Fast-Track Tech Career

Here’s an overview of how to start a career in tech as fast as possible as a Web Developer. According to the BLS Web Developer is the fastest growing (16%), highest paying ($70), tech job for the least amount of required learning (two year associate’s degree or less). Web Developers are also among the most common jobs for digital nomads who can live and work anywhere remotely. Even if you don’t want to do web development forever it will empower everything else you choose to do and provides a skill and income while you figure out the rest. Many move to systems administration, machine learning, and other careers having started as humble web developers. If you spend a little time learning to do all your work on an Ubuntu Linux Mint Cinnamon laptop (instead of Mac or Windows) you’ll be even more ahead and ready for other opportunities.

Here’s what you need to do before even starting your learning:

  1. Type 40+ words a minute.
  2. Research and communicate effectively.
  3. Develop a plan and manage your learning routine.
  4. Start a personal/professional learning network on social media.
  5. Create ProtonMail and start using for email.
  6. Create GitHub account to browse projects and participate.
  7. Create GitLab account to host your project repos.
  8. Create a private GitLab project to contain your notes and learning.
  9. Master Markdown and begin regular writing logs and notes in it.

And, of course, you will need a workstation on which to do you learning:

  1. Learn to setup and use a Linux Mint Cinnamon laptop.
  2. Master the Linux terminal (vim, tmux, bash, lynx).

A lot of people do this from Windows or Mac but learning Linux will put you head and shoulders above any of the other applicants for those beginner jobs. It will also make you way more efficient in everything you do and prepare you for many more oppotunities later.

Finally the most relevant and important web developer skills:

  1. Learn to identify and structure data in JSON, YAML, TOML.
  2. Use YAML to create structured data within your notes project.
  3. Complete relevant freeCodeCamp certifications.
  4. Complete entire Vue Mastery course.
  5. Learn SQL and transactional database integration with PostgreSQL.
  6. Learn GraphQL and build an API using it.
  7. Learn to use kn or other static site tool for workflows.
  8. Learn JAMstack and build a practice GitLab web project using it.
  9. Create a Netlify account and deploy your JAMstack site.
  10. Create a Namecheap account and create your first custom domain.
  11. Map your domain to your site on Netlify.
  12. Create a custom email address on ProtonMail using Namecheap domain.
  13. Earn your Linux Essentials Certification (LPIC-0).
  14. Get “good to gig” with a personal/professional site and portfolio.
  15. Target potential companies and start networking.

After you learn this stuff the best natural progression is to learn the most important languages for microservices, command-line utilities, and the whole world of cloud and DevOps: Go and Bash.

  1. Write one or more Go applications with the Qt graphic user interface.
  2. Customize your Bash shell and add several useful functions.
  3. Prototype something in Bash shell first and then implement full version in Go.
  4. Learn Go through tutorials covering its approach and concepts.
  5. Build several command-line utilities in Go you would show someone.
  6. Build a terminal application in Go using the tview library.
  7. Develop an interactive conversational personal assistant in Go.
  8. Write a Discord bot in Go that brokers communication to your personal assistant.
  9. Write a Slack bot in Go that brokers communication to your personal assistant.
  10. Write a GraphQL API in Go that brokers communication to your personal assistant.
  11. Create a virtual agent service in Go to work with your personal assistant doing long-running tasks.

As programming languages go, JavaScript, Go, and Bash compliment each other very well.

As for other languages and frameworks, learn them as needed or as hobbies. For example, Python is a must for all machine learning (although that is changing). Java (as horrendous as it is) is everywhere – the COBOL of our time. Ruby and Perl are big for cyber-security. C++ and Rust for any high performance application like a 3D game. R for statistical data analysis. Remember people want to hire a “developer” not a Python programmer. They want someone who has shown they can develop great solutions to needs no matter what the language required.

Master Markdown

Most are surprised to learn that the most important web language is not HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. It’s Markdown. Markdown was developed by writers for writers. Most web sites and applications today are written almost entirely in Markdown with very little HTML/CSS/JavaScript other than to contain the content written in Markdown and converted to HTML.

Unfortunately learning Markdown can be very risky because of all the variations. As described in the Markdown tutorial the best approach seems to be a progression:

Markdown’s usefulness hardly ends with web development. It has been used to write entire textbooks, eBooks, Kindle documents, PDFs, even entire novels.

Learning Markdown first enables you to manage your learning, journaling, blog posting and any other authoring as soon as possible in a way that will be 100% compatible with any documentation format you might like later. Learn it first.

Learn to Identify and Structure Data

Learning to create structured data files in JSON, YAML, and TOML will get you thinking about data early in your learning. Thinking of problems in terms of the data structures is far more important than the algorithms. Plus you can combined your structured data skills with Markdown documentation to really keep your information organized well even before you learn any other coding.

JSON is the language that web applications use to communicate so it is an absolute essential.

Complete All the freeCodeCamp Certificates

There is no reason not to get all of these. They are highly regarded by the industry, cost nothing, and require actual work on projects to demonstrate your skills. The following three are particularly relevant because they cover topics that are not as subject to aging:

The other certificates definitely have dated information. You can entirely skip them, but are worth getting anyway in the long term because you will definitely encounter code that uses them.

Here is a list of flaws of these certifications:

Complete the Vue Mastery Lessons

Vue is simply a superior front-end framework to React (which, among other things does not follow established web standards). For this reason having solid knowledge and demonstrable Vue skills are important to add to the web development skills learned during your freeCodeCamp work.

Get Linux Essentials Certified

Using Linux as your primary workstation will put you head and shoulders above most other web developers leading to better opportunities in full-stack web development and opening new opportunities in systems operations, administration, and performance engineering. Just using Linux for your web development will be nearly enough for you to complete the multiple choice LPIC-0 Linux Institute Certification in Linux essentials. This also makes it much easier for you to test and build web servers and other back-end web stuff.

Use Ubuntu Linux Mint Cinnamon on Laptop

Running the most popular distribution of Linux on your laptop will ensure you are developing Linux skills even when just doing mundane things during your regular development. It will also make you way faster and more productive than any of your counterparts using Mac or Windows computers.