I just recently visited two meetups. One related to JavaScript, other one to Java. Loved it!
Let me share with you at least 5 reasons why should you also go to the meetups related to programming.
I ordered them from most important for me at the moment.

1. New ideas

The first thing I liked about meetups is that I can get introduced to many new concepts that I might have not even heard about. Azure Web Service, what does Data Scientist do and what is machine learning, new version of Angular and etc. are a few examples. Sometimes I didn’t fully understand what’s going on. Nevertheless I felt satisfaction of learning during the meetups. It was  fascinating to hear from people from so many different backgrounds.

2. Travel

This one is important for me since I tend to take life too seriously. Rarely there are meetups in my city, so I have to travel to other places. Every time I go to a meetup not only I learn, but I also get to feel like a tourist, traveler. This means I not only get to learn about new concepts. I also get to reflect on them and on my career or life just after the meeting.

3. People

What surprised me is that rooms where meetups about programming happen are almost always full! It’s very motivating to see so many people interested in the same topic as you are. If you want to regain motivation for learning web development, joining a meetup is a good way to do so. You’ll feel that you are not alone and are a part of a much bigger community.

4. Networking

During a meeting there might be some breaks, but you won’t get many chances to speak to people. It’s common to see an after-party happening just after the last speech and the organizers might ask people to come 30 minutes earlier before the meetup begins so they can network. This is a great chance to get to know some other people from the community and perhaps learn something from them. It would be a good idea to hone your networking skills and even prepare an elevator pitch!

5. Job opportunities

Whether you are currently employed or not, it still holds true. If there are people, there are opportunities to network which is a shortcut to getting a better job. This is especially true for meetups where you can be sure, that people not interested in programming wouldn’t show up. As long as you are prepared for some networking and are willing to talk to people and mention that you are open to new positions, there is a big chance that you will find one.

 

This will be a series about a very popular The Web Developer Bootcamp course on Udemy that I’m going through right now. This is a long course (360 parts, about 95% of them videos) covering basics of web development both front-end and back-end including the following:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Bootstrap
  • JavaScript
  • DOM
  • jQuery
  • NodeJS
  • Express
  • MongoDB
  • RESTful API

The course instructor is a person who normally teaches at bootcamps. The course is constantly maintained. By being maintained I mean that they even upload separate videos to YouTube where you can see the same things done with new technologies. E.g. there is a project using Bootstrap 3, current standard is Bootstrap 4. One of the Teaching Assistants makes a video about the changes from Bootstrap 3 to 4 according to the project from the course.

One of the reasons why I decided to stick with this course is how well balanced it is, rich with exercises and how good the teacher’s explanations are. I don’t believe that it’s „The only course you need to learn web development” like it says on the course’s page. Although, after going through one third of the course I can definitely say that it’s great for a start. Great for going from the point where I barely know anything to the point where I can seriously think about creating websites from scratch instead of using some WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors.

I found another bootcamp-like course, The Odin Project, discouraging because it felt like jumping straight into a deep water without being prepared enough for that. That said, I think it’s great as a follow-up and I might as well go into it deeper after I’m done with The Web Developer Bootcamp. On the other hand I feel that I prefer learning with a human being talking to me, that having to go through written instructions on freeCodeCamp. What’s worth noting, there is also a good follow-up for the Udemy’s course by the same teacher called The Advanced Web Developer Bootcamp.

I watch videos online usually with the speed of x1.5 or x2 when possible, sometimes skipping through the video if the content is already understood by me. I use a laptop connected to a 23 inch monitor. I definitely recommend getting an additional screen for web development. It is so much more convenient! After trying Sublime Text 3Visual Studio Code and Atom, I decided to go with Atom. I saw it being used in my work and found the preview plugin very convenient. That means I can see how the website looks while staying in Atom. No need to open a browser and refresh a page. I use Ubuntu 16.04 for web development, having Windows 7 installed next to it.

You can see the projects I do following the course at my GitHub repository. GitHub is a web-based hosting for version control using git. What it means, is that I can upload and store my code online, update it, and even revert the changes I’ve made using GitHub. I used the GitHub section of The Odin Project course to learn how to use it.

In the next parts I’ll go into the course materials and hopefully finish it 🙂

Did you ever realize that it takes some courage to start writing a public blog? That it can be a great experience and a lot of fun? That you might feel you are terrible at writing? I sure didn’t until I started to write this first post. My name is Tom and I’m at the beginning of my journey into web development.

This is one of the many beginnings. I’ve tried many times to break into programming career with little success. I lacked motivation, consistency or maybe a blog? Whatever was the case, I didn’t manage to reach my goal. I believe this time is different, since both my circumstances and reasons for doing it are different. I hope that writing a blog will help me to reach my goal, which is to eventually land a job as a web developer.

Here I will document my thoughts, reflections and most important: my progress. I will document my firsthand experience using some often recommended courses: The Web Developer BootcampThe Odin Project, freeCodeCamp and doing my own projects. At the time of writing this post I’m already at 125 video out of 359(!) of The Web Developer Bootcamp and went through few modules of The Odin Project, including Git lessons. This means everything I make I will be able to share with you through GitHub.

My main inspiration for starting this blog is through hearing social figures like Gary Vaynerchuk, or John Sonmez from SimpleProgrammer recommend it over and over again. On top of that reading about success stories how becoming more visible on the web can greatly help with career (and possibly not only) were convincing enough. And hey, it’s fun writing on a blog about what I want and however I want! 🙂

You can find more about me here