5 Commandments For Success As A Self-Taught Developer

Dragos Nedelcu
3 min readJun 6, 2023
Image Credi: Unsplash

Today, I wanted to share a success story from one of my mentees.

This developer worked with JavaScript (Angular), was self-taught, and had around 2 and a half years of experience writing code.

BUT…

His story is helpful to developers at ANY level.

Because in a few weeks, he went from being unable to get a technical interview to landing a Senior level position and doubling his salary!

He’s now starting the new job and stopped interviewing, but…

He said he wouldn’t have been able to achieve this kind of success without following these 5 commandments:

1. Clear goals. Before coming to us, this developer spent months trying to get a new position. He would interview with one company. Fail the interview. Go back to studying. Do another interview in a month. Repeat. He ping-ponged like that for 3 months with no real strategy. He came to us. We picked one goal. We got him focused. He executed. He succeeded.

2. Strong fundamentals. This particular developer came from an Angular background, and he only knew how to do things the Angular way. But most companies he interviewed with were looking for a more “flexible” developer who could adapt to different frameworks (and even touch the backend). I told him before signing up that he has to leave the Angular Developer behind and become a Software Engineer. How? By mastering framework agnostic mental models. Every time he learns new frameworks, he always looks for those models before checking implementation details.

3. Big picture. The third blocker for this dev was his inability to take end-to-end ownership. He knew a bit about infrastructure, AWS deployment, and GitHub pipelines, but he could never design such a pipeline. To his surprise, full-stack interviews require you to do just that. We showed him how. We also helped him build a mental model around the Cloud so he understands what’s going on regardless of the platform he is deploying on (AWS, Azure, GCP).

4. Consultant Mindset — In one of these interviews, he competed with 8 years experienced ex-Amazon engineers. He is a self-taught dev with less than three years of experience and still got the job. How? By focusing on them during the interview and asking the right questions.

5. Willing to look for help. As a self-taught dev, this guy was used to doing everything himself. And that was not a bit thing, but his progress was limited. He spent too much time looking for the right things instead of doing them. BUT, he decided to give us a chance, and a few weeks after, he considers that to be the best decision he’s made in the last few years. Big investment? Sure. But with an even bigger return (Senior title and 2x on salary)

If you also want to master these 5 commandments and make it to the Senior level the easy way? Check this out!

We can help you gain complete confidence in your technical skills, become the go-to developer in your team and earn more…

Due to overwhelming demand this June, we opened a few extra spots in our premium Software Mastery Mentorship program! But they are running out fast… You can see if you qualify here and apply now!

Let’s help you master these 5 commandments and become the best developer you can be!

See you soon,
Dragos

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Dragos Nedelcu

I help JavaScript Developers Get To Senior Level Without Endless Online Courses, Side Projects Or Burning Out By Mastering The Fundamentals.