How I Learned to Code in 4 Months & Got a Job! (No CS Degree, No Bootcamp)

2023-06-14 01:52:08 00:09:51 [ • ] I dropped out of college, was in debt, working 60 hours a week, hated my job, and most importantly, I felt stuck. This is the story of how I learned how to code within four months, and I got a job. I did it with no computer science degree or a coding BootCamp

I am going to explain exactly what I learned, how I got a job, and how much that job paid. Let’s go. Before I got into tech, I was working a lot of dead end sales jobs, because I dropped out of community college and I didn’t really have any other skills.

I didn’t like the idea of always having to hop from job to job If I didn’t like something. I wanted something with a little bit more career mobility long term. I didn’t even really know what coding was. I just knew that the tech industry was, let’s say, a great environment for

$180 grand now $200 ish $250,000 $400,000 annually growth… Yeah. By the way, I’m not knocking sales. I think sales is a really important skill to learn. I just needed a change, and it really just wasn’t for me long term. And I wanted to gain the ability to build something of my own.

The idea of building something from zero to one seemed like a superpower to me. Day one, I just went on Google and I typed in how to code. That’s when I found a site called FreeCodeCamp, and I started to learn about web development. I quickly learned about HTML, CSS,

And I learned about my first real programming language called JavaScript. There’s a bunch of different programming languages that you could learn, but I personally chose JavaScript because I wanted to build web apps. Even major companies like Uber and Airbnb use it, and there’s a massive demand for it in the job market.

By using FreeCodeCamp, I started to learn the basics of coding. I learned things like variables, loops, objects, and functions. But even after doing the tutorials, I didn’t really feel like I could apply to anything. And I still didn’t even know how to do something as basic as building a website.

And I realized that I learned how to code, not exactly how to program. I was writing code to solve logic problems, but I didn’t know how to program, which is using the code to build something useful. At this point, though, already I was starting to love the journey.

I really liked problem solving, and I could see myself doing something like this long term. So I did what any sane person would do and I quit my job and I moved to Korea to minimize my expenses. And I decided to learn full time.

Learning full time was a lot harder than I thought. I’ve actually never studied anything this complicated or tough before, and I was quickly starting to realize that I didn’t really know how to study at this pace. I would sit in front of my computer and hours and hours would go by.

That was when I went online, I typed in how to learn. And I found a course called “Learning how to Learn” by Barbara Oakley. This course was life changing. My two main takeaways were one, it taught me how to learn in space segments, A technique called Pomodoros.

And the course taught me that I needed to create a dedicated space for learning. So I joined a Coworking space, so I could focus better. Now, armed with new knowledge, I got back to studying. And it worked. Here’s what a normal day looked like. 08:00 a.m wake up.

8:30, Head to the train station. 09:00 a.m. Arrive at the coworking space. 9:15, Coffee Journaling reviewing the curriculum. 9:30 to 12:30, I would have my first study session, where I did 30 minutes increments of Pomodoros. From 12:30 to 1:30, I would eat lunch and take a small break, then back to studying.

From 02:00 p.m to 6:30, it was more 30 minutes increments of Pomodoros until I was ready to head out. From 6:30 to 7:30, I would gym three times a week, And then 8:30 to 9:00, I would eat dinner with my grandma, then help her clean.

This was my schedule for six days a week, no exceptions. The next part of FreeCodeCamp was a lot more challenging. Front end projects. They essentially give you a list of projects that you have to build using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

To me, this felt like a massive jump because I never actually built anything before. I felt stuck at this stage until I found a YouTube channel of this guy named Stephen who would stream himself building these projects line by line. By copying him and recreating what he was doing,

I was able to use that experience and build the next couple of projects on my own. I also found a great resource called watchandcode.com, where you watch and code. By following along once again and modeling others, the concepts really started to take hold,

And I was really starting to understand what I was doing, not just solving a math problem. In exactly one month, I ended up earning my FreeCodeCamp Front End Developer certificate. I was learning a lot, but I never actually built anything full stack before.

Something with a front end or an interface, the thing that you see within the browser. A database where all the information lives, essentially, and a server which handles and manipulates all the data in the back end by taking in requests from the front end.

So I still felt like an imposter and not a real developer. You’re not an intellectual. You’re a fake and a fraud. So to become a programmer, I decided to build my first full stack project. Remember Stephen with a YouTube channel?

I reached out to him to get his assistance to help me build my first full stack web app, we decided to meet three times a week. Here’s what we did. We picked one major overarching project which will teach me the basics of CRUD, which is Create, read, update and delete.

These are the foundations for any web application. I decided to clone Pinterest. I honestly don’t think I would have gotten a job without this next part, so pay attention. I asked Stephen to treat me like a real junior developer working at a company. We implemented a project management tool called Jira.

We used Jira to compartmentalize the entire project and write the requirements of exactly what I’d be building. This taught me how to estimate my work and plan how to build an entire web app from zero to launch. We also set the project up on GitHub, which is a version control application.

This taught me how to develop different branches for when I was working on certain features, and I could learn how to control different versions of the code. Most tech companies use some version of the two applications because being a developer isn’t just about knowing how to code.

It’s about knowing how to work collaboratively with other people as well. Stephen grilled me on our pair of programming sessions. He was very strict about me keeping the deadlines and the estimates that I originally wrote out for myself. He would constantly question why I was doing what I was doing.

And he even taught me the concept of DRY, just Don’t Repeat Yourself, or essentially just making reusable code. I had to learn how to build by Googling for answers and using sites like Stack Overflow. And he would leave me a lot of comments on things that I needed to change.

So I learned how to debug my code on my own. This made me feel like I was a real developer. at this time, I supplemented my learning journey with Udemy courses on React and Node because these were the two frameworks that I chose to build my Pinterest clone.

As a result of building my first full stack project, I ended up learning how to do things like how to design a database, build APIs, set up Auth, and eventually push the app to a cloud server. These are all things I would have never learned by just doing tutorials.

And in around two months, I finished my first full-stack web app. I remember when I finished the app, I felt like a real programmer. That’s when reality set in and I realized I’m still broke.

I haven’t made a single penny in over a couple of months, and I still needed to find a job. It was time to see if everything that I learned was actually worth anything. First, I defined the job that I wanted.

I wanted to be remote. And most importantly, I wanted to work for a small to medium sized company, because I hate working in a corporate environment. I found all the jobs that fit my parameters on sites like weworkremotly.com and remoteok.io And instead of just applying to these jobs,

I found the contact information of the hiring managers and developers who worked at the company, and I messaged them to introduce myself. I explained exactly what I had learned up until this point,what I was looking for.

I even included the link to my GitHub so they could see the projects that I had built. Most importantly, I included an offer that I know that they couldn’t refuse. I offered to work for free. And I understand guys, not everyone can afford to do this, but I had originally estimated

That this was going to take me around four months anyways. And I had another month of time that I could essentially dedicate to learning. I knew all I had to do was get my foot into a company,I could essentially learn there

And then prove my worth over time to leverage that into a real job long term. Overall, I found around 22 jobs I thought fit the parameters of what I was looking for. I got around six responses. From those responses, I got four interviews.

And out of the four interviews, I ended up getting three legitimate job offers. Even though I had offered to work for free, after the technical interviews, the employers thought that I had enough skills at that point where I was worth hiring for a full time job.

I ended up choosing the company with the best opportunity to learn, and that also happened to have the best compensation package as well. My first salary was $50,000 a year, and then after my probationary period, I was making $65,000 a year. My benefits kicked in like health and dental.

But the biggest perk for me was that I got to work remotely the entire time as long as I worked the US time zone. I’m not saying that you’ll be an expert developer if you follow this plan. I’m just sharing what I did to learn just enough to land me a job,

As most of the progress that I’ve had as a developer all came on the job. No luck here, just focused effort. Now, I’ve been working in tech for over a decade, and let me be the first to tell you that nobody cares about your credentials. Learning how to code was mainly two things

Learning how to solve problems, and two, persisting until you find the answer that you’re looking for. If you’re interested in seeing us learn more cool stuff, make sure to subscribe to the channel. And also, if you want to see me apply these principles to something other than coding,

Like something artistic, click on this video. Where we’re going to put it? Here?

I went from being a college dropout with zero technical skills to landing a software developer job in 4 months. This video is about how I became a self-taught software developer and how I learned how to code without a computer science degree or coding bootcamp.

Connect With Me:
⭐️ Main Site: https://www.timkim.me/
🐦 Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimKimMe
📸 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/timkim.me/

Courses To Help Supplement Learning:
(COUPON CODE FOR 10% OFF ➡️ FRIENDS10)
📚 Learning How To Learn: https://bit.ly/TK_LHTL_ZTM
🛠️ Build JS Projects Step-by-Step: https://bit.ly/TK_JS_ZTM
🟣 React: https://bit.ly/TK_React_ZTM
🅱️ Node: https://bit.ly/TK_Node_ZTM
🧐 Coding Interview Prep (DSA): https://bit.ly/TK_DSA_ZTM

Learn How To Code Playlist:

Mentioned Resources:
⭐️ https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn
🏕️ https://www.freecodecamp.org/
🔎 https://watchandcode.com/

Find Remote Jobs:
💻 https://remoteok.com/
💻 https://weworkremotely.com/

Tools I Used For Learning How To Code:
· Laptop Stand – https://amzn.to/3PgoMvU
· Pomodoro Timer – https://amzn.to/3NqoxgC
· Bose Headphones – https://amzn.to/3CseP7f
· Vertical Mouse – https://amzn.to/3JaWtLA
· Apple Keyboard – https://amzn.to/43SSRFX
· Laptop Backpack – https://amzn.to/3qFCu1p

Behind The Scenes:
🎬 https://www.timkim.me/ep-3-the-coding-video/

Music For Creators:
🎵 https://share.epidemicsound.com/2xtucq

Disclaimer: Some of the links are affiliate links so I can feed mi familia while I make these videos for you guys. 🙏🙏🙏
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41 thoughts on “How I Learned to Code in 4 Months & Got a Job! (No CS Degree, No Bootcamp)”
  1. Hey guys, I’ve been getting a lot of the same questions/comments so I thought I’d knock them out here.

    1. “Over a decade working in tech”. I did sales and marketing for a couple of tech companies before learning how to code. I lumped those years into the “decade of experience” comment that I mention at the end of the video.

    2. I got my dev job in 2018. Sure the job market is definitely more competitive, however, employers are ALWAYS on the lookout for strong, up and coming talent especially if the potential candidate has the right mindset, intangible values and are offering to work for cheap (or for free like I did).

    3. You can do this internationally! I’ve been a digital nomad since 2013, I’ve met many self-taught devs from Poland, Colombia, Thailand, Philippines and many more countries that all worked remotely (some even for US-based companies).

    4. AI is making good devs better. Instead of being afraid of it you should embrace it and use it actively to enhance your learning. Use it to build your next portfolio project so you can tell your employer that you have personal experience using it to work 2-3x faster. Leverage the tech instead of being discouraged by its advancements. There’s still a long way to go before it can talk to clients/users, spec out a feature and solve real business problems on its own. Good devs = good communicators.

    5. If you don’t have the means to quit your job, study part-time! I’m the type of person that likes to go all in on things so I saved up some money (even borrowed some) to be able to study full-time. I took a bet on myself and used it as additional pressure to get what I wanted.

    6. The interview process for the job I landed went something like this:
    – Preliminary video interview: I took this chance to open up the code of all my projects and I spoke in-depth about the tools I used, design choices I made, what I learned, and how I built them.
    – Take home tests: They were CodePen links with instructions. I solved them all but I went above and beyond by explaining alternative solutions (in an email) and explaining why I chose the route I took. Another was a simple CRUD app I had to build and submit on Github.
    – 2nd Interview: I explained in detail about how I solved the take home tests, asked questions about how they were relevant to the job and even talked about what I would’ve done differently.
    – Final interview: Culture fit interview: I met members of the management, told my story, showcased what I learned in the short amount of time I had and why.
    – A week later I received the job offer!
    – NOTE: I did not have any whiteboard interviews BUT (JIC) in anticipation for one, I worked extensively with my tutor on solving data structure and algorithm problems in preparation for the job hunt.

    7. I am NOT offering any 1-on-1 mentorship at this time. I am focused on scaling this YouTube channel but if things change or I develop any further learning products the first update will go to those subscribed to my email newsletter: ➡ https://www.timkim.me/

    I used to knock on 200-300 doors everyday, 6-days a week as a door-to-door salesman so if I can do it, I promise, with the right determination, you can too!

    The feedback on this video has been amazing , if you have any other questions feel free to ask them.
    I’ll answer them here or eventually make a follow up video replying to them.

    We spent a lot of time making this video so it’s been awesome to see the positive feedback!

    Much love,

    

Tim Kim

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your time and knowledge in this great course. I really enjoyed the calm atmosphere and you provided a really good learning environment:)) thanks

  3. This is why i was planning to drop out in my 3rd yr computer science course and start in self route. As for me it's really pressure having multiple subjects and right now we were having a thesis and that's sucks because I still didn't know how to code I'm sure that this will be the yr i will failing my course.. Thank you for sharing your story its give me hope and inspiring to me to self taught and soon apply in tech jobs❤.

  4. The coding salary tiktok videos that inspired you to go into coding are from the last two years, yet your first coding job offer is dated in 2018, and you've been in the tech industry for ten years?

  5. Man having a learning disability really sucks no matter how much I try I guess I'll just going to be a blue colored worker God I hat my self wish I had someone to just give a chance r something

  6. Idk anymore, I’ve been trying to code for…4 years now and I only know bits of every language not exactly…deep level learning in any language, reason is the next language is exciting

  7. Hey, Tim. I'm really inspired by your self-learning journey. I know these things are highly individual, but would you be able to share how you studied, outside of time blocking? Did you write notes, use flashcards, etc.? Massive thanks in advance.

  8. I want to ask my friends abroad (Munich, Switzerland). I did not go to university. What is my potential to find a job there by improving myself in this field?

  9. This was a great video Tim, but you said you've been in tech for 10 years now? A lot has changed in 10 years. So many Software Engineers have been laid off. Besides getting a mentor and asking to work for free what else could I do to stand out and "break in" to tech?

  10. Hey Tim! Amazing Amazing Amazing! Kudos to you, my friend. I am truly mesmerized by how you did it, focus, dedication, motivation really blew me off. Please know that you are truly an inspiration. Thank you again and God Bless.

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