out the rest of our Career Paths for more options.
After mastering a few programming languages, it's time to start building projects. Each Career Path also includes Portfolio Projects — designed to teach you how to take your coding skills off-platform and build your own personalized projects that you can include in your portfolio. Whether it's a website, a machine learning model, or a calculator, building projects will deepen your understanding of the concepts and processes you learned in your courses. Plus, with workspaces, you can build your own projects right here on Codecademy.
Workspaces are integrated development environments (IDEs) that you can use in your browser. In other words, you can jump right into creating your own projects without needing to set up a local environment on your computer.
But workspaces aren't just about building projects. They also give you the room to be creative and test out various methods and functions on your own. Plus, they're shareable, so you can show off your coding skills and even get tips and insights from other developers. They're also a great way to prepare for technical interviews and start building a portfolio — but more on that later.
3. Job preparation & application
After finding the perfect role and learning the required skills, it's time to look for jobs. Heads up: Many people lose steam in this stage of the process.
Some feel discouraged because they lack the skills or experience outlined in job descriptions, not realizing that you don’t necessarily need to have all of the required skills. Others are thrown off by the interview process — especially technical interviews. But, with a little preparation, you can stand out from other entry-level applicants and set yourself up for a more streamlined process.
First, do a little research. Visit Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and company career pages to get a sense of common values in the industry. See what the recruiters and hiring managers in your field are looking for. This will help you know exactly what to highlight in your resume and portfolio. In another article, Madison, our Manager of Technical Recruiting, shares some tips for landing a job in the tech industry.
Next, you'll need to build a resume and portfolio. These serve as your first impression with potential employers and clients. Not only do they provide a quick overview of your experience, but they also showcase your proficiency with the tools and languages in your tech stack. In other words, they allow recruiters and hiring managers to see if your skills are up to par — so you want to make sure they're polished and accurately illustrate your capabilities.
But don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds. We offer several resources that'll help you build a solid portfolio, such as:
- Challenge Projects
- Portfolio Projects
Once your resume and portfolio are polished and ready to go, it's time to start applying for jobs. But before you hop on Indeed, you'll need to know how to read a job description.
4. Preparing for technical interviews
During a technical interview, you'll be asked to complete a coding problem. This helps interviewers assess your technical skills and ability to solve problems.
The problems you'll face in your technical interviews will push your coding skills to the limit. They might test your proficiency with your preferred programming languages or even programming concepts like data structures and algorithms. Fortunately, we've got a wide host of resources to help you prepare.
In our new Interview Prep page, you'll find everything from courses that'll test your skills with various languages, to articles where professional developers share their insights and experiences with technical interviews.
We even offer a complete technical interview guide that'll help ensure you wow your interviewers and maximize your chances of getting the job. Plus, you’ll soon be able to practice for technical interviews right here on Codecademy with our new Code Challenges!
Coming in early November, Code Challenges will allow you to prepare for technical interviews with real coding challenges pulled from some of the top companies in tech. After taking a few Code Challenges, you'll be fully prepared to walk into your technical interviews and blow them away with your expertise.
Kickstarting your career with Codecademy
No matter where you are in your journey, it’s always helpful to get a little support. With Codecademy, you've got an entire community at your fingertips — developers, both new and professional, from all around the world that can help you achieve your goals.
If you find yourself feeling stuck and unsure of what to do next, try reaching out to other learners on our forums and asking for advice. You can also connect with other developers in one of our chapters around the world to learn from their experiences. Or, take a look through our Learner Stories and see how other learners have launched new careers and achieved various other goals.
In short, Codecademy is your one-stop-shop for entering the world of code. We'll teach you the basics of programming, guide you in your mastery of your preferred languages, help you build a portfolio, prepare you for technical interviews, and more.
To learn more about how we can help you launch your new career, check out our Career Center. You'll find a host of helpful resources designed to propel you along your journey, such as:
- Tips from recruiters in the tech industry
- Portfolio Projects
- Code Challenges
Ready to enter the world of tech? For a limited time (ending October 25th, 2021), we're offering a 40% discount for annual memberships to Codecademy Pro and Pro Student. In other words, you can get access to all the resources listed above for a fraction of the cost.