Trying to switch careers into programming


I am currently in a full time job in academia in the arts, and I am starting to learn basics - HTML, CSS, JavaScript at the moment. I am able to devote about 2 hours per day on these, and currently am using W3schools to learn as well as freecodecamp and trying to apply what I learn after every few new elements. I’m wondering if 8 months is a realistic timeline for me to become familiar enough to land a programming job. Obviously I need to focus on exactly what type of job, but what kind of portfolio should I be putting together?

Thanks so much!


It really depends on the type of job you’re looking for. 8 months is a short time span and even people that put in long hours of study could have a hard time getting a job in that period. There’s multiple factors at play: pandemic hiring economy, your location, the supply and demand of whatever skill branch you choose to delve in, as well as the difficulty of gaining proficiency in tech.

I have worked in the arts as well, and counting the time it took previous colleagues to transition to programming… it took maybe a year or more to get a job (emphasis on the or more). That’s pre-pandemic NYC and kind of in the early period of the bootcamp boom.

You should put a portfolio together that’s representative of your best work, and it helps to have non-trivial portfolio items (like an app you made for a friend for them to use for their business instead of a coding exercise). It also helps to get freelance or volunteer projects to have a better range of things to add to your portfolio.

Further reading: Before you start looking for a job


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