Getting into tech is a journey and you are the hero.
Like any journey you will need to continuously learn – not just about technical topics, but also professional/soft skills and experiences.
And any good hero knows that they will need to lean on their resources to help them upskill. To give you a head start, here is a compilation of all my favorite resources that I used to get my role in big tech!
Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned vet, you will always need to learn new technologies and stretch different muscles. Thankfully, you dont have to spend a lot (if ANY!) to get a high quality education online.
- W3Schools – Great for easy to understand introductions to concepts and examples of how to implement common features.
- Udemy – Affordable on-demand courses taught by well rated teachers on a variety of topics. Can ask the instructor questions and learn through doing assigned projects.
- FreeCodeCamp – Free platform to teach a variety of topics by vetted instructors. Has a focus on web technologies.
- MIT OpenCourseWare – Learn from the best while saving your money. MIT shares its lessons online for some of the most popular topics.
- edX – Courses are taught by industry leaders and universities. They cover everything from the basics to deep, niche topics. Certifications cost extra, but the courses are free.
My personal favorite is Udemy, but you have to try out a few to understand what platform suits your style and content needs.
Any technologist will tell you that you learn the most by doing. If you want to get into tech, the biggest thing you can do to learn and differentiate yourself is to build projects.
One of the biggest barriers people run into when building a project is not having the data you need to analyse, manipulate, or integrate that helps bring the value to the project.
Have no fear, here are some of the best places to get data and even find inspiration for your next project.
- Kaggle – One of the best places to get data out there. It also comes with learning competitions, discussion forums, and even ways to make money while building skills.
- Data.gov – Data portal for the US government where you can find data related to things like the climate, transportation, health and more.
- World Bank Data – Shares global economic and social data, including Human Capital Index, GDP, emissions, and debt.
- Google Cloud Public Datasets – Search across large datasets from various providers, like World Bank, World Economic Forum, World Trade Organization, Eurostat
With these data you can practice your data science and programming skills and maybe even use it to build something that can help others.
Just make sure to put your project on GitHub so potential employers can see the great work you are doing!
“Get a mentor” is one of the most common pieces of advice for a reason! A mentor helps you grow through new challenges, fill gaps that you may not realize you had, and provide perspectives you hadn’t considered.
Before you get a mentor, start by reading this article to help you prepare for one: 3 things you should do before finding a mentor — SheCanCode
So, where do you find one of these career changing mentors?
I suggest starting your search by looking for someone on your team or company for the most context-aware advice. But if you don’t have an existing community to find a mentor within, you can try these places:
- Women Who Code – WWCode has local chapters all over the world where the community will come together for learning sessions and networking. Many of the chapters also have mentorship programs.
- PushFar – A free platform to become or find a mentor. With over 50k people signed up, there is a lot of choice across industries, level, and area of interest.
- MentorCruise – Easily search for mentors across different companies, job roles, and support types. This is a paid service, but there are many options with positive reviews to evaluate.
Ultimately, finding the right mentor make take a bit of trial and error so give the process some time. And you may find that as you evolve, your needs from a mentor evolve too at which point you may need to find a new mentor.
Finally, lets cover the all-important interview stage that is going to land you in your dream role.
Prepping for interviews has two main parts – competency questions and the technical questions. Thankfully the competency questions can be pretty straight forward to prep for. Take a look at the guide here for more details on how to prep: 5 Tips to Master Your Next Interview! — SheCanCode
But for the technical questions, practice and time are essential ingredients to a successful interview. You won’t know what question you will get asked until you’re in the interview, but there are lots of question banks that you can use to get experience.
Here are some of the best resources for interview:
- LeetCode + GeeksForGeeks – Both of these platforms have hundreds of technical questions to practice with. Answers and community discussions can also be found. These are must-dos!
- Interview Coach – Shares a list of personal, competency, background, and technical interview questions based on role. AI generated answers can help guide or structure your own answers.
- Interviewing.io – Anonymous mock interviews with engineers from top companies, including the big tech companies.
- Cracking the Coding Interview – The “Bible” of coding interviews. Has practice questions, explanations, and a walk through of every stage of the interview process including what to do post interview.
Keep these resources close and you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream role in tech. Enjoy the journey, know you are pushing toward something that will change your life for the better.