Ask an Instructor: Jumpstart Your Tech Career (Time Management Edition)

Hi! It can definitely be tricky to find projects to contribute to. A great starting point is our own Codecademy Docs open source project. This is more about documentation than code, but you can get used to contributing to an open source project and build some GitHub experience by writing DS/ML related docs. Learn more about how to contribute here. This can also help you network with other contributors, and find more projects to work on!


Hey, this is a really great and important question. Burn out can be a real thing. I think it’s important to maintain balance and perspective. A couple of strategies I’ve found to be helpful are:

  • Taking breaks often. Pomodoro is a great method to use, and in general when working with challenging code, particularly when you feel stucking debugging, taking a break can be one of the most productive things you can do.
  • Time boxing can also be a great strategy to compartmentalize your work and make sure that you are intentionally prioritizing personal time.
  • Time/project management are important skills that can help you stay organized and avoid stress. In particular, setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals for your coding projects can help you better understand the scope of your work and your capacity. There are plenty of online resources for setting SMART goals.
  • I’d also encourage you to keep things interesting and exciting by continuously learning new technologies. In general, this is a critical skill for any developer, as the tech industry is constantly evolving. It’s also great to continue developing interests and hobbies outside of tech to continue striving for balance.

I hope this helps!


This is great-thanks!

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Hey, thanks for your question and welcome to Codecademy Forums! Each section of our Full Stack Engineer Path culminates in an exam. Once you pass all of these you’ll be given a certificate to acknowledge your completion of the path!

Equally as important as any certificate will be projects that you complete to showcase your application of certain skills, so I’d encourage you to continue implementing the things you learn. Compile your favorite projects in a portfolio to give prospective employers and easy way to see your best work.

Hope this helps! Good luck!


I’ve completed the Python I and II modules as well as SQL as part of the DS career path, but I feel I could use more practice. Does Codecademy have any additional practice problems that I could work on?

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Hey! Have you tried the “Practice Concepts” button in each of those modules? That should give you some extra practice problems! (Go to the syllabus, click on say the Python I section. One that loads, each of the modules on that page should have a “Practice Concepts” option if you expand it).

Another option is to build a project! If you go to the projects page on Codecademy, there will likely be some you completed already as part of the path, but there may also be ones you haven’t completed yet. Or, come up with your own project idea using Python/SQL!

Good luck!

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Oh, also, you will definitely keep using basic Python and SQL throughout the path – so as you keep learning in that career path, you’ll get lots more practice!

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Thank you, I’ll definitely look into it!

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Hi there. Thanks for your time!

Considering the rise of the AI (not like in films, I hope :sweat_smile: ) and Machine Learning, how much of what we are currently learning (on CC or other places) will matter in the near future?
Should we ALL consider leaning about these?

Hi Mariana. Hope you are fine. Just to know your opinion if a 42 y/o can dabble into tech in the Data Science field. If you have any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated1

Hi, thanks for joining us!

This is tough to answer since no one really knows what’s going to happen in the future, even the near one. What I will say is that adaptability is always going to be a valuable skill. So definitely keep learning the basics, gaining language fluency, and exploring the world of tech. But also start poking around the new fields, see how they work and what they mean, even if at a high level.

Prompt engineering is likely going to be taking off soon as well as almost anything encompassing AI and especially generative AI. To me, it seems like it’ll be like Cloud Computing, which was a hot and trendy field when it came out and is now an integral part of technology.

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Hi! I would say that you absolutely can! Get started with one of our Data Science career paths if you’re looking to start from scratch. Build up a strong set of skills, then move on to projects and building a portfolio. Once you have those, you’ll be in a good place to start applying to entry-level or part-time positions.

I have a couple of age related questions…

How can a 16 year old get a job in tech (in the USA)?
Once I build up my portfolio and skills, is it even legal to get a job? Or should I just wait till I’m older?
Would you encourage your younger self to spend time in tech or to just have fun and worry about getting started in a career at a “normal” age?


Hi! In terms of legalities, it varies state-to-state, so I would start by looking up your state’s rules and checking with your parents or guardians!

That said, there’s nothing wrong with starting to build up your skillset and portfolio, especially if you enjoy doing it. Whether you’ll be pursuing this in a formal academic environment or online with self-directed learning, you’ll still need to know the concepts.

For now, I would suggest that you spend as much time on as you can while still seeing it as a passion instead of a job. You’re only 16 after all - please don’t sacrifice your summer vacation on something that you don’t enjoy!

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Here is another one:

When I get into doing a portfolio project, I find that the Codecademy lecture information is a bit outdated. Moreover, if I look for a video or an article on how to do things, they do no work as intended. Considering all this, I have discovered that when I am looking for inspiration out there, I must find the newest published material.

How do you suggest on keeping track of all these dynamic and ever-changing technologies?


Hi guys
This is really important to minorities, so I thought I’d bump in case it’s been missed. Thanks

Hi! I’m not sure where you’re located, but in the US, you can’t ask questions like that on applications. If you’re seeing those, I would recommend that you report them.

And that’s a wrap! Thanks for stopping by and asking so many great questions. And a huge shout out to our Instructional Designers for sharing their insight.