So You Think You Want to be a Software Engineer

Several people have asked me recently about transitioning to a career in software engineering. This is a good time to do it. The industry is aggressively hiring and diversifying their workforce. I will graduate Hack Reactor, a top advanced software engineering immersive, in a few weeks. In 12 weeks, I went from knowing basic coding to being a full-stack software engineer. I'm building a SQL ORM for one of the most exciting JavaScript frameworks. My team has the opportunity to make a huge impact.

There are many free resources online to help you find out if this is interesting to you and to help prepare you for immersives like Hack Reactor.

Code Academy is one of my favorites for beginners. You read the instructions and code interactively online. Code School offers a lot of material for free. Their courses are primarily video-based with interactive challenges. Start with HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and Ruby. Another great JavaScript resouce is Eloquent JavaScript.

There is a lot of free material at Udacity. They also help with knowing where to go next, career paths, and building portfolio. Mozilla Developer Network can walk you through how to create your own app. MIT offers computer science courses online for free. This LifeHacker will point you to resources in Python.

If you explore and decide that software engineering is a good fit for you, go talk to the folks at Hack Reactor. The benefit of a 12-week intensive program is that it decreases the time you are out of work and gets you to a better job faster. It is definitely worth it.