Are you thinking of learning to code?
Perhaps you’ve already started and need some inspiration to keep you going, or maybe you’re just about to start and want to see what's possible?
In this article we’re going to share 6 new programmer success stories from people who are just like you:
Each of them had doubts or worries or fears, but they didn’t let it stop them. They pushed through difficult situations and improved their skills, lives, and careers.
How well did they do?
You’re not going to believe me…
Alright so that headline sounds super clickbaity and it kind of is, but bear with me as I have proof to back it up.
The thing is, each of the stories I’m going to share with you today are brand new, and all of them happened in either 2021 or early 2022 during the current COVID and global crises.
And those earnings above?
This is just from a small segment of the people from the Zero To Mastery community, so those numbers are probably a lot higher…
At the end of last year we ran a survey to our Discord community of over 275,000 students. The goal of the survey was to find out what new course content they wanted to see created in 2022.
Because we don’t do surveys that often, we figured we would also ask a few questions to see how people were doing and how our training has helped them.
Did they get a job, get promoted, start freelance work or simply work on their own projects outside of the projects in the courses?
The answers blew us away…
Now although our private developer community is over 275,000 people, only 1,796 of them filled out the survey.
That’s totally fair, as surveys are not that fun to fill out and people have more fun things to do such as spending time with family, or farming runes on Elden Ring.
However, even with just a small response like this, the results were simply amazing:
Of the 1,796 people who took the survey, 26.22% of them got their first job as a software developer.
How fantastic is that!?
Especially when you consider the fact that the average income for a software developer is around $86,000 USD.
We’ll share some interviews we did with a few people in just a second, but here’s a little math that blew our minds.
From these survey respondents alone, this could easily be $40 Million dollars in new income for people who had zero or very little programming experience.
$40,000,000?! What kind of funny math is this?
Well we aren’t math majors but here’s our quick napkin math.
$86,000 / year * 471 people = $40,506,000
We took the average salary of $86,000 per year, multiplied by the 471 people who got new software developer jobs, and BOOM… $40,506,000 dollars that our students will earn in 2022.
We’re being super conservative. This total doesn’t even include:
~$40,000,000 in income is just counting the students who filled out the survey and got their first programming job.
And sure, not everyone on the survey is making the US average and not everyone is being paid in USD, but one thing stood out:
Almost everyone we talked to added at least 40% to their income (some were even higher at 250% or more!) which I think you’ll agree is pretty damn awesome.
That’s why 22.72% of the people who took our survey got promoted from junior to senior roles, seeing an additional jump in salary of anywhere from $22,000-$71,000 USD per year.
With the huge rise in remote work and lifestyle changes, it’s little surprise that programmers are also looking for more freedom in their work.
Get projects, get paid, finish projects, live on the beach for 3 months, rinse, repeat.
Of the 1,796 people who answered our survey, 12.92% of them got hired as new freelance software developers.
Salaries here could vary as not all freelancers work all year round, but that’s still an impressive jump for new freelancers!
By now you’re probably already motivated and want to learn to code, or perhaps even want to learn how to become a freelance developer.
But before you get too excited and check out our courses, here’s 6 short programmer success stories to help you see that these people are just like you.
I would prefer to stay anonymous, but I graduated recently (May 2021) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Mechatronics.
I was exposed to C++ programming in the final 2 years of my degree and enjoyed it, and so I decided I wanted to pursue software development as a career as it seemed to be the area of my degree that captivated me the most.
I would often lose track of time while working on it and I figured that software development would allow me to be flexible working from home much more than most jobs associated with my degree.
I just got a position as a junior software developer for a large corporation that produces workforce management software.
After graduating, I got a job with a company specializing in IT support.
It was somewhat aligned with my goal of getting into software development and was fairly easy to apply for and get into. They were known for hiring new grads in large numbers, as well as providing extensive training to new employees in different programming languages.
After a bunch of failed technical interviews, I realized that I had gaps in my knowledge and that there were important concepts that a programmer should know about, that I haven't even heard of.
So I started looking for courses that would attack those weak areas and close the gaps as quickly as possible. I didn't like my job and it didn't pay great so there was a lot of motivation to increase my knowledge and be able to convey that to potential employers.
I wouldn't say apprehensive but it seemed like there were many online resources to choose from and I really wasn't sure if I was choosing the right one, or even a good one for that matter. I had to trust the reviews and take a chance when making up my mind.
Learning new things is always a struggle, so that was expected.
The lectures were the easy part, the concepts were well explained and demonstrated in a way that made sense. The hard part was practicing afterwards, and really putting the concepts to use. That being said, there were many resources for help and to check solutions.
It feels amazing. I had a live coding interview shortly after the course in which the question was new to me, but I managed to work my way through it and demonstrate my problem solving skills and knowledge of DSA (data structures & algorithms), and that was the first technical interview that I walked out of feeling like I nailed it. It was a game changer.
Prior to that, I had months of applications that led nowhere and rejections or interviews that made me feel like I wasn't cut out to work in software.
But all the negativity from that went away.
I went from feeling like I was trying to hide my lack of knowledge during an interview or cover it up with anything relevant, to being excited to demonstrate what I do know. It's an entirely different experience.
I saw a 40% increase from the previous job to the new one.
My name is Feyd and I've been playing with HTML since I was a teenager.
I used to mess around on my dad's pc on dial up, but CSS just confused me. I didn't have any path to learn that I could follow, as my school's entire computer skills program was 1 hour with a spreadsheet, so I kind of just tuned out.
I occasionally dabbled in helping people mess with their website as long as the CSS was already there, but otherwise just kinda floated through life. I made guitar cases, fixed Airsoft, then airguns, but I've always fixed or built things, or made things work.
Over the past few years I took charge of the admin for a website, which reignited my love for coding. I slowly started playing with CSS and suddenly it made sense!
When the lockdown hit I was working with a company who were developing a Magento 2 website that I was designing and creating through the theme's UI. After a few issues I took over the full day to day of updating and overseeing a new module installation.
I purchased courses in PHP, c++, python and mysql and they were f####ing awful.
Still, I worked through those and found a few useful courses on YouTube, but nothing really stuck. The YouTube courses would end halfway or just not be very good.
I then did a ton of research into online tutorial bootcamps after chatting with a friend who was already on one. I chose the Zero To Mastery course due to some of the reviews and the code choice.
I wanted to help some family members out with websites, so I took the web design course which gave me a great understanding of hierarchy, UX and UI. But I quickly found out that I was not a designer… I just enjoyed building things!
This is the point where I started down rabbit holes and got a little distracted. I looked into Wordpress themes and plugins not covered in the academy, and feel like I wasted my summer on things that weren't going to be useful.
Here at ZTM, we actually remove a lot of fluff that you might find in other training programs (It would be very easy to add 100+ hours of additional info in almost any course).
This is because we want you to get to the point of proficiency as fast as possible, so that you can then take action. Be that writing code or applying for jobs.
It’s easy when starting out to want to keep learning more and more so that you feel more prepared, but the reality is you need to learn the most important things, and then learn while doing, and so that’s what we focus on.
OK, back to Feyd’s story…
So I decided to come back to the academy and follow a set path, and started the junior to senior developer course.
All the time my missis was telling me I needed to start applying for jobs, and every bit of advice was saying I should start applying, but I felt that I couldn't because I had nothing to represent myself, so I built something!
I built a small one page app in React that generates a listing page of results from a JSON file. It’s filterable and uses the text to generate a GUI for a user to browse.
It took me a long time, but I eventually decided I should post it up to Github pages.
I had months of rejections before I put that up. I sent it as an off the cuff "Oh by the way, totally not blowing smoke about my skills" email after an initial zoom interview and they were the first people to come back with a job offer!
They even upped the offer with a little negotiation!
So, as of today I've just handed in my notice and I'm slightly bricking it!
My name is Tristan Deane and I’m a 28 year old self-taught developer from Alberta, Canada.
I work remotely at an American based startup. My official title is Software Engineer 1.
I was a waiter for about a decade before deciding to jump into the tech industry.
After learning the basics of web development, I was in the process of teaching myself React.js and looking through courses.
I eventually found ZTM’s Complete React Developer course (now updated for 2022 btw) and liked how comprehensive it seemed. After enrolling, I was very impressed by both the courses' content and the teaching styles of Andrei and Yihua.
Once I had completed a majority of the course, I decided to explore the rest of the academy’s offerings. That turned out to be a great decision. All of the courses I’ve taken are excellent and the community is super friendly.
Yes, initially I wasn’t sure if the other courses would be on par with Complete React Developer. But they absolutely are!
In fact, these courses:
I’ve been working at my current position for about 5 months now and it’s been a great experience. We have a tight-knit team and our mission aligns well with my personal values.
It hasn’t always been easy as software development does have its challenges, but it has definitely been worth the journey and I’m excited to continue growing as a developer.
Yes, I’m incredibly fortunate that my new position has bumped me up from the lowest tax bracket in Canada to the highest.
My name is Bachram, I’m from Azerbaijan and I am 33.
I am working as a React front-end developer at a local company here in Azerbaijan.
I was working in a bank as a customer care specialist for a long time but was always curious about programming.
In 2018, it became very popular to join different courses to learn programming.
All my friends joined affiliated courses of international academies. They were learning Java, PHP, CISCO, and web design but it was too expensive for me both in money and time.
Then I found a ZTM course and I thought I could give it a shot.
I was struggling to get stuff done because it was hard to focus on something when nobody made you. It’s tough to leave your comfort zone when you have a good job, and so I decided to take a risk.
I left my job at the bank, and gave all my savings to my family. I was without a job and without any money. I didn't want to go back to work in a bank. The only thing left to do was push myself to learn something new.
The more I was learning, the more I realized that learning alone wasn't enough. I needed to take action and not just learn. I applied for jobs and found a company who didn’t ask for any experience and agreed to hire me for a 3 month probation period.
I love what I'm doing and what is more important, I am continuing to improve my skills!
I have never seen a more friendly environment than among programmers.
I’m earning as much as I did in my previous job at a bank. This is considered as a good salary here, but it is way lower than job offers in the world. However, after less than 1 year of experience I've started getting offers from other companies.
My name is David and I'm currently a software engineer that works remotely.
Before that I was the beverage director and manager for a local restaurant in my town.
I've always been passionate about computers and how they work. When the pandemic rolled around, I lost my job and found myself with the need to transition. I ultimately decided on Zero To Mastery for two reasons:
There is certainly plenty of free content out there, but a huge advantage is having it organized and presented in a very consumable way.
I'm pretty self motivated so I was less interested (and financially it wasn't feasible) in going through a formal coding bootcamp.
I wanted to work at my own pace. ZTM had fantastic reviews and when I previewed the courses I found the cadence and flow of the courses to be excellent.
I took three courses:
I reviewed the curriculum of these three and determined they would give me an excellent foundation. I was driven to join by my interest in programming.
There was, of course, some apprehension. Who wouldn’t feel that when they decide to make the move to change careers!? But in order to develop myself I decided to move forward with taking the courses.
Once I started the course, it was phenomenally easy to follow.
If there was any ambiguity, the community and instructors for the courses were very quick to reply and assist, though it was rare that I needed to.
It feels great to be in a solid financial position.
After I first joined there was definitely a bit of “imposter syndrome”. I actually had a senior engineer reach out to me and remind me that I made it and there was no reason to feel that way. I’m a little more than a year into my career and I feel very confident.
There’s still so much to learn and I’m grateful for the foundation I was able to receive.
I got hired at my job as the second member for a new team. I was offered a salary that was 2.5x what I was making before. It was almost overnight that I was able to put myself into a position where I was paying off debts and got ahead with my bills.
I prefer not to say.
I am now a Principal Software Engineer.
I worked as a Software Engineer in Cybersecurity.
I had been in the software industry for 8 years. There was just one catch: I had never gotten a job that required a technical interview.
I was incredibly insecure about this and knew it was limiting my career. My colleagues were excelling, getting better positions with better pay and I was feeling stagnant with my own.
I found the Master the Coding Interview course and initially thought "Isn't this the same as all the other courses I've tried?"
I had already gone through the Cracking the Coding Interview and "Elements of Programming: Interviews" books, as well as completed Leetcode and HackerRank with little success.
The course itself was slow to start, focusing not on the data structures but on the resume and finding interviews, but quickly ramped up on everything I needed to learn and practice.
Incredible. I went from never having a successful coding interview to getting multiple FAANG-level offers.
I make 2.5x what I did before.
So there you have it.
6 incredibly motivational programmer success stories from people who are just like you, learning on weekends and evenings but now having totally changed their lives.
It sounds cliche but if it works for them it can work for you too.
Take your first step by getting a personalized career roadmap based on your goals and your current level.
Once you have your step-by-step roadmap, come join us as a member of the ZTM Academy.