Where Do I Start?

I believe one of the more challenging tasks in any aspiring developers journey, is deciding where to start? There are many roads to becoming a developer and I do not pretend to understand them all, but the dilemma of where to start is something most developers experience. Do we choose to start learning about the frontend, do we work on backend skills? How about making an app? iOS or Android? React Native, Flutter, or PhoneGap?

If all of this does not overwhelm you, just wait. Say you decide to start with the frontend, do we learn ReactJS, Angular, Vue, Vanilla JavaScript? How about some CSS, SASS, LESS or HTML? The amount of choices involved can be overwhelming for even the experienced developer much less someone new to development. The point I am trying to make here is that this process is overwhelming for just about everyone. Here I hope to give you three steps to help get you started in development.

Step 1 – Start By Building Your Portfolio

I believe the answer to the question of where to start will largely depend on the individual person. If an aspiring developer already knows they are passionate about a certain area of development, they may choose to build a project in that area to get them started. If that is not you and you have no clue, that is okay! If you want to start a career in development and you do not have an online portfolio, then a great place to begin is building a portfolio. It is something you will definitely need to get work and it will allow you to learn about development at the same time.

Step 2 – Learn Out Loud

Once you have a portfolio setup online, you can continue learning and posting your work as you learn. There is nothing wrong with learning out loud! As long as you are honest and do not try to pretend to be something that you are not. The development community is extremely welcoming to new developers learning in public. I would start by working on a project which catches your interest. So if you are interested in mobile development and you have completed step 1 by building a portfolio, move on to building your first mobile app. Then post what you learned on your portfolio and repeat.

Step 3 – Ask For Help

No one expects you to have it all figured out! So do not be afraid to ask the community for help. If you are stuck on something and you have done your fair share of googling already, ask for help!

Be Willing to Put In The Work

The process of going from zero to dev(developer) is not an easy one. Do not expect it to happen overnight. The promise of learning a language in twenty-four hours makes for a good book title, but that is about it! Learning to be a great developer is going to take years of hard work. You can certainly get off to a great start in twenty-four hours, but do not expect mastery. Ultimately, going from zero to dev will involve many projects and lots of frustration, but in the end is completely worth the time invested.


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