Foot in the Door by Nadya Primak

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There’s a lot of hype about being a programmer – but you want to know what it is actually like.

When Nadya graduated from a liberal arts college with an arts degree she was apprehensive about pursuing a programming career path. She didn’t know anyone in the field, and she didn’t know what skills she needed to succeed.

It wasn’t until she spent two years teaching herself web development online, participated in hackathons, and took on some short-term contracts before she got her first job at a startup and felt like her career actually started going somewhere.

Fast forward five years and Nadya has tripled her salary, shipped several games, moved to a metropolitan city, and had writing featured in numerous tech-themed publications.

"Nadya Primak has done a real service by writing this book, and I recommend it to every young person starting out with a dream of a career in the tech industry.

-Lynne M Spreen, Retired HR Executive

What You Will Learn in This Book

  • Why you should look for mentors in unexpected places and how to gain the maximum rewards from the relationship
  • How to overcome imposter syndrome and lack of confidence when you are just starting out and everyone seems to know more than you do
  • Warning signs to watch out for in interviews so you avoid getting stuck in a job you hate, and how not to fall for hype
  • How to avoid the endless grind of online courses and making the jump from learning to actually building something of your own
  • Why a computer science degree is optional and what employers actually care about when they interview you
  • Figuring out what kind of coding projects you can make and how you can use them to create a portfolio to get jobs
  • Why it’s not just technical skills that you need to succeed as a programmer, and how lacking soft skills can really hurt you
  • Different ways of gaining work experience such as helping out friends, hackathons, and remote contract work

Who Should Read This Book

High School Students

This book is packed with career advice that is applicable to students just beginning to think about their future. Even if you didn’t take a single programming class and don’t plan on going to college, you can follow Nadya’s path to get a job in the industry. You can also glean valuable and down to earth career advice that your career counselor is unlikely to offer you.

College Students

Maybe you are about to graduate or you are just figuring out your major. Wherever you are, this book will help you plan ahead so you know what to expect when you are job hunting and you can decide whether to keep taking programming courses or focus your efforts elsewhere.

Career Changers

Nadya was several years out of college and working for her alma mater as a workshop instructor before she decided that she wanted to be a programmer. You can teach yourself while keeping your day job by following the path outlined in the book.

Women in Tech

Maybe you need some inspiration, or you know another women who doesn’t believe she can make it in the tech industry. Nadya struggled intensely with self-doubt and imposter syndrome, feeling like she didn’t belong in the industry. The topic is one that is dear to her heart.