Linda changed her path from a computer engineering (focus on hardware) student to a self-taught frontend developer and hired during a pandemic.

Please introduce yourself

My name is Linda Ikechukwu. I’m a Frontend developer. I currently work at Omnibiz (which is a subsidiary of Tolaram Group) as a React Js frontend developer. My primary responsibility is to maintain and implement new UI features for the omnibiz dashboard application. It’s an all-in-one saas sales solution for manufacturers and distributors.

What was your background before you learned to code?

Before learning to code, I was studying computer engineering in university. During the course of my studies which was heavily hardware focused, I discovered that I didn’t really like tinkering with hardware. I picked up an interest in coding (frontend development specifically) after I used Wordpress to set up a blog. It was intriguing and I wanted to find out how the systems were built.

How did you learn to code?

I learnt to code using online resources like FreeCodeCamp and Jonas Schmedtmann’s courses on udemy. During this period, I made sure I practised every single thing I learnt by building a side project with it and hosting it on my github.

How did you prepare for an interview?

There’s no one size fit all advice for interviews because different companies have different interviewing processes. What you have to do is to research the company you’re applying to, find out what their interview processes are like and prepare towards it. For beginner frontend developers, make sure you have a solid understanding of the basics of Javascript, practice converting UI designs on figma or adobe xd to actual web pages and take a course on data structure and algorithms.

The interviewing process at my current job was quite different. I was referred by a mentor who had relations with the technical lead. Prior to that, I had built a personal dashboard project similar to what the company was working on, which I highlighted on my resume. During my interview, the technical lead and I just had a chat about the project, my thought processes when building the application, why I used a particular tool over another, why I structured the project files the way it was e.t.c. We also chatted about my blog, why I write and how I decide on what to write about. After that, I was hired and made an offer.

Tips for newbies

  1. Don’t be stuck in the tutorial loophole
  2. Build aggressively as you learn and
  3. Join a helpful community to network

Five phases newbies should go through when learning to code

  1. Pick a niche
  2. Find structured learning resources for your niche
  3. Learn
  4. Build something, anything!
  5. Network

You can read up on more helpful tips from The Self taught developer’s guide to learning to code.

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