Roughly in order. All content plagiarized with no apologies, because that’s how we do it on the streetz. Generally drawn from these comments though:
First, begin to absorb the general ethos of these fellas (watch a couple of videos per day for low-impact fun and profit):
Also read Hacker News daily, as it’s a good way to pick up general tech lingo and developments in the tech world. Succeeding as a contract coder is also part political and you need to understand the pond you’re swimming in.
Read this book boildown to learn how to learn, and apply it to the critical path to getting paid CASH MONEY:
- 12-week coding bootcamp [Ed: not viable for me at the moment, will self-teach]
- Create a website and blog about programming
- Write some simple apps, put them in the app store if possible
- Specialize in something and go deep
- Go to as many IRL geek meetups in your area as possible and network
Apply Scott Adams’ talent stack thinking to IT [Ed: but still go deep?] JS + AI + data science == superstimulus to the recruiting officer’s brain, so they will overlook juniority. [Ed: This won’t work for everybody but it’s good advice for me, I have the math background to pull that off.]
Avoid C, C++, PHP, and Java, and the Unix suite except as hobbies or sexual masochism.
This is basically the landscape of JS frameworks right now: Angular 1 is the king and has been for about 3 years. Backbone, Knockout, Ember are some older contenders that are still popular. React is an up and comer that is taking market share from Angular. It doesn’t provide as much structure so you basically have to learn another add-on framework (Redux, Reflux, etc). Angular 2 is on the horizon, but hasn’t really gained traction yet. Aurelia is like Angular 3 but not widely used. Learn Angular or React. The latter is more popular in the US than here, so should be fine.
Conceptually, learn basic algorithms (quick sort, binary sort, recursive search) and data structures (arrays, linked lists, trees, graphs, hash maps). [Ed: I haven’t read it, but I suspect Knuth’s classic book would be good for this, and you get to swagger around the IT department. Other possibilities are “The Manga Guide to Data Structures” and the Great Courses series for learning Python.]
You can get books on gen.lib.rus.ec, bookzz.org, sci-hub.io. There are huge torrents of programming books (presuming you are already comfortable with that software, which I understand is pretty common).