Any advice for a Bee hoping to become a web developer

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
924 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’m a technical writer. I studied English in school, but my job is very technology heavy—particularly with software. My focus is more into software databases and C# than web, but I dabble in some HTML and CSS. 

I didn’t know anything about software when I first started my job but was fortunate to be able to learn on the go. I felt totally independent by about the 1-1.5 year mark, so I think your 1-2 year estimate sounds about right. I think it’s possible to have a solid working knowledge by that point, depending on ho quickly you learn. 

I highly recommend Lynda.com for self-teaching and encourage you to have at least one (preferably a couple though) example websites to have in your portfolio. 

FWIW, I’m working on switching to being a software engineer. In my experience with that so far, the hardest part is getting people to take you seriously. I still run into colleagues or managers who seem to think it’s cute that lil ole me wants to actually write the code. Unless my uterus crawls out and literally blocks my access to the computer keyboard, I don’t see how being a woman could affect my coding ability, but a lot of people (read: men) don’t see it that way. When I came back to the office for the first time after my wedding, one of my coworkers even commented on my time availability because now I “have twice the laundry to do.” Um, no. 🙄

ETA: I meant to ask, what languages are you focused on? I imagine HTML, CSS, and JavaScript…anything else? 

Post # 4
Member
670 posts
Busy bee

I know a few tech recruiters and for positions that require a software engineer or equivalent expertise it can be a liability not to have someone in the position without a formal degree/designation. From what I’ve seen (and this could be regional) if you’re going to do the self taught route, you’ll be working twice as hard to prove that your capabilities are that and beyond those with formal degrees in the field. It’s do-able and definitely not frowned upon but it won’t be easy either. With that being said, if you’re going to be doing web development as your own business, you’ll likely be fine. 

Post # 6
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Are your 20 credits a minor in computer science? What is your degree in? My degree is math with a minor in computer science. I’ve been working as a software developer for the past 6 years since I graduated. A minor or a related degree and some good side projects are enough to get an interview.

Rather than spending a year or two learning everything you might need to know for web development, I would focus on a couple of side projects if you don’t have any to talk about already, as well as attending networking events and practicing all those interview “toy” problems. Realistically, preparing for an interview could take you 3 to 6 months. Networking here is key, especially because you’re not following a “traditional” path. Getting a referral increases the chances you’ll get in front of a hiring manager.

Impostor Syndrome is real. Don’t hold yourself back if you could be ready. You’re never going to know everything. You just need to know enough to start doing the job. I learned way more in my first year on the job than all of my college classes.

Post # 8
Member
984 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I have a masters in information technology.

what makes you want to be a web developer? I have to say it can be hard to learn on your own and “get it”. Mostly because you will need a path; not to mention it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and/or work through issues. And you will need a few projects to develop, maybe for volunteer work 

Would you consider a masters or coding boot camp? 

Post # 10
Member
1612 posts
Bumble bee

As a web developer bee, absolutely you can learn this stuff on your own! 

There is SO much material on the internet for web developmen, especially for the basics like html and css, and a whole lot of forums (like stackoverflow) if you have any precise questions. 

Don’t let being a women scare you! It’s awesome – women can offer a totally different perspective for projects, and most of higher ups in all of the companies I’ve worked at have been women! 

Of course, as other bees said, it helps to have some sort of formal technical training. You can look into what sort of qualifications are required for being a web developer wherever you live. In Canada (at least in Ottawa), usually web developers need some sort of 3 year technical program at a college (not University).

I did college and University, and honestly, I found I learned a lot more on my own (and at work) than in University. 

 

As for language, HTML, CSS and JavaScript are great, but definitely take a look into jQuery once you have some experience with JavaScript. JQuery is built off of JavaScript, but the syntax (the ‘coding words’) is a bit different – it lets you do a LOT more with way less lines of code, so it’s really powerful.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to send me a DM any time 🙂

Post # 13
Member
1591 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

cik2017 :  I’m a programmer, but database side more than web development. Have you considered learning some SQL? This would probably be helpful to know the basics of once you are familiar with HTML/CSS. PHP is also another language I would consider learning. I know a little PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript/Jquery (definitely second what another bee said about jquery being very beneficial to learn), Python and Java, as I use them all in a limited environment for my job, but I’m considering taking some bootcamp style courses to expand my knowledge of each so I can make a career change. I also want to learn Groovy, but have no experience with it thus far. 

I don’t think you will regret learning any of these languages – once you learn a few, it becomes very easy to at least understand code in other languages, which makes it easier to learn them – that’s the cool thing about it! 

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