Alternate Paths to a Web Development Job

Introduction

We’ve covered a whole lot about job search, evaluation, and acquisition. Do you not feel ready for work just yet? Odds are that you are, so don’t fool yourself into not trying just because it’s difficult. But… Maybe you just skipped to this course and ignored the other ones. There are a few alternate paths towards employment which you may consider.

Bootcamps

You may be considering attending a full-time coding bootcamp because they tend to provide their own pipelines to finding jobs. The majority of people shelling out money to attend full-time coding bootcamps seek to enhance their career prospects. Yes, there is a component of genuine interest and learning, but a clear expectation is that the programming courses offer an entry into a programming career. Some companies advertise 100% placement rate and six figure offers. How credible are these claims? Are such points relevant for your overall career search process?

If you’re looking to be better informed about a full-time coding bootcamp and whether it might be useful to you, read this guide to help make your decision: Choosing a Full-Time Coding Bootcamp

It’s important to be well informed, so don’t skimp on the research before applying. When I did admissions at App Academy, a surprisingly large number of applicants had never even researched other bootcamps, which was astonishing. That said, I can say that I had a great experience going through the App Academy program and will wholeheartedly admit my bias towards it. They require no tuition until you’ve found a dev job, which is a pretty good risk/reward situation. If you use this link to apply, they’ve offered to help support The Odin Project! You should always make an informed decision, but that’s our bias :)

Contributing to The Odin Project and Other Open Source

We’ve talked a lot about how important it is to have a good portfolio of work and experience. We’ve also talked about how helpful open source contributions are for this purpose. Luckily for you, there’s a growing movement to make open source projects more accessible for beginners and it starts with The Odin Project! We run a team of volunteer developers using agile methodologies to work on this very website (which is open source). See our Getting Involved page for more information.

Sam Joseph of HPU has also been facilitating a listing of other beginner-friendly open source projects, particularly for non-profits. You should be able to find other interesting projects to work on there. More information about that project can be found at AgileVentures.org.

Volunteering

There are always more projects than developers. Related to the open source side of things, you can often volunteer your time to make websites for friends, former colleagues, and organizations. It’s always better to get paid (even if it’s a token amount), but do what you have to do so you can get more projects under your belt and more evidence that you’re hireable as a developer. Good luck!

Getting Hired

Alternate Paths to a Web Development Job

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