The 411 on: becoming a Full Stack Engineer

thelighthouse guide to Careers in Software Engineering

Keep reading for lighthouse-approved Engineer resources, newsletters, podcasts, and more.


Many thanks to lighthouse members: Dmitry Shmakov, Tech Lead at thelighthouse and Josh Feinstien, Senior Software Engineer at Morgan & Morgan, PA - for curating this week's newsletter! See their answers below. ⬇


Get the Skills

Fullstack Academy provides you with the resources, tools, and skill you need to become a professional software developer. They have campus locations in New York and Chicago, or you can take classes online.

Codecademy lets you choose what you want to learn, gives you hands-on practice, and gives you feedback to let you know if you are on the right track.

Want to practice and test your skills? Improve your skills by training with others on real code challenges on Codewars.

If you're unfamiliar with something, check out MDN Web Docs. It's a site of resources for developers, by developers.


Lynda.com (aka LinkedIn Learning) has over 600 software development courses and over 700 web development courses, all taught by industry experts.


Codesmith will prep you to become a master software engineer. Choose from their many full-time, onsite programs or check out the part-time, remote programs they offer.

Don't forget, you can always sit down and try to build it when you're learning new hard skills.


Newsletters


Follow these industry leaders: Daniel Shiffman, Wes Bos, Clement Mihailescu. Don't forget you can also check out the dev blogs of companies that are doing things that are of interest to you, like Facebook or Google. And, popular frameworks and libraries, like React and Angular.


NYC'ers: signed up for Gary's Guide, a weekly newsletter with tech events around the city.

Head over to Medium, choose your interests as related to engineering, and sign up for their newsletter.

Stay up to date with the programming language as it continues to evolve, be informed on new releases, learn what other developers have built, and find tutorials, tools, and code snippets with Ruby Weekly.

Sign up for Code Project to learn about trending topics spanning all areas of development and computer engineering.


Software Lead Weekly is a weekly email for busy people who care about people, culture and leadership.


If you are more interested in the mobile side of development, sign up for Mobile Web Weekly It's a weekly round-up for Web and app developers spanning the mobile-facing Web and native apps.


Helpful Podcasts

Give Tech'd Out by Corey G & Geoff B / Fullstack a listen to a journey that provides high-level context to the many facets of web-development. It starts with an overview of the World Wide Web and proliferation of JavaScript and continues into many other topics in technology.

If you are a developer interested in building great software products, Full Stack Radio with Adam Wathan features guests talking about everything from product design and user experience to unit testing and system administration.


The Software Engineering Daily podcasts features great guests on topics spanning all across the engineering realm.


Books

The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change is great for understanding team dynamics and a path for growth.

Martin Fowler's Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code with Kent Beck is a good starting point if you want to get a better grasp on organizing code.

If you are looking to learn about code structure, try Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software for guidance and solutions to commonly occurring design problems.


The main message of The Lean Startup is to "do one important thing: make better, faster business decisions. Vastly better, faster business decisions. Bringing principles from lean manufacturing and agile development to the process of innovation, the Lean Startup helps companies succeed in a business landscape riddled with risk."

Cracking The Coding Interview gives you the interview preparation you need to get the top software developer jobs. This is a deeply technical book and focuses on the software engineering skills to ace your interview.


Join These Communities


Stackoverflow.com is an open community for anyone that codes. Get answers to your toughest coding questions, share knowledge with your coworkers in private, and find your next dream job.

GitHub.com is a development platform inspired by the way you work. From open source to business, you can host and review code, manage projects, and build software alongside 40 million developers.

Join the Medium community to get access to world-class publications, undiscovered voices, and topics you love.

Search for local in-person JS meetups and attend those. You can find ones that are language and framework specific, and more. Google communities that are at the intersection of your identity, your interests, and what you want to do. You will be sure to find a group of people out there that sit at the same intersection.

Full Stack Engineering Opportunities

Check out these leading companies in the space: tech giants if you are interested in working for them, consulting companies (working for a company like that will allow you to develop various different skills and work with different tech) and startups that are engaged in something of interest to you.

If you are a New York City local, Built In NYC has a great list of start-up opportunities.

On Fullstackjob.com you can search by location, company, specific type of dev jobs, and more.

Check out your school alum channels and job boards including LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed.


Reach out to your personal network. People want to hire people they know. LinkedIn is invaluable, quick-apply actually works.

Insider Advice

Dmitry says:

Keep building. It is always good to have something to talk about when you are asked "so what are you working on now?"

Get an intro into adjacent fields. Team leads and CTOs are usually looking for someone with good communication skills. So if you can understand a problem not only from an engineering perspective, but from UX and product perspective, that's always a strong point in your favor.

Network! Meeting new people and people you already know is a great way to find out about open roles.


Josh says:


The most important thing is to keep learning. Come up with ideas for apps that you are sure you couldn't possibly build. Then Google every single tiny piece of it and you'll realize that you can build anything as long as you are patient and read the documentation. StackOverflow and the MDN is your best friend.


Join the club

Apply to join thelighthouse membership to tap into a network of full stack engineer professionals who are here to help you start your journey.


Catch up on the latest lighthouse blogs here.

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