Introduction: Your Coding Career

Here is a brief overview of the five stages of an early coding career.

Congrats on choosing a coding career! Demand for software engineers has never been higher, and it can be a very rewarding and lucrative journey.

Five stages of an early coding career

While there are many resources on how to code, from beginner to advanced, there aren’t enough covering everything else. This course is dedicated to addressing that. It will give you principles, strategies, and tactics for the five stages of your early coding career.

  • Code Newbie: Just learning to code via a Bootcamp, college, online course, or self-teaching
  • Job Hunter: Landing that first developer job
  • Junior Developer: Surviving and thriving in your new job
  • Junior to Senior: Getting promoted or hired as a Senior Developer
  • Senior Developer: Growing into your own as a Senior in the industry

We will end with some insights into things people do beyond their coding careers.

📝 Note: We use “Developer” and “Engineer” interchangeably in this course. Some studies suggest that you would make about 20% more money with an “Engineer” title. But for this course, please don’t fixate on shallow distinctions.

For most people, this covers the first four to eight years of their career as a developer. There are, of course, many titles and stages beyond this, but this is out of scope for this course. Our primary objective is simply to give you as good a start as possible, with the expectation that it will compound later into your journey.

The coding career and beyond

We also focus on the coding career, which is the part of your career where you are primarily expected to write code as an “Individual Contributor.” Sometimes, coding careers end as developers move up into management, entrepreneurship, and other “code-adjacent” roles. See the chapter Beyond Your Coding Career for more details.