One of the big misunderstandings that the average person has about programming that it is a solo endeavor, when in reality it is very much a team sport. The idea of a single person sitting in front of a computer and coding day and night and creating a billion dollar masterpiece is very much a fantasy. In reality, programming company is like any other in that it requires many people to collaborate in order to be successful. A team often requires a front-end designer, a back-end designer, a UX and UI designer, a project manager and more.
In order to see what a real programming job is like it is vital to meetup with some peers and try developing a project together. Don’t know anyone who can work with? No problem, you check local meetups at Meetup.com or search kijiji for local coding groups. Failing this you can also find people through Facebook or twitter groups (simply search “coding” or “programming” or the language of your choice to find groups) and then message people to get a team going. When you have a team, you can set up a slack (a great messaging tool for teams) and start communicating and discussing what projects to work on. When you start working on a project you can host your code on GitHub so that your whole team can work on it. You can keep your code public for everybody or put it so that only members of your team can see it.
It doesn’t have to be anything mind-blowing – the point is to get experience working with a team. If you are a front-end developer thane it would be helpful to work with someone familiar with the back-end so that you guys can work the full stack together. However, it would also be valuable to work with another front-end developer as it will give you another perspective on things you are familiar with and you can also discuss difficult problems together and work together on solutions. Really, there is no going wrong, so go out and find yourself a great team!