Whether you plan on going through a coding bootcamp, getting a college degree, or learning on your own, you will need to come up with a curriculum to make sure you are learning everything necessary to land the type of job you want in the end. In this post, I want to take you through the steps I recommend for creating your own curriculum. The example here is for becoming a front-end web developor, but you can apply the same steps to any other kind of software engineering.


The first thing you need to decide on is a goal. Where do you want to be in a year? What is important to you in a career? What type of work do you think would be the most interesting? You really have to dig down and figure out what your goals are before you jump in to spend 1000 hours or more in the learning process.

If you don't know where to start and are just interested in becoming a software developer, I recommend starting with web or mobile development first; it's easier to get started and you can move into any other type of programming after you land your first job.


Now that you know what subfield you want to focus on, the next step is to do some research. You want to create a list of key technologies that you will have to learn in order to reach the goals that you set.

I recommend starting out by going to Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, and LinkedIn to search for job by that title in your area (or in a larger area if you are willing to relocate).

Then select your experience level from the sidebar filters (you can look at mid or entry level but remove the senior positions from the search):

Look at about 40-50 of these job postings and make a list of technologies they are asking you to know (from the job requirements).

Job Posting
Job Requirements

After you have this list prepared, look at existing curricula made by bootcamps and free online learning programs to fill in additional information that you will need to learn. Here are the ones I recommend looking at for web development (you will have to do some research on the best bootcamps and their curricula if you are going into a different subfield):

  1. Thinkful
  2. The Lambda School
  3. Grace Hopper Academy

To see the full bootcamp curriculum, you will have to enter an email address and they will make you confirm you email before you can download it.

And here are the free online programs to check out:

  1. freeCodeCamp
  2. The Odin Project

Building the Curriculum

Once you have studied some of these learning plans, decide on one, or a combination of several, that will get you to learn enough skills to land some of the jobs you found. This is your curriculum outline.

Now you have to find learning resources for every piece of the curriculum you made. For web development, you are in luck because you can use sites like freeCodeCamp and The Odin Project for a good portion of your curriculum. For the rest: look at books, subscription sites, blogs, and YouTube channels with learning content. I do want to warn you that it's never good to just rely on one website or course to teach you everything. You should be getting information from as many places as possible.

Here are a few that I recommend for getting started:


Don't take more than one week to build your curriculum and start working. If you delay now, you will probably end up procrastinating and never getting started.

If you liked this article, I also wrote a book on how to teach yourself to code and land your first developer role. You can find it on Amazon or Barnes & Nobles.

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