How to Become a Software Engineer

How to become a junior software engineer and get a job in 4 months?

This article contains a plan and tips to help novice web developers. This piece is provided by our contributor who shares his experience.

Learn the basics

To become a Software Engineer, obviously, you need to know the basics. As I’ve never had to go programming before, I started with HTML and CSS.

I was lucky enough to find freeCodeCamp. This is a great website where you can learn web development for free by completing small programming tasks. Tasks concern almost all areas of web development. The best sections for me are “Algorithm Scripting” and “Projects.” You gain the practice via material studied, by creating real web pages. I went through the entire front-end developer course.

The assignments in this course are good because they help you grow your acquired skills by creating a portfolio. They are also good because they can add you extra points at the interview. For example, during one of my first interviews, employers were discussing my JavaScript Calculator project.

Learn Git and GitHub

I started using Git and GitHub, so I was able to work on my projects during the lunch break at work. Knowing what it is doing and how to use it makes life easier for programmers.

I would recommend starting using Git as soon as you create your first project. You only need to know the basics to promote it on GitHub. Having your code online will allow future employers to evaluate your knowledge and code style.

Once you finish the project, drop it on GitHub. When someone sees a GitHub profile with regular support / creation of projects, they understand that you are a goal-oriented developer.

Also, GitHub can store your portfolio on your server. The link looks like this: https: // .github.io. It is quite convenient.

Create your portfolio

Your portfolio is one of the most important things when finding a full-time job or getting paid as a freelancer. More often than not, this is the first thing an employer will evaluate in your CV.

When you first create your portfolio, make it work and look good. Do not spend too much time developing it.

I’ve been redoing my portfolio for 4 times before I got a job. If you think you have learned enough to improve your portfolio, do it. You not only show that you know, but also practice your skills. Although, having spent too much time improving styles or animations, you will begin to learn the following things much later.

Expand your knowledge

Using JavaScript to create web pages is one thing, understanding how it works is another. I searched across the Internet for better books for a deeper understanding of JavaScript and settled on the series of bookscalled You Don’t Know JS. They are publicly available and completely free.

A series of these books cover the most important aspects of JavaScript, explaining how things work. For the first work, all you have to do is read and understand Up & Going and Scope & Closures. The rest of the books in the series are best read as a Junior developer. Some topics are difficult to understand without meeting them in practice.

In some fragments of books you will need to solve several problems. This is done in order to increase your understanding of the material. There will be a lot of such pieces, especially in Scope & Closures.

To improve your skills, you can explore a new area in web development, for example, a popular library or framework. There are many tutorials for creating projects using new technologies. Try to associate these technologies with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Implement your knowledge in real projects

This is one of the most important things to get a job. The best way to practice is to use the learned things in real projects. For example, if you have studied responsive design, make a simple responsive website. The site does not have to make any sense. Practice using new knowledge is an important thing.

To practice JavaScript, do algorithmic tasks on freeCodeCamp. When done, try Code Wars and the Coding Game. These are excellent sites that have tasks for any level of knowledge.

Start applying for software development jobs

Once you are done with mid-level projects on freeCodeCamp, you will have enough experience to become a Junor developer. Start applying for this position. Take a look at your portfolio and decide whether you need to update or remake it. You should gain a lot more experience since you created it.

Then, apply for jobs that are of interest to you. Don’t get upset with failures or rejections, it’s an okay process when you’re a starter. The more unsuccessful interviews you got, the more you learn and the better job you’d finally find!

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