TL;DR:Studied for 5 months in my own time using mostly Scrimba.Applied for a few jobs, got a response from one.Asked for direction on what to learn during the selection process.Followed through with direction and continued to keep in touch to show where I was at.Demonstrated good communication and willingness to learn.Have been in the job for three days. Massively steep learning curve, extremely challenging, but loving every moment.I recently got hired as a junior web developer by an amazing agency after being an air conditioning tech for the last 9 years. People seem to be interested in hearing how I went about the change, so I thought I’d throw it into a post.Also it might be worth mentioning that I’m in Adelaide, Australia. I’ve seen people on Reddit who have applied for hundreds of positions before getting anywhere. I think the market is different compared to the US. While I think I was extremely lucky with a few things falling my way by chance, I think Australia might be a little easier to get a job than the US. I may also be wrong with that comment…it’s just something I’m thinking.Hated work .. Started to do something about itI began to despise the air conditioning work at the start of the year. It was about the same time that I got curious about coding and web development.I found Scrimba which have a bunch of courses including a front end web developer career path course. It covers html, css, js, bit of react, and finishes off on how to go about interviews and preparation.So I was doing that most mornings before work and on the weekends. I was also studying CS theory on my phone in spare time at work when I didn’t have a computer with me.Applied for some jobsAfter 4 months and a couple of dead applications, I came across this one listing from this agency who were after a junior developer. Something felt good about it. So I applied..I didn’t have much experience to write about in the cover letter. I ended up writing about where I’ve been and how hard I’m working to change my career. I think the desire and dedication came through in it.I re-designed my resume for the tech industry seeing air conditioning and trade resumes aren’t exactly trendy. I just went online to find some examples and kind of copied their styles.People also often ask if they can see my resume and cover letter that I submitted, so I’ve uploaded them here.. I don’t think they’re amazing and I don’t even think you should copy them. It’s just what people are asking to see.. https://imgur.com/a/2c0dmRwI didn’t have a portfolio besides a site for my girlfriends business that wasn’t even finished, and a couple of Wix and Webflow sites I had for something else before I learnt to code. I submitted it and told them I’m also throwing together another site built with React. I hadn’t used react before and I spent the whole weekend trying to get it to work properly. I didn’t get it finished but I submitted it anyway. It at least layout and styling.Selected for a phone interview!I ended up getting through to a phone interview. I was beyond stoked. In the email before the interview they had a small questionnaire which included some technical questions. They noted no points off for wrong answers. It was based on Wordpress and php. I’d never touched either and had assumed it was JS. I got them completely wrong. But I had also written my train of thought which likely helped justify my reasoning lot.I thought about studying the usual technical questions you may be asked but ended up not worrying about it. I had a feeling the phone call would be more about soft skills than anything else. I was right. The call went great and went for 45 minutes. Way over the 15 minute allocation. Things felt really good.Demonstrated willingness to learn and follow directionI also asked what I should focus on learning to prepare for the possibility I was successful. I think this ended up being a great thing to ask. It shows willingness and dedication. I then followed up with an email a few days later, asking questions that indicated I was making progress and actually following through with what he said to do.I built a couple of very basic sites using php and MySQL. One of them was a recruitment agency mock-up. It included a form to input listings to a database and then render the listings on another page. I hosted it on a digital ocean droplet and sent it to him. It was nothing special design wise, but it demonstrated that I was making progress.Final selecton oh shit!!Eventually I got the email to confirm I’d made it through to the final selection which was a day in their office. I couldn’t believe it. I’d never been so nervous and excited for an opportunity.I crammed and learnt as much php and Wordpress as I could. The day came and I never touched any Wordpress, php, or any other code for that matter. I spent the day very very slowly pulling sites with git for maintenance using Terminal, having never ever touched any CLI before. I used Yarn and Composer to re-build the sites locally and update WP plugins, again never having used or even knowing about it. I was so slow. We eventually committed and pushed the changes. He was pretty much telling me what to do each and every command at that point.I actually got it!!!!!After a week or so, it was confirmed I got the position. I think all of this came down to demonstrating willingness to learn, to take direction and follow through with it, and good communication.I’ve been at the company for three days and I’m learning so much about things I haven’t touched before. I’ve spent the time performing site maintenance and updating Wordpress plugins using git, yarn, and composer.I’m nervous, wondering how I got here, challenged, but also loving every single moment. The pay-cut from a qualified HVAC-R tech to a junior dev is definitely real. I never thought I’d be willing to drop so far from where I was at, but having the opportunity to work at such a company and being in an environment where I will learn so much more than any other course or college can provide, it ended up being an easy thing to accept. And I’m so extremely grateful of the directors and the team responsible for believing in me and taking me on.Sorry for this massive post. It’s way longer than I thought it would be. I think it also lost direction a bit. I just hope that it gives insight and confidence to others who are looking to change career half way through life, or even just to land their first real job.Details
In recent years, Google and other similar companies have become increasingly concerned with the user experience (UX); that’s why the UX always pops up in algorithm updates. With 88 percent of online users turning away from websites after one bad experience, it goes to show that UX is vital. Google, being the pioneer, decided to…Details
[Showoff Saturday] Have been rebuilding my personal website/blog with svelte-kit. The main goal was performance and adherence to “best practice”. Still WIP, but would love to hear your thoughts/feedback.
I have been working on rebuilding my old site/blog from scratch using svelte-kit, typescript, and Sass/SCSS, and am loving it so far. There have been some hiccups and anomalies, but that is to be expected with early stage technology.The site: https://lmw.io/It’s hosted using a custom adapter I wrote for CloudFlare workers with significant performance enhancements. I’m in the process of porting that to the existing adapter; I’ve hopened a PR, but with a lot on my plate recently I have not completed that work yet.I’m working on an article that covers the thoughts and considerations that have gone into it, hoping to post that and share with you guys once I’ve wrapped up some remaining work on the site itself.My main focus with the rebuild is performance and adherence to “best practice” (performance, accessibility, and SEO). While there is room for improvement, I’m quite excited by where it is at so far. Lighthouse scores for both mobile and desktop are (usually) 100 across the board. Navigating the entire site (clicking through all pages) only transfers about 1.2MB, smaller than most individual pages on my old wordpress based site.Would love to hear your thoughts or feedback, feel free to ask any questions you might have about how it was built.Details
Do you want to create a classified ads website to publish listings and advertisements? Do you want to add a classified section on your blog or magazine? Building a classified website from scratch is a massive undertaking that will cost you a lot of time and money. Fortunately, classified plugins exist with all the…Details
Technology is advancing rapidly and web development is no different. New tools and services are constantly coming into existence to help you build the next big thing. It’s great to have so much innovation in web development, but it can be very intimidating for people who are just starting out in the field and have…Details