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S1E13: Switching Into a Dev Career With a Full-Time Job (and Life) With Brian Jenney

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In today's episode of the Learn to Code With Me podcast, I speak to Brian Jenney. Brian started coding just over a year ago and in less than seven months, transitioned from a community college career advisor to a full-time web developer at Grocery Outlet.

I initially connected with Brian through Learn to Code With Me—he was an early reader. Brian first became interested in coding after advising several of his students to seek opportunities in tech. He began teaching himself how to code and started attending a part-time coding bootcamp. In the show, Brian talks to us about how he managed his time learning to code while raising two children and working two jobs.

In our conversation, Brian highlights the importance of soft skills and confidence in the job search. He gives interview tips and suggests utilizing LinkedIn as a research tool. Brian also recommends starting to build something as you can. Ultimately, digging in and continuing to boost your skills can help you “learn” your way into a great job.

Key takeaways:

  • Concentrate on one thing at a time. It's better to know one thing well than 20 things poorly.
  • Use the tools available to you in a boot camp program. You have to do the work to get access to the right opportunities.
  • Cut out time wasters and make learning a priority. You can enjoy the process without getting overwhelmed by the pressure.
  • Use interviews as a teaching tool. Once you realize your worst fears won't come true, you can work on improving your skills.
  • Soft skills are an integral part of the job search process. If you don't know how to interact with people, you won't impress employers.
  • Research companies and employers on LinkedIn. Knowing who you're going to meet will give you more confidence going into an interview.
  • If you're waiting for a magical moment when you've mastered it all, it will never come. Just start applying. In many ways, confidence is more important than extensive skills.
  • Start with the basics and just dig in. Start building something. The more you build, the more you learn.

Links and mentions from the episode:

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