You too can also make that switch to becoming a software developer in 2022
Are you thinking about switching your career to full-stack development in 2022? Do you have doubts that you might not be a good fit and you don’t have what it takes? Do you think it’s too late to make the switch? Don’t worry, grab your favorite snack while reading through this article and find answers to some of the questions that might be bothering you.
During my undergraduate days as an electrical engineer when I had to take some programming courses, the idea of programming was so alien to me. The concept of Programming seemed so mundane and boring, I never understood them and I never thought I will. Fast forward 6 years later, I am on the journey to being a full-stack developer, I have learned some complex programming languages, used them in building fun projects, and here I am telling you, YES, YOU CAN ALSO DO IT!
Before deciding to switch careers into software development, I had so many fears and questions, I was clouded with self-doubts. ‘Am I good enough?”, “Will I be able to cope with the rigors that come with being a software developer?”, “Am I smart enough?”. These questions, just like you, kept on bothering me and with every question, I kept postponing the start of my journey being a software developer. Not until I finally decided to put these fears behind me and face my fears head-on. In this article I’d be sharing the paths I followed through this journey and I hope you can pick a thing or two as you read.
Globally, 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, the world seemed as though it had paused. During this period many had the time to reflect on their lives, for some, it was a period to re-strategize, but for me, it was a turning point in my life. I decided to learn a new skill, though undecided on what I wanted to learn, I knew I wanted to make the best use of the time I had (the world was literally on pause and everywhere was on lockdown! So yeah I had all the time).
Whilst still thinking about what path to thread, (as you’d already have guessed, I wasn’t thinking anything programming), I had someone who’d randomly send me to free Udemy courses and pester me to register in time as they were limited. Though I had no interest in them, I still registered and that was exactly how my journey began, registering random Udemy courses I never thought I’d be interested in.
Out of curiosity, I opened one of the several courses, (numbering to about 5) I had registered for at the time, this led me to the first step in my journey
1.) Making Your Findings/Research.
While it’s not uncommon to hear that many developers started their development journey without having a clear goal, it is very important to have a clear goal for what you want to achieve. Programming as you’d already know is one very broad topic and believe me you do not want to start this journey without having a clear vision of what your goal is.
Researching on these things can make your task even more daunting and discouraging, but I’d share some questions that helped me narrow my research. You can use them if you find them applicable.
- What’s my goal and what am I trying to achieve?
- What is this technology used for?
- Why does this thing exist and what problems does it solve
- What opportunities are available for this technology?
Learning to code is more than just sitting in front of a screen and just smashing the keyboard there is a lot of planning, problem-solving, risk-taking, brain-storming that comes with it. So it is very necessary to find what works best for you. Once you have successfully figured what works for you, then and only then, you will be in a better position to set a clear goal for yourself.
2.) Follow Your Passion
Passion means different things to different people, but for me, this is simply what gets me going, what keeps me excited about what I want to do even when things become really difficult and unclear. By now you might you’d have done some research and you are slowly starting to understand some of the concepts of programming and where your interest might lie.
After spending days trying to find out what I was really interested in, by this time, the concept of programming was gradually becoming clearer and my interests had slowly begun to pick up. I decided to try data analysis, (surprising?. No it shouldn’t). Most of the free Udemy courses I had previously registered for were Python-related courses. This, combined with the findings I made favored going into data analysis. I was really excited about what I could do with data, what got me excited more was how beautiful learning Python was to me, the syntax seemed really different and easy to learn and for me, it stood out from every other language I had learned about.
In essence, all I am saying is that it is important to find something that really interests you and be sure about it. Something you enjoy doing and you are passionate about. Find your passion, whatever it is be sure and stick with it.
3.) Create a plan and stick to it.
By now, you already have a clearer vision of what you want to achieve and what your passion is. The next thing is to create a plan for your learning journey and stick to it. I will be honest with you becoming a software developer is never an easy journey, it comes with its many challenges and distractions. On your journey, you will definitely come across my distractions and some might almost cause you to lose track of yourself. This is why it is very important to have a plan and stick with it. After I decided and was resolute on my decision to become a full-Stack web developer I created a plan and path for myself to follow to learn all the required technologies to help me achieve my goal
Please note, that it is very important to give yourself time to really understand the basic concepts of how these technologies work. Having a strong foundation is the best investment you can give yourself while learning to become a web developer. Without rushing and putting myself under any pressure I decided to learn some of these technologies not just because I felt they were the best for me, but also because the demand for these skills is high. You do not necessarily have to follow the same path as I did, I will just share them for the sake of this post.
- HTML & CSS
- Version Control System: Gitflow, Github
- Structured Query Library (SQL)
- Ruby on Rails
Having a plan is really important on this journey but what is more important is sticking to your plan. Always remember that distractions will come along the way, you might even lose motivation, which is very normal, I also did quite a few times, but what helped me get myself back on was that I had a plan I was fully committed to following.
While there is still a lot to share about my journey. I will stop here and hope that these few points I have shared will help you make the decision to start your career in web development.
In conclusion, the decision to become a web developer starts with YOU. You need to decide and be sure that you are ready to take on this journey and keep riding on this hill. You need to remind yourself that irrespective of what happens you will keep pushing and never give up. Challenges may come, you might feel overwhelmed or lack motivation at some point, but what is important is that you never give up.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and I am itching to hear that it has helped someone take a bold step to start their career as a web developer. Always remember, YOU CAN DO IT. Happy coding and see you at the top.