How Léo will become a pro developer — Preparation

Embrace freedom, become a remote developer
Why don’t you work from anywhere and truly live the present ?

This series is about teaching a friend Léo how to become a professional developer from scratch:

See the first article summarizing the project \o/

Léo can be any of you, desiring to become a developer with no initial technical skills.

I mentor Léo for the pleasure to see him grow. I decided to share this experience, and track his progress to encourage others to join his path!

Why developer?

  • You can easily create your own projects, and learn by yourself.
  • You can work remotely, you just need your laptop. Live the dream of becoming a digital nomad, work on the beach or wherever you want in the world.
  • You can access a high salary with a crowd of employers desperate to hire you. Therefore, you can choose a job that fulfills you.

Forget about the screen-full-of-weird-hacker-code you see in the movies. Being developer simply means solving problems, using code. Are you afraid to type text ?


This post regroups the first tasks Léo must fulfill before starting the course.

It’s mainly about setting up a work environment and creating accounts on various platforms in order to save time during the course. I want him fully focused on the content of the course and not on installing stuff.

We will have some things to explain & install/configure on the road of course, but if we keep this to a bare minimum it’s better ! I’m available at any moment to get Léo unstuck even in the preparation phase :)


As human beings, we are the product of our environment: the events happening around us, the closest people in our life. In order to become productive and shift your mindset towards work, you have to set up an environment towards work.
As a junkie in rehab wouldn’t keep his drugs in his house, you have to get rid of what distracts you.

On your computer, you may have your favorite procrastination apps, games or whatever. If you want to be productive, launch an environment that is not containing those things.

For example, if you are a windows gamer guy (I’m looking at you Léo), set up a linux distribution (ubuntu is great for linux beginners). There are plenty of tutorials online on how to do this, I trust your googling skills ;)

(if you use a mac OS, that’s fine, they share a lot of shell commands and behaviours with linux).

Actually it’s your first task Léo: set up a linux dual boot !

You could just use a virtual machine like VirtualBox. But I want Léo to fully use Linux as his professional work environment, not emulating it. It may not be easy for everyone to install a dual boot (back up your data first to be safe), but that’s part of the process: don’t give up !

I’m here to help of course if Léo is stuck!

Play with it a bit to understand the OS if you’re not familiar with Linux, understand how your data is organized, learn how to open a terminal, install a decent internet browser (you’ll love chrome for developing ❤).

Code Editor

There are tons of code editor of all kinds. Some are called IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and are meant to be your whole coding life (you can do a LOT of stuff within it). I am personally on the opposite hardcore side, using Vim (I don’t recommend it for beginners, as you’ll spend most time trying to understand the editor instead of producing code).

I recommend to use sublime text, it’s a simple & easy code editor to deal with. It has already some nice basic features, and you can use plugins as you want.

Second task: install sublime text.

Online presence

I want you to have visibility on the internet. I want you to build your network, talk to recruiters, meet other coders, find job opportunities and live your dreams.

If you don’t want to share personal data on the internet like your name / photo / what you have done in your life, it’s your choice. Just understand that your network will not grow as fast, and therefore it will cut off your opportunities.

My goal here is to get you employed, and being present online will be the fastest way to achieve that. You will have more offers, therefore more choice. And choice is freedom my friend !

Your next tasks will be to:

- create a Linkedin account: show your curriculum, meet recruiters (make an english profile please, you frenchy guy)
- create a Github account: host your code, show your skills in your open source projects, follow projects

Pro tip

I recommend using a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. With only 1 strong password, you can manage 1 brutal password for each app.

About the mentor

“Build & learn something everyday”

Fast learner, full stack web developper and willing to share my knowledge.

LION @TheFamily