I wanted to be a physicist , but for some reason, programming came to my life and change it in one of the hardest times to me.
A teacher from the physics school, told me about a job to create kinematics simulations in Java applets, and asked me to take his class of basic programming in java. I discovered a big new world and I was good at it.
It was a time when I decided to be economically independent, I opened a bar with my best friend, we were doing good, and it was a successful business for an inexpert guy like me. My father was opposed to that idea and we argued for a long time for that, “that’s not the kind of life I want for my son” he said. I decided to move from my parents home. In that time I knew the love of my life, and asked her to move and start our home.
Our economy wasn’t good, the bar situation wasn’t good, and we started to have a bad time regarding our incomes. I realized that physics wasn’t good enough for living in Colombia and quit university, also it came with the issue that I couldn’t work at the physics school as programmer.
That bad time forced to take jobs that I didn’t like, I worked in call centers, and I was really unhappy doing that jobs. My girl has always supported me, I don’t know what to do if I wasn’t with her. She worked hard while I was trying to realize what to do with my life.
I decided to start some programming courses in not well named institutes, I learned visual basic, and start loving programming.
It was really hard to find a job in programming, because I was very inexpert and here in Colombia if you don’t have a university degree, you are nothing.
My father and I started having a good relationship again and he helped me to finance my first semester of Systems engineering (equivalent to computer science).
I’ve always been a persons that tries to move forward constantly. I started seeking my first official programming job. All the colombian companies rejected me, because I didn’t have a diploma. For them (the colombian companies owners and managers) you can be the worst programmer, but if you have an engineer degree, you’re enough. I didn’t quit about to start working in programming, and it took about one year unemployed. In that time my girlfriend still supported me, she’s the best person I have in my life (we’re still together after 13 years of relationship, and is the person I love the most). I got depressed and she didn’t let me down. She was always telling me to have patience and one day that job will knock our door.
Finally I got that job.
After one year seeking for a programming job, I started working in a courier company, their system was built in fox pro (no visual fox pro, fox pro the blue screened one, if you are as old as me you may remember it). I had to administer data bases and manually migrate databases from dbf to sql server.
I thought if I didn’t change that old fox pro program, probably I would got crazy. Because that system was really slow. I asked my boss for part time start to migrate that system to php mysql, but he wasn’t a visionary person and he asked me to not do so.
I started a new courier system by my own and asked a smaller company to test it was that good that this company bought it. Then a couple months passed and I showed my boss that system and how it worked in a smaller company, also I automated a lot of processes that i had to do manually and showed him that I improved my productivity 400%. He was amazed and gave me permission to implement it at the company.
My first failure.
After months developing the new company’s core system, it was finally ready to go to production, I did a lot of testing. But for the first time, I experienced concurrency. PHP needed to reload the entire page each time you send a request, so it was to slow for the barcode scanners operators. I knew it won’t work well, people started to get annoyed because my new system, the one that I promised would be better, was too slow.
I improved all my system responses to requests and people started enjoying using my system. when it got stable I started asking questions to people of all departments inside the company and start helping them with their processes and make their jobs more productive. Our clients noticed that we improved our productivity. My project was a completely success.
Steps ahead from other colleagues in my country.
Jquery made my job easier
Also adding animations to my applications UI did my work more attractive to my employers.
You don’t know JS
MedellinJS is nowadays the biggest software developers community in Medellín and I owe its organizers a lot of things that I know today.
What the F*** is NodeJS
One of my career mentors (he doesn’t know this) is Julián Duque, not only his knowledge, but his passion to share it, it’s one of the things that has inspired me not only to be a better developer, also to be a better person.
A library is a lot of prebuilt methods and stuff tha help you to solve a pretty commons use cases.
A framework is a lot of use cases and practices that are put together in a boilerplate codebase that helps you to manage code with the best practices that the framework creators know after being programming for a while.
You can use them, or not, but nowadays you don’t have to “invent the wheel” again.
In frontEnd I recommend to learn ReactJS and VueJs.
In backend I recommend to learn ExpressJS, SailsJS.