Good afternoon, Roberts Greibers here, and in this post I’m going to expose the awful truth about python training in NYC (New York City) and also all over the world.
I’ve been working professionally as a Python developer for more than 5 years and now (see my Linkedin here) I’m also helping people who are in a similar position I was when I first started – to become Python developers. (see a cut from a LIVE mentoring call)
Ever since I started to lean more into the field of helping people, I realized how many horror stories are out there about a common Python training course.
Every now and then I hear a new story, a new shocking price of a training course, and now it’s no surprise to me that there is a lack of good Python developers out there.
I used to be a quality assurance engineer (manual tester) – testing website projects and apps so I totally get that a lot of people want to move away from their current job and get into more profitable positions like becoming a Python/Django developer.
Maybe you’re somebody who wants to become a Python developer, be more independent, more free from a typical 9-5 job, maybe even work remotely from anywhere in the world, and have a higher income than what you’re used to.
So if that’s you, I want to give you a little bit of a counterbalance to all the wild claims that all these Python training courses out there are currently making.
How easy it is to become a Python developer?
Alright, so when you think about becoming a Python developer – the first question that comes to your mind is – how easy it is to really become a Python developer?
The answer is quite simple – it is pretty difficult!
And when it comes to a typical coding course, they’ll tell you it’s easy – you’re not even going to pay before you get hired. (See the screenshot from Google Search results below)
What you don’t realize, even if you’re already doing all the right things:
- Attending a local coding course
- Learning from online documentation by yourself
- Trying to build your own small scripts and projects
Most likely you won’t succeed on your own – especially if you’ve never had anything to do with an IT industry before. And I’ll tell you why in a second…
Look at the description screenshot above of the Python training in NYC, pay attention to the RED underlined parts.
If you’re not familiar with Python programming, it might seem “normal”.
“Okay, going through everything in a single week might be too crazy…”
“… But there’s an option to learn for 10 weeks in the evenings – that should work for me, right?”
But it’s not normal! There’s no way you can be job-ready in a week, you’re a human, not a machine.
10 weeks is a bit better, but still not enough time, even for most intelligent people.
And it’s NOT your fault that you don’t know that! I’ll explain in detail why such a short time period won’t work for you in a minute…
Why a regular Python course won’t work
One week is a time period in which physically there’s not enough time to deeply focus on the learning process, implement it with a real example and get a code review – feedback.
In order to learn the necessary Python programming principles, you need to deeply focus on a single topic, a single programming problem for a longer period of time until it clicks in your head and you completely understand it.
Once you understand it – you need to practice that principle. After practice you need to get feedback – a code review to make sure you understood it correctly.
Just with a little bit of research, you’ll discover this happens in most coding bootcamps, it’s easy to sell a dream, but most of them will forget about you and won’t actually guide you until you get hired by a solid tech company for a solid dev position.
I’ll give you a bit of an example of how this usually plays out with a regular coding course…
By the time you grasp a bit of understanding of a topic your development course has ended and you’re supposed to get a job.
- Very minimal or no feedback (No personal feedback – just because in a group of students there’s usually no time to give proper feedback to everyone)
- No SOLVED example (with an industry level code)
- Move on to the next topic (because the training process has a time limitation)
How you actually learn (the only way)
The industry-level learning process you’re about to see is totally different.
- Exercise / Real Project Situation Task
- Questioning (You ask detailed questions about the task)
- Code Review (Feedback – you receive detailed personal feedback)
- Solved Example (Feedback – you receive the best approach example)
- Questioning (You ask detailed questions about the REAL solution)
- You learn from the best approach and feedback (Repeat until it clicks in your head)
- Move on to the next topic (only after the current topic clicks in your head)
It’s all about getting AHEAD of the competition. You should only apply to a job once you’re confident about your Python skills.
Because going through a tech interview is a whole another game.
Code review & feedback example
Just before I started to write this post, somebody DM’ed me on Linkedin.
She told me she’s been stuck in this wheel of quality assurance for 7 years already, trying to learn Python and get a job as a Python developer.
YEARS, not months, not days, but years.
Another good reason why you shouldn’t wait for anything!
It’s easy to sit and wait for a magic opportunity to come your way. But it’s not how the world actually works – you have to be prepared and skilled enough to take advantage of your opportunities!
In general, I would never recommend trying to figure out anything alone.
It’s unnecessary if there are people who’ve done it before you and who’ve made mistakes, who figured it out before you.
But even if you do have access to a proven learning process (where you can simulate a real project development with feedback – the process that ACTUALLY WORKS), which is how I work with mentoring clients… (see the screenshot of code review below)
… It’s not a magic pill – you always have to realize that!
You still have to be consistent, you still have to execute, there’s still some sort of trial and error involved in that.
But overall, you can make it happen, especially the way I’m mentoring clients.
See for yourself here, on a recent mentoring call – we caught a moment when theory & technical principle clicks in a client’s head!
I prefer you learn it in a slow phase, in a way you have time to fully understand a concept. So that you can build your own projects and have a legit portfolio.
I’m always focused on longevity, instead of just some random hustling for a week.
How fast can you really become a Python developer?
Well, there are different stages to that.
It obviously depends on your previous experience and how fast can you learn new technical concepts, understand & implement them.
And NO, you don’t have to be a math genius to learn programming!
You just have to be able to think logically and figure things out. Even if you think you’re not that fast with logical decision-making, programming is not rocket science, it’s more like a game.
If you play a game more, you get better at it – same with programming, the more you will invest into practice, the better you will become.
It’s just that it might be harder to find the “right instructions” to follow when you’re learning to write code.
Get your first Python job offer
Also, think about how far you want to go, I always say – stage one is to get you a job as a Python developer because that’s where you’ll be 100% consistent with your coding practice, you just won’t have the time to make any excuses.
Later you can start to think about freelancing and jumping to a higher position to gain more experience.
So if you want to learn the fundamental coding principles, build your first proper Python project and start work in an entry-level position you can obviously do that in a relatively short period of time.
Of course, not in a week, but realistically it could take you 3 months to 6 months depending on where you’re at the moment in terms of your knowledge.
And then, when you’re already working as a Python developer – obviously, it’s just a matter of replicating the same process and just following the proven steps until you become more efficient & faster with development.
Like I said – in general, you can become better and better with your very first job and already start to think about higher positions or freelancing.
How to get more Python job offers
Something interesting I’ve learned over the years – once you get the foot in the door and you get a job where you can develop projects with Python the process becomes very easy.
You can easily get more Python job offers to come to you just through your Linkedin Inbox or simply by referrals.
By referrals, I mean people naturally will notice you’re a Python developer now.
And when they’ll be in a need of a Python developer, they’ll contact you. That’s why it’s also so important to network with your co-workers and people on Linkedin.
At this point, it happens to me all the time, here’s an example of a very typical email …
Get in contact with as many professional people as possible, talk to them. Make sure they know you’re interested in becoming a Python developer and working as a Python developer.
I strongly recommend you follow me on Linkedin, I’m posting value nuggets on there, replying to DMs – if you want to reach out to me, that’s the best way to do it.
So if you have any specific questions, feel free to hit me up on my Linkedin.
How good you have to be in order to be a Python developer?
That’s a question I get quite a lot.
Now obviously, if you’re already working in an IT industry, for example, like I did when I first started, then it’s going to be a bit easier for you as you are already familiar with technical concepts.
You can have a lot of opportunities as long as you’re willing to talk to people and network. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help you out as long as you’re polite and respect their time.
What’s the best situation to be in?
As I mentioned at the start of the post – I used to study telecommunications engineering at Riga Technical University (not even computer science like most developers would)
…while working as a manual tester at a local quality assurance company called TestDevLab.
If you’re in a similar situation – this is already a quite good starting point, you can definitely use your existing experience and become a Python developer.
TestDevLab was one of the few companies hiring students so I took that opportunity and went with it even though I knew eventually I want to become a developer.
When you’re just starting out you have to take whatever opportunities come your way – you can’t really be that picky.
But most people are too arrogant to take whatever opportunities are available to them – they rather complain and make up excuses, DON’T BE LIKE MOST PEOPLE!
What’s the second best situation?
Oftentimes people come to me they say:
“I have a passion for Python programming, I know I would love to be a developer, but I have no idea what to do and if I’m good enough without a degree in computer science.”
That’s usually not a problem, because you don’t need to have a degree or certificate to become a Python developer.
And also you do not need to have years of experience as a Python developer…
…BUT of course, shouldn’t stay that way!
For you to start, being two to three steps ahead of the average person can already get you the foot in the door.
You can already get a Python developer job where other developers will train you, give you feedback (code reviews) and help you to grow.
And then, of course, you should still work on your coding skills, you should get better at Python programming when you’re already working.
When should you start?
You should start to code really, really early on. Because at the end of the day, you only get better as a developer by coding.
You’re not going to become a good developer just by sitting in a theoretical classroom for years.
Maybe you’ll learn one thing or the other, but out of my own experience – I learned the most important concepts from other developers – working on Python projects together over a longer period of time.
The following is also a really important point here…
If you look at the first Python projects that I’ve built, and my experience on Linkedin (see the screenshot above).
I didn’t have a lot of support and I wasn’t even a Python developer yet – I was still working as a quality assurance engineer – working on my Python skills in the background.
I already built my first Python projects when I was still working in a relatively different field, still related to IT field, but I wasn’t quite a Python developer yet.
How to become an expert-level Python developer?
The projects I built allowed me to grasp new opportunities that came my way later in my career, even though, I wasn’t a “Python expert” yet.
You can’t really study “how to be an expert Python developer” – it all comes from your own experience and work.
Over time, more experienced developers also will show you how to deal with difficult situations – this is how you really learn!
This is all just my own knowledge that I’ve gathered from overcoming certain problems working on my own projects.
You’re never going to feel ready!
And if I think back at that, for the longest time, I never felt like I was good enough. I felt like the feeling of being ready is never going to come.
If I had waited for something to be ready – for me to feel ready, I would have never created anything, I would have never built my first Python project, let alone feel confident enough to go for my first job opportunity.
Look at the message one of my clients sent me after a while of working together – do you think he felt ready when he first started? Probably not!
You just have to be strong enough to take the first step and the rest will follow.
I don’t think there’s ever this feeling where you just wake up one day and you say: “Hey, I’m ready to do this!”
Usually, you just do things, you do things because you want it – you do things because it’s important for you!
Let’s talk about the ACTUAL STEPS you need to take!
So at the end of the day, if you say that this sounds great – you do want to become a Python developer and you agree that what I’ve told you here doesn’t sound amazing, but it sounds good enough, at least it’s real…
And you do understand that there are no “magic one-week courses”.
Then I invite you to contact me personally, let’s talk and discuss your situation.
Let’s talk about the ACTUAL STEPS you need to take in order for you to become a Python developer!
You can find the necessary details down below!
Talk to you soon!
I'll help you become a Python developer!
If you're interested in learning Python and getting a job as a Python developer, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll see if I can help you.
I help engineers to become backend Python/Django developers so they can increase their income
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