I’d love to share my story for the others not to lose their faith in themselves.
About 1.5 years ago I was sitting in my room tired after the day of work i did not enjoy that much. I have a friend who is a developer and I really enjoyed having conversations with him. I myself wasn’t any sort of success in maths or other technical sciences in school and my occupation was an English-Russian translator. Coming back to that day, I asked myself what if there is a chance for a person like me in a software development world? What if I can work with interesting tasks along with nice guys like my friend? Can I even try?
I am from Russia and I didn’t like the opportunities I had in my small town to learn the needed skills. Then I found this very place online - codecademy. I liked the interface from the very start - clean, simple, beautiful. Then I tried learning HTML. I wasn’t that easy for me, but to say the truth it was exactly what I needed: not too easy and not too hard for a person to study it after a full working day. I tried to study at least 4 days in a week and I did more if I could. I finished HTML course in about a 1.5 or 2 months.
I forgot to say that very quickly I decided that I need a Pro program to have an access to tests and projects. Maybe some people are able to remember things and build systems of knowledge in their head without practicing on projects and revisiting passed lessons in tests, but I’m definitely not one of them.
During JS course I faced some problems I couldn’t solve for several days and it frustrated me. Again, I had this forum to ask, I had CodeCademy advisors and StackOverflow but I didn’t want to go for their help right away as soon as I met some challenging task. At that time I had many doubts that I fit for this. But a big aim in my head and responsibility I feel for my wife, future kids and my parents gave me strength to go on in times of doubt. Don’t get me wrong - development consists of challenging tasks and this is exactly why you have a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction when you solve them. This is totally worth it. You’ll have enough positive feelings, believe me!
Over time I finished JS course and had a look at a chart of JS technologies by their popularity in professional environment, a number of job positions, and salary. I decided to pick React.js, maybe not for the right reasons but still this was a good decision. Later on I realized that you can do Android and iOS apps with it too. It was easier as it is based on JS, but it took a while to sink into my way of thinking of front-end development.
As I finished all the necessary courses I decided that I need to build a portfolio so I made myself a website and I also made one for a local restaurant I liked to visit. I made it for free to get a chance to get an experience and to make something useful that I’ll personally like.
After that I started to study Redux since it was required for the most React positions. At the same time I decided to put my resume and portfolio online, I mentioned that I can move to another city - and it changed very much for me since in my place there were very few positions for junior React developers. My advice - pay attention to its structure. It should be clear and straight to the point, but it should show you as a professional who can do the task (and it must be true).
I wanted to train to go through an interview. I tried to prepare myself that most employers will say no, because I was not that experienced, but it still was hard for me to hear their negative decisions. At the other hand It allowed me to see my weak points and rapidly heal the weak spots.
I must say that if you’re a junior you generally have a better chance in a larger company with a big number of developers since for them it doesn’t take that much to find you a mentor among a crowd of developers and allow him to spend his potential on you. Small startups have fewer mature developers and if they are hiring - they need seniors since they don’t have as much money and time to invest in juniors, they need to get the job done at an optimized cost.
Make sure to learn from negative interviews to make them positive for you personally. Your only goal here is to see your weak points, to fix them and to make it better next time. If you learn - inevitably in several iterations you’ll be successful. Feeling down is normal but don’t forget your big goal and go on. Your patience and wisdom will pay off over time.
After a couple of months of having interviews two companies became interested in me - one worked in education, the other was one of the biggest banks in the country and after interviews with them I had offers from both of them.
I made my decision and moved to Moscow - a way better place comparing to the place I lived before, and now I am a React developer in one of the largest banks. It all is thanks to the skills I developed when studying here and the ones I’ve got from failed interviews I had for two months.
My lesson - Be happy when everything goes right, and keep doing what you need to do at difficult times. The ones who didn’t overcome these difficulties gave opportunity for me to take their place. Be one of those who go on when they feel stressed. But again - most of the time everything is fine and you feel satisfaction and positive emotions. Don’t blame yourself for failures - be thankful for them if they are not fatal and learn from them.
Be sure to have a worthy goal to help you go your way.
Ask me any questions - I’d love to answer if I can!
Cheers and stay strong!