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Considering a career change -thoughts?

career change it support creative challenges how to start out html course

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#1 Melikins

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:12 AM

Hi there, 

 

I have just found this forum and very glad I did.

 

I have been in IT support for over 5 years now and not really progressing anywhere. I'm kind of stuck in my job with lots of people moaning at me a lot of the time..along with many other gripes I have but I'm sure you don't want to read about that  ;)

 

I am looking to move into something different and more rewarding, hopefully tapping into my creative side without leaving computers behind completely.

 

I have dabbled with website design, but never really considered it as a career until recently whilst looking at options. Don't get me wrong I'm sure web design has its challenges too!

 

I was wondering if anyone has come from a similar background and could give any advice or experiences?

 

If not, where is a good place to start with? I'm sort of looking into doing a html\css course to begin with. How did everyone else start out?

 

What challenges did everyone else face or currently face?

 

Sorry for all the questions, I hope I didn't post this in the wrong place.

Thanks very much for any and all help  :good:

 

Cheers,

 

Mel



#2 rbrtsmith

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:28 AM

Would you be more interested in the actual design or development side of things? Web design is a bit of misleading term as it used to encompass the design and development of a website, but now as websites have gotten far more complex they are typically built by teams of developers and designers.  It is possible to do both, but to land a position sooner rather than later I'd advise you to focus on a particular area.

 

If it's development that is also often segregated into front-end and backend, and if you head down this road If you're not sure which to pick then try out both and see which you prefer.  These days both are equally challenging and well paid, it's changed a lot since the days of all the logic being on the backend.

 

I started out just over 4 years ago by signing upto https://teamtreehouse.com/ and following their front-end development track.  You can read my own story that they posted here https://teamtreehouse.com/stories/robert-smith, bear in mind that's around 18 months old now :)

 

I think it's possible to go from zero to being employable in under 2000 hours, I calculated my own and it roughly came out at 1800.  That might sound daunting at first, but compare that to other entry level positions that require degrees and so on and it really is not so bad.

 

EDIT:

If I was starting out now I'd go with https://teamtreehous...web-development
The tech degree didn't exist when I started out but looking at what they teach there it puts you in a very strong place for junior positions - in fact knowing what they teach there you'd be more knowledgeable than the vast majority of junior devs out there, it really looks like a fantastic course for learning modern front-end development.
 


How to Make a Website

Share Your Techdegree Projects With GitHub Desktop

CSS Basics

CSS Layout Basics

Responsive Images

HTML Tables

HTML Forms

CSS Selectors

JavaScript Basics

JavaScript Loops, Arrays and Objects

Introduction to jQuery

Using jQuery Plugins

CSS to Sass

Sass Basics

CSS Flexbox Layout

Build a Responsive Navigation with Flexbox

CSS Transitions and Transforms

SVG Basics

Animating SVG with CSS

Defining Variables with let and const

Introducing Arrow Function Syntax

Exploring JavaScript Conditionals

JavaScript and the DOM

DOM Scripting By Example

HTML Video and Audio

Create a Media Player with MediaElement.js

Web Accessibility Compliance

Git Basics

Create Tooltips with CSS

Using Local Storage with JavaScript

Introducing Template Literals

AJAX Basics

Create a Fullscreen Slider with CSS

Gulp Basics

Front End Web Optimization Workflow

Hosting a Website with GitHub Pages

That above is a super curriculum for basic front-end development :)

Their tech degrees for other areas are also well worth considering if front-end does not interest you.


Edited by rbrtsmith, 02 May 2017 - 11:36 AM.

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#3 Melikins

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 12:15 PM

Excellent advice, thank you Robert!  :D 

 

I think I'll maybe start out looking at developing and then branch into designing, but I shall certainly look into the links you've posted.



#4 rbrtsmith

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 08:37 PM

Feel free to drop any questions you might have on the forum, we're a friendly bunch here :)



#5 designgem

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:12 AM

Robert has covered a lot of stuff - excellent response. I would say my biggest challenge is managing the business side of things, particularly getting good clients (it's easy to get bad ones!).


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#6 Melikins

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 09:39 AM

Robert has covered a lot of stuff - excellent response. I would say my biggest challenge is managing the business side of things, particularly getting good clients (it's easy to get bad ones!).

 

Interesting, thanks desgingem. Definitely something to consider and I can certainly understand about the 'bad ones'  :D



#7 rbrtsmith

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 10:39 AM

Bear in mind you don't have to go into freelancing, it's just an option like going into employment.  I prefer to spend my time writing code and improving as a developer rather than dealing with clients, accounts, marketing myself etc.  Many will say freelancing can pay more but it depends - developers can earn huge salaries and even more if they move into contracting / consulting.

 

My advise on this aspect would be do what you enjoy - if you're good the financial rewards will be great regardless :)


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#8 Jack

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 10:53 AM

I think I'll maybe start out looking at developing and then branch into designing,


You'll likely find that development in itself is enough to take on, even then you have specific development roles like front end and back end, it's a huge subject. If your interest is going to be more design orientated, I would look at going down that path first, and branching out later into writing front end code. Both design and development are so challenging nowadays that it's going to be more beneficial if you focus your efforts on one for a while. The reason Robert was able to learn and get hired so quick was largely down to him choosing a very specific path early on and putting all his efforts into that.


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#9 rbrtsmith

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 12:33 PM

I should add one of the most challenging aspects for me at least is deciding what to learn and what not to learn.  The temptation is always there to want to learn everything but there's just so much now, even in specific areas like front-end that it becomes overwhelming.

 

Generally speaking the highest paid roles at the big tech firms are highly specialised - and for a reason, it's almost impossible to get that level of expertise unless you focus on a narrow spectrum.  It's a balancing act.  I am trying to learn more backend and infrastructure stuff, but I find it  incredibly difficult to do this and keep up with what's happening on front-end.  It would be more difficult still if design was added in too.


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#10 Melikins

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 12:35 PM

That's a good point Jack, I am sometimes guilty of wanting to run before I can walk  ;) cheers



#11 Melikins

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 08:26 AM

Hi all,

 

Thanks so much for all the advice so far.

 

I'm was wondering if someone could give me their advice on the 'CIW Site Development associate course'. Details on their site here:

 

https://www.ciwcerti...pment-associate

 

From what I have read, it seems like a good place to start and I have seen a reasonable price for the course (minus the exam) of £495.

 

Apologies if this is cheeky, I just need some ideas of where to start without breaking the bank and also to study in my spare time.

 

Could someone advise?

 

Also is a CIW course and qualification well recognised in the UK web industry?

 

Many thanks (and sorry for sounding like a noob!)

 

Mel



#12 Jack

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 08:54 AM

Certifications don't really do anything in this industry, unless you work with enterprise technology. Generally a portfolio of work combined with experience in a language is all that's required.

 

The money for that course would be better spent on good online resources instead, you'll get much more out of it. I would look for something that lets you develop a portfolio at the same time as learning. Both Free Code Camp and Treehouse Tech Degree have this, and it's by far the easiest way to break into the industry.


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#13 Melikins

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 09:16 AM

Thank you Jack, its very much appreciated. I have been looking around at people's LinkedIn profiles and many don't have a qualification they just have the experience.

 

The Free Code Camp actually looks really good. I'd better start practising my coding then eh?  :D

 

 

Many thanks 


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#14 rbrtsmith

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 10:05 AM

Thank you Jack, its very much appreciated. I have been looking around at people's LinkedIn profiles and many don't have a qualification they just have the experience.

 

The Free Code Camp actually looks really good. I'd better start practising my coding then eh?  :D

 

 

Many thanks 

That's all it takes - practice and lots of it.  with the right drive you will get yourself a role in a fantastic industry.  Good luck!


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#15 citypaul

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 11:45 AM

That's all it takes - practice and lots of it.  with the right drive you will get yourself a role in a fantastic industry.  Good luck!

Missed this thread somehow the first time around. I agree with the advice Jack and Rob have given above. The best resource I can find online for beginners is that Treehouse course Rob has linked to above. Some people think it's expensive, but considering the sheer quality of the material and where that knowledge can take you, I'd say it's basically a steal. I wish resources like that existed when I was first starting out.

 

Ignore all that CIW crap - those certifications are basically a scam at this point. Nobody in the industry takes them seriously (if you were making a big deal out of that when applying for a job with me I'd instantly think you were a beginner who has probably, unfortunately, focused on the wrong things, this course description is embarrassing in places for example: https://www.ciwcerti...se-description)

 

Honestly, invest in the team tree house course and consider it a true investment in your own future. I'm not affiliated with them in anyway, but looking at the course Rob linked you to above, it really is outstanding. If you consider a standard rate for a junior dev in Manchester is probably around the 25k mark, you can see how quickly that investment will pay off. It certainly did for Rob.

 

The hardest thing I ever had to do in this industry was to get my first job. That's really the hardest thing. Once you're in you start building experience and you go from there. For me, I built a website that had some nice functionality at the time (this was around 2005-6) - it allowed people to create online leagues against eachother for the game "Pro Evolution Soccer". I put a lot of work into that site at the time and was able to show it to people. Eventually someone gave me a chance and it went from there.

 

So I'd say - if you're really serious, consider the Treehouse course Rob linked you to, and more than anything - build things. Make mistakes, learn from them and keep on building. Aim to build something you can show to other people.

 

Also learn Git early and get yourself onto Github.


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#16 Melikins

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 12:19 PM

Excellent response citypaul and thank you for your input.

 

I am considering the Treehouse course as, like you say, the investment will likely be worth it.

 

 

Cheers



#17 rbrtsmith

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 06:32 PM

Excellent response citypaul and thank you for your input.

 

I am considering the Treehouse course as, like you say, the investment will likely be worth it.

 

 

Cheers

It was the best thing I ever did.  I'm now making 4 x what I was before I got into web dev, (this is about 4 years on since my first job) and I absolutely love working in the industry.  To this day I spend money on online courses because the return on investment is massive - But you have to put in the time and work your socks off.  Do that and success will follow.


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#18 citypaul

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 06:59 PM

It was the best thing I ever did.  I'm now making 4 x what I was before I got into web dev, (this is about 4 years on since my first job) and I absolutely love working in the industry.  To this day I spend money on online courses because the return on investment is massive - But you have to put in the time and work your socks off.  Do that and success will follow.

 

Same here in terms of the online courses. They're definitely worth it if you find the right ones.


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#19 mrludable

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 11:08 AM

Welcome to forum!

rbrtsmith's response was spot on.

I'll give you some feedback on how I got to where I am. I started back in 2010 doing some courses until 2012, after being a barman for about 8 years. The courses I did were, Web Design for Beginners, Advanced Web Design, PHP & MySQL and some other part time courses. I ended up getting an internship with a web design company which turned into a job (front-end). I do really enjoy it but I wouldn't consider myself anyway near as good as rbrtsmith, he answers all my questions - thanks rbrtsmith & Jack too.

I find that I am probably not up to date with everyone else, with 2 young kids at home it's hard to find the time to keep up to date with everything.

This forum is a great place to start and to get help on just about anything!



#20 david19922

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:43 AM

Hello

I must tell you that Certificates are just paper nothing else if you don't have expierence into this industry, until and unless you work with enterprise technology. In general your working expierence and knowledge required into this field. I hope you are cleared with my suggestion







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