The Truth About Breaking Into Technology

Feel free to substitute Technology for Startups, Bootcamps, etc.

We've all seen those headlines learn how to make $ in X amount of time = happiness! closely followed by LOADS of testimonies of people who look how you want to feel about yourself.

  • Can it happen? Yes.

  • Does it happen as described? Yes and No.

No. Not everyone who gains a certificate, degree, training, etc. instantaneously becomes happy, successful, or whatever end-goal you're looking for but you knew that already. You aren't looking for what you know. You came here to find out HOW, right?

How can you learn how to become a software developer in 12 weeks?*

First, let's set the proper expectation of what a software developer is: a person who on average makes $51.69 per hour, and has undergrad level computer science skills to create applications or digital systems for a specific device. If you have previously learned a type of programming language, have regularly used applications installed on a device and are simply learning a new technology stack 12 weeks is a reasonable time for you to elevate from a junior level to an actual developer.

Web Developers and Digital Designers are seen more as a Team Leader of Junior Developers

The reason being is their focus is to develop, create, and test a website or interface layout, functions, and navigation for usability. The actual overall design of the project, including requirements, have already been mapped out by the software developers, passed on to Team Leads to be coded by Junior Developers.

Software Developer = Full Stack = $$$

Right now, I can hear a chorus of voices from the industry who have a working understanding of the culture wanting to argue about my interpretation. I would politely say to them, this article is for people who really don't find technology a warm and fuzzy place they naturally want to be. So write your own article if you want to drill in differently. Thank you

How Do I Really Get Started in Technology?

  • Do you have the equipment to get started [i.e. a desktop or a laptop]? A laptop is important if you or your coding resources are on the go. A desktop is preferred if you have a home-office and want to be able to walk away from your work.

  • How do you think [right-brained, left-brained, text or image based]? If you are more comfortable in a text dominated, I'm more focused on the power of computation that the pretty picture Linux. Into pretty pictures and not so much how anything works back of the house but want the option AND are willing to PAY for it, Apple. You LOVE games, want to be able to have a lower price point but have mainstream, open-source [non-proprietary] needs Windows. ** in some cases there will be an INDUSTRY standard. The more you go against the grain, the high the learning curve will rise.

  • Are you a natural writer? If the answer is Yes - pseudocode is a plain language description of the steps in an algorithm or another system. If the answer is No - How to Become a Technical Writer and your first writing assignments should be about 3 NEW things you learned about your phone, television, etc. [i.e. how to register your product, do you need a firmware update, etc.]

  • Are you financially stable? Yes, some employers will run a background AND credit check. Why? Typically the companies who run these checks are dealing with data security, privacy or proprietary code issues. Also, it's very difficult to write clean logical code when you are worried about being evicted. The best thing about being a programmer is you can make credit repair FUN!

The Verdict

When making a life change is a transition from what was-to-what's-next, it's always best to take an honest assessment of the tools you have available and your current skill level vs. the tools you need and the skill level expected. The difference between the two is how you calculate your level of success vs. what's being marketed.

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