It’s Sunday afternoon and tomorrow, Monday, is the first day of the course at Northcoders. To say I’m excited is an understatement. I still can’t really believe it’s happening, or believe what it means for the future - that I get to turn a hobby I love into a career. Anyway, over the last few weeks I’ve had a bit of time off work which has been nice and I’ve been preparing as much as possible. I thought I’d just share some of the ways I’ve been preparing and some of the resources I’ve used - there’s so much out there for people learning to code that I’m sure my list barely scrapes the surface, but maybe it’ll be of interest!
Firstly, what exactly have I been brushing up on?
Lots of JS tools like NodeJS run through the command line and so do version control systems such as Git. It’s inevitable that we’ll be using the command line from pretty early on in the course so I went over a Command Line Course on Code Academy and Console Foundations Treehouse. You could just play around creating files and directories in a test folder, moving them around and editing them. This Command Line Murder Mystern Game is also meant to be really great although I haven't done it myself.
I’ve been using Git, a version control system, for a few months now. I think of it as a bit like Apple’s Time Machine - it stores copies of your work at different stages so you can easily go back to how something was before you messed it all up. Again, there is a free course on Codeschool.com which I went through for some extra practice. There’s also a free course on Code Academy. Git is so useful - I really don’t know how I managed without it now. Oh yeah.. By pressing cmd+Z furiously for 5 minutes whenever something went wrong and then trying to stop before I undid too much by accident. Not super professional.
Github is a place to host projects, keep backups, and collaborate. It’s operated through the command line and it’s basically an online place to store all the backups and histories of your work that git creates. Again, I’d started using Github in the last few months and when I started out it was a massive learning curve because I’d never used a website that was operated through the command line before. What was this wizardry?! Anyway the struggle was worth it - Github is super handy and probably where employers will look to see what code you’re writing and what you’re capable of. In the past I followed the Treehouse Github Course to get me going and I found it excellent.