How to Get A Dev Job For Free

How I Went From House Painter to Web Developer

10 min readApr 3, 2021


Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

How It Started

I didn’t finish college. I was married by the time I was 21. And we had already had our first baby by then— he was my best man at the wedding. I had and have no regrets about this, it was what we both wanted to do. But it did put our family in a financial pickle. For the next couple of years I worked maintenance jobs and trades jobs, and finally settled on painting — it was super consistent with the company I found and not terribly dangerous or taxing physically. But of course I wasn’t wholly satisfied with this career choice, especially the money.

That’s probably because it wasn’t a choice so much as a necessity. I had no experience, no work history (aside from odd jobs and stuff I did late in high school), and no degree. And I didn’t even know yet that I’d have another love in my life — code (this was much to my wife’s dismay by the way, she referred to my laptop as the other woman for quite some time).

Dream Big, Follow Your Passion

I continued down my painterly career path for about 5 years. But secretly, unbeknownst to pretty much anyone except for my family, I wanted to be a web developer. At night, I coded, and read code, and read books about code, and read blogs about code. Then I started building some of my own stuff. And it was awful! And my family was certain that this whole thing was a pipe dream, and they discouraged me quite a lot. But I persevered; gradually my skills improved, and I built some projects I didn’t want to hide from other human beings.

One day I had a really good idea. Since I was actually beginning to feel good about my programming skills, I figured I should probably write about them. That’s how I ended up on this platform, blogging about JS, Rust, and fundamental programming concepts here on Medium.

Medium was great for me right away. I immediately got picked up by The Startup from my very first article. This made it substantially easier to get viewers fast. The money was extremely secondary to displaying my knowledge, showcasing my coding skills, and expressing my ability to explain things in a way that average-Joe could understand. It certainly didn’t pay in monetary…




Programming maniac, #JavaScript zealot. I'm crazy about #FunctionalProgramming and I love Rust. ETH coffee fund: 0x0c37584674e7143e03328254232102973a9cd468

Recommended from Medium