This article is a composed from @josh_carvel tweets.
In may 29th, he accepted a position as a front end developer, after around 9 months of self-teaching, coming from a completely non-technical background
There are some principles that helped him self-teach and get him first dev job
Principle #1: Habit
Don’t expect to always enjoy coding. Sit at your computer regardless. My keystone habit is actually getting up early, everything flows from that. In days gone by you couldn’t drag me from bed if you tried. Now it’s almost automatic. Keep working at it.
Principle #2: Active learning
Avoid passive learning at all costs, it’s a cognitive illusion. This is scientifically well documented. Test your memory. Try creating your own features, get stuck and find solutions on Google. If it feels uncomfortable you’re doing the right thing.
Principle #3: Connect
Go to tech meetups. Connect online. Get information, grow your network and help other people if you can. Teaching others helps you. You can’t succeed in a vacuum. This may be out of your comfort zone, it sure was for me. That makes it especially important.
Principle #4: Pace yourself
There is a mountain of information to climb. I began my journey over a year ago and am still just scratching the surface of web development. I tried to rush things and got overwhelmed and frustrated. Develop your patience and try to be thorough.
Principle #5: Filter
Be sparing with your attention, devote it to a few things only. Sacrifice things you won’t have time for. Narrow down the list of things to learn. Pick 1 project or topic at a time and work on it till it’s done. E.g. I still only know 1 programming language!
Principle #6: Positivity
Don’t expect to be confident straight away, tell yourself you can do this until you believe it. Then keep solving problems to justify it. Before interviews, imagine them giving you the job. What you think becomes what you do. Outlaw negative self-talk.
Principle #7: Persist
Google that issue 16 times with different phrasing till you find the answer. Debug methodically till you find the problem. Expect to have bad days – it’s part of the process. Try again the next day. Know that it’s persistence, not talent, that wins out.
Principle #8: Vision
Think big. Have a long-term plan, don’t just think short-term. Imagine the person you’ll be, start doing the sort of things they would do and borrow their confidence. Think about bigger problems you want to solve. This is covered well in @the1thingbook
Principle #9: Action
Especially if you’re a look before you leap person like me. Don’t overthink. Don’t spend too much time choosing a tutorial, technology or deciding what to build. Be willing to make mistakes. And put yourself out there before you think you’re ready. Act now.
You HAVE to be able to think for yourself and rely on your own judgement. Think critically about every bit of advice, information and technology. There’s different ways of doing everything, be clear on why you do it one way and open to alternatives.
Principle #11: Growth mindset
Just Google this one. Be open to improving everything – your habits, health, intelligence, skills – they’re all improvable. Practise, practise, practise, and not just technical skills. Consider all feedback and advice. There’s no room for ego.
Principle #12: Anti-perfectionism
Do it good enough then keep moving, a) because you don’t have time and b) because you don’t yet have the knowledge and ability to make it perfect anyway, if perfect even exists. You have to write bad code before you can write good code.
Principle #13: Detachment
Focus on the process, not the results. X hours coded, X jobs applied for, X meetups attended, X number of interviews. Results take time and are affected by random chance. Set emotion aside as much as you can. Commit to specific, measurable activities.
Principle #14: Curiosity
Ask more questions, ask better questions. Ask how that technology really works under the surface. Ask what happens when you change one little thing. The more you ask, the more interested you’ll be. Curiosity leads to mastery and creativity.
Principle #15: Communication
Everything depends on your ability to communicate what you’ve done and the value you can provide. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes and tell them what they want to hear. Practise persuasive writing and speaking. If you don’t, you’ll be overlooked.
*Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay