3 Steps to Achieving Your Goals to Become a Web Developer

A lifelong technology lover, Jake Scheele knew he could turn that passion into a thriving career. Developing an app for his parents’ construction company sparked Jake’s interest in pursuing developing full-time, and it became his north star.

Jake’s self-learning and passion projects left him with a thirst that could only be quenched by a formal education. When he found the accelerated University of Minnesota Coding Boot Camp, he knew had to take the leap.

The boot camp was the technical push Jake needed, but the grit he brought was all his.

Here are some of the things he learned along the way about actively achieving your goals.

1. In order to make your goals a reality, you have to visualize them.

Jake entered his boot camp wanting to learn coding as a general principle. He also had a more specific accomplishment in mind.

“I came into the boot camp with an end goal of building an e-commerce website,” he said.

Every drill put him that much closer to conceptualizing the platform he wanted to create. Having a rock-solid achievement in mind helped Jake through challenges, and he was able to concretely gauge his progress against his goal.

2. Speaking of challenges, they’re crucial to your ultimate success.

Jake had no problem grasping back-end coding. “I’ve always had an analytical mind and worked well with calculations, so learning code wasn’t hard,” he said.

Conversely, front-end skills and user experience were difficult for him. “Learning layouts and designing user interfaces was really hard for me,” he admitted.

Jake’s challenge was to use React, a JavaScript library that lets programmers string code together to design everything users sees on their screen. He spent a lot of time connecting the dots to make sense of the technology.

So was the learning headache worth it? “For our final project, my group built a fully-functional e-commerce website with no hiccups, and I remember feeling so proud to present the final result,” he said.

Jake completed the coding boot camp, accomplishing everything he wanted. But his achievement didn’t stop there.

3. There’s always room for improvement.

Jake learned that the learning doesn’t stop once you complete your goals. One example from his own experience was a practice project developed while in the boot camp.

An entrepreneurial friend that sells artist merchandise at concerts had a growing business—so Jake set his buddy up on an e-commerce app he created when he was in the program. “My friend’s inventory has tripled in the last year. Now he logs everything in an e-commerce web application I made for him,” Jake said.

Outside of the program, Jake adds, “I’m building the app into consumer-facing and transitioning it to be used on mobile.”

He’s also furthering his skills in React by helping to refine and launch the app he developed for the family business.

Reaching your growth potential

Following the University of Minnesota Coding Boot Camp, Jake has been working part-time as a web developer intern at Fluid Health and Fitness.

“The boot camp opened a lot of doors and let me peek inside all of them. After seeing what options are out there, I would love to work on back-end development for a large company or get my own apps off the ground,” Jake said.

He added, “It’s a work in progress, but I’m going to keep creating until an idea takes off.” He continues to brush up on the programming languages he learned, and he is using this foundational understanding to learn new skills.

Jake’s advice to people looking to land a coding job—or accomplish any goal, for that matter—is simple: You get out of it what you put into it.

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