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Learn to program on your own or attend developer courses — what should you choose?

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23.12.2021
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You've probably seen ads more than once, urging you to take developer courses from scratch and join the ranks of IT professionals. This is a very attractive offer - in a few months you can start working remotely somewhere on an island under a palm tree and receive a large salary in dollars.

Is it that simple, is it possible to enter IT in three months, and what are the most common myths that confuse beginners?

Looking ahead, we will say that taking courses has its benefits, and in many situations it will be a good decision. But first you need to figure out what to do.

Is it possible to learn programming in 3-6 months?

Can not. To become a programmer, you need to study for 2-3 years. According to experts who went into IT as an adult, that's how long the process of transition from the beginning of studies to the first job took.

In a short period of time you can get basic knowledge — HTML, CSS and a little Javascript. Schools that promise that in three months you can already look for a job are a bit deceptive. This is possible only if you have already studied on your own before, and you came to the courses only to systematize your knowledge. From scratch, in three months you will become a maximum typewriter.

But even so, it is not a fact that you will be able to get a job in this profession. If you look at the job ads, you will see that even the simplest HTML developer job is full of requirements to know Javascript, jQuery, Git, Gulp and other scary words, to be able to disassemble layouts in graphic editors, work with frameworks and libraries. And this is not to mention the complex of secondary knowledge not specified in the announcement — for example, it may be the need to work together with a team on a dedicated server .

In short, you will definitely not accumulate such baggage in six months.

If you decide to take this path, be prepared to study for at least a year and a half, and then constantly learn more as you work.

How do you know if you need to study development at all?

Many people, fascinated by the prospect of working in such a prestigious industry, go into it with only one goal - for money. They pay a few thousand for education, get a diploma, and sometimes everything ends there. Some do not even study.

Why? Because money is one of the weakest motivators. Allocating time, month after month to continue learning programming languages, making trials and errors is possible only if you really like it.

Before going to the courses, you need to at least try a little different directions in development, watch video blogs of IT experts, write the simplest scripts. If you like it and want more, that's it. Otherwise, it is very unfortunate to put a diploma for 10-15-30 thousand on the shelf with the verdict "not mine".

If programming languages are difficult, learning them is boring and "doesn't work" - it's better not to torture yourself. There are many interesting specialties in the IT field that allow you to earn well. If you like to communicate with people, you can go to HR, and if you are creative, take a closer look at web design.

Good and bad motivation for learning

Is it possible to learn programming on your own?

This is quite real - this is how many leading seniors in companies were trained. This is a young field in which the educational process is just being formed. There are few universities that graduate programmers; their programs become obsolete at the speed of light, and employers do not require a diploma of specialized education. The main thing is to have knowledge and experience.

That is why the overwhelming majority of "old men" among the Aitishniks are self-taught, and there are many of them among the new generation.

There is enough information, guides, and video lessons on the Internet. The main thing is to have enough perseverance and motivation to force yourself to learn.

For self-study, it is important to break the process into small tasks. Imagine that you are already working and have received an order. For example, you can create a small landing page, get free hosting , take your educational site to the Internet and show it to your friends. Or write a simple program that will carry a useful function. Realistic milestones help you move quickly.

Another important point is to find a mentor. It will be good if you can make friends with a working programmer and ask for advice in difficult moments. Not all answers can be found on the Internet.

When thinking about your educational path, be sure to plan English. It is "native" to Internet technologies, many terms are taken from it, and our companies actively cooperate with Western ones. In short, no way without English.

Is it worth going to the courses?

Definitely worth it, but only if you really understand what you will get as a result and why you need them.

First of all, you need to understand which direction to choose. And then look for courses in the development of websites, mobile applications, games or software.

Those who studied development with the help of courses came to the result in two ways:

  • studied independently at the same time;

  • passed several courses one after the other.

For example, you can first go to programming courses for beginners, and then consolidate your knowledge in classes devoted to individual languages - Javascript, PHP, Python and others, which you choose for work.

The main reason why you should choose courses is the organization of the educational process and the help of a mentor. Many of us experience problems with self-organization, besides, a large amount of scattered information from the Internet piles up like an avalanche - what to study, what not to study, in what order?

This is exactly what the courses provide - the student can study according to the developed program, he gets relevant knowledge that is needed for his profession. The community also plays a big role - other students of the course and the teacher, with whom you can discuss controversial issues.

Plus — in all schools, the final of studies is the development of a project or even several, which can then be presented in a portfolio.

Hosting the sites you create requires purchasing hosting and registering a domain — and online schools can help you do that much cheaper thanks to affiliate programs with providers. For example, Cityhost gives students of programming courses a 30% discount on hosting .

You can also pay attention to free programming courses with employment. The organizers of the study guarantee the placement of the students in their first workplace, however, most often they take a percentage of the salary for the first 2-3 years. This is a good option for those who do not have funds for training or are not sure that they will be able to get a job in an IT company on their own.

Online or offline?

What form of education to choose? Probably better offline? Personal presence is better for discipline, there is no risk that the light or the Internet will turn off at an inconvenient moment.

Don't worry - online IT courses are now organized very well. Some schools only offer online education at all. The fact is that programming schools operate only in large cities. Not every resident of the province will be able to go to study in the capital for courses. Distance learning is a great option, especially during the pandemic. In addition, it is much cheaper.

In fact, both methods cope well with their task. Personal presence really gives engagement, live communication. Online courses are easier to take - you don't need to travel anywhere, it's enough to set aside a couple of hours in the evening at a work computer.

Myths about IT professions

We promised to deal with myths, so let's talk about the most common ones. By the way, they are often planted by the course organizers themselves.

Huge salaries of IT experts

Indeed, IT professionals in Ukraine have the highest salaries when compared to other employment sectors. But only middle and senior programmers with work experience of 3-5 years or more receive the cherished 3000-5000 dollars.

After the courses, you are not even a junior - a searcher without work experience is called a trainee or intern. His salary is from 10 to 30 thousand hryvnias, it all depends on the set of knowledge. But you still need to get a job.

Salaries in the IT industry

Getting a job is easy

This illusion is created in advertising to make students think that their investment will pay off very quickly. But the reality is not so rosy.

Massive programming courses have spawned thousands of aspiring developers trying to find jobs in companies. There are indeed many vacancies, but many times more willing.

In addition, few companies are eager to hire a newbie and train him. A junior without work experience does not bring profit to the company in the first half of the year - he is raised for the future. But no employer has any guarantees that a newcomer will work out the resources invested in him - he can leave immediately as soon as he gets enough experience.

The situation is easy to follow by the announcements on the most popular platforms. No one is against working with young professionals, but lack of experience immediately reduces the chances.

Job announcements

This is not a reason to despair - you just need to be realistic. To get the first job, you will have to be patient and go to interviews. Employers look well to a freelance portfolio, so you can start working on simple projects already during your studies.

Among the undeniable advantages, it is worth noting that the IT field is one of the most democratic in terms of employment. There is no nepotism here, you can get a job only thanks to knowledge, companies are actively looking for employees through advertisements on websites. That's why anyone can really become an IT expert - it all depends only on persistence in studying.

Work is easy and pleasant

Like any job, IT professions have their complexities, routines and ups and downs. The network has already started talking about burnout in this area, and it really exists. The most dynamic and competitive industry requires the ability to work quickly even in stressful situations, solve non-standard tasks, communicate with unpleasant customers.

In short, these are not clouds covered with pink petals, but the same profession as the rest. To develop and improve your income, you need to love it - this is the only way to reach the level you dreamed of.

Development is really a very interesting field, where you can show all your creative abilities, experiment, work abroad. A talented programmer who is constantly growing will always find his niche, even in the most competitive job market. And then, of course, he will receive a salary in dollars, working remotely somewhere under a palm tree.


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