Part 2: Training

So I ended my previous post with the resolution to learn to code and build websites via an online bootcamp. I chose this medium because I felt there would be more value and resolve in something that I put money into as opposed to free. 

For anyone who has looked into online coding bootcamps before, you can attest to this: It can be exhausting because there are so many, so many options, so many “pitches.” Some are very intense, some more relaxed, some expensive, and others more affordable. 

Bloc

I settled with Bloc’s Part-Time Web Developer Track for my training. The part-time track requires about 20 hours a week which fit well with my full-time job. Also, it did not require that you be a coding guru already like some of the other bootcamps. 

Overall, everything about Bloc was a positive experience: My mentor was very helpful, the courses thorough, and they really challenged me to work things out on my own. It was a very rewarding trek and this training gave me a strong foundation by which to ground my coding journey. 

That being said, I dropped out at the outset of the Back-End portion of the course, which is about the mid-point. (Whats with all the hype about Ruby & Ruby on Rails? Meh). This had nothing to do with Bloc. It instead had to do with: 1. My strong preference for Front End Development over Back End; 2. My newfound annoyance with TDD, Test Driven Development (I understand the benefits, but I can’t help feeling that overall it just doubles the work); 3. And since I knew that I wanted to focus on Front End (CSS/JS/Angular, etc.), I could stop now and get half of my tuition reimbursed, cha-ching! 

Thus, I ended my time at Bloc.

WordPress

At this point I began to consider the workplace….what is my next step in getting a job in this field? As I began to explore my options I became very interested in the world of freelance. I’ve worked my entire adult life in cubicles and felt that if I was starting fresh in a new career, why not go all out? 

So what demand is out there for Front End freelancers? WordPress? Wait, I have been using WordPress for a few years now anyways and love it. Oh, and I now understand CSS and JavaScript! 

Thus, I decided to focus exclusively on WordPress development due to the large volume of people and companies who use it. 

And, at that point I kept running across these irresistible ads from a company called Skillcrush stating they can take me through a WordPress developer course, targeted for aspiring freelancers. After some research (and confirming that they were not an “all-girls” bootcamp), I signed up for the Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint course…. Just take my money please!

Skillcrush

The blueprint package I chose included Front End Development, WordPress Development, and Web Design. I must admit that I did not go through the course properly in the 3 month layout, but jumped straight to the WordPress development blueprint (I will revisit this in a later post). 

This blueprint was EXACTLY what I needed to get my mind around the structure of the WordPress CMS, and I am thankful I took this course (and I get lifetime access to it!).

I learned the overall structure, template tags, basic PHP, custom post types, how to integrate advanced custom fields, best practices and workflow, how to begin freelancing with WordPress, etc., etc.

An invaluable investment in my opinion (and again, yes men you can sign up…).

At this point, now that I had a solid foundation to build on, I felt confident to move forward with WordPress development, and more specifically “Freelance” WordPress development. 

So…..I guess my next step is to put together a website and getting myself out there? 

We’ll talk about that in Part 3. 

If you have any questions for me, please ask!!

The Takeaway

Every aspiring web developer/designer needs training. HTML, CSS, and a basic understanding of JS, are required. 

That being said, learning to code is a lifelong pursuit. You will never reach that finish line. There is a temptation to feel like you must learn “one more thing” before you can actually get out there and pursue this career. Thus, many CodeNewbies spend years learning, never reaching a point where they are “ready.” More about that here

So look, establish a solid foundation and then step out towards your goal, and as you step out continue learning along the way.

Perhaps its a bootcamp, or Free Code Camp, or Udemy, or Lynda.com, but whatever medium you choose get yourself a solid foundation by which to build on. Once you have that foundation, step out. 

Other Posts In This Series:

Are you a CodeNewbie?Tell me about your journey below, I’d love to hear it!

Travis Rodgers

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Hi, I'm the Travis in Travis.Media. I'm a self-taught software developer, blogger, and YouTuber, sharing everything I'm learning along the way.

Show comments