From Crunching Numbers to Slinging Code: My Journey to Becoming a Software Engineer

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I went from crunching numbers in finance for 7 years to slinging code as a software engineer. Many people have asked about my transition journey. I’m here to spill all the juicy details so that I’ll share this link with you when you ask. If you want to embark on a similar transition, I have highlighted some stuff in bold ink I want you to take note of.

Now, let’s rewind a bit. I first started getting interested in the world of tech when I was working as a tax consultant at PwC back in 2020. Those tech-savvy guys were like rockstars, and I wanted to be cool like them too. So, I started taking some courses on SQL and tableau through Udemy but that didn’t go anywhere. If you decide to take a course, ensure you have a strategy in place to integrate the acquired knowledge into your daily routine. For instance, if you’re an accountant who wants to study Python, plan how to use it to automate some accounting processes in your job. This way, you won’t forget what you’re learnin’, cuz it’s super easy to forget if you don’t put it into practice.

But why did I even start with SQL and tableau when I really wanted to dive into software engineering? Well, I was intimidated, okay? However, hovering around the main tech stuff ain’t gonna cut it. I have come across many people who want to do web development, but they think they’re not cut out for it so they end up doing other stuff like product management or UI. I’m not saying those are not great. I’m saying that if you want to do web development, do it. You gotta go big or go home! It’s true that coding careers are very diverse. However, web development is the most popular, and you’ll probably have to learn a bit of it no matter which tech career path you take.

So the thing is, I was already vibing with the “tech” scene two years before I actually made the move, so it wasn’t a rash decision. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes you gotta make a quick flip, depending on the situation. But, for me, and I’m sure for many others, it takes some serious brainstorming, a clear-cut strategy, chatting with those who’ve been in the game, dipping your toes in all kinds of tech, and finding the one that gives you ginger! You gotta know what you’re getting yourself into! I’ll also recommend reading a tech career handbook like the one by swyx which spells out many different tech paths and what they entail.

Fast forward to late 2021 when I finally decided to take the leap and enrol in a web developer course by Angela Yu on Udemy, spending every spare moment learning HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Node.js. Building my first website was a thrill! I was supposed to be on vacation after finishing my MBA at INSEAD, but instead, I was motivated by flexibility and becoming a millionaire (don’t we all wanna be?). My hubby is a lead software engineer so, I did some quick math and realized that if I made the switch to tech, we could be millionaires in no time! Adulting is hard…so I guess finding motivation for switching is a plus. Plus, he was working from home and I had to go into the office sometimes. Not cool. And did I mention that I wanted to start a tech biz?

In April 2022, we had our housewarming bash! I whipped up a dope website in a day that helped all our friends find their way to our apartment from anywhere in the UK. Seeing all our friends give credit to my website for making their journey easy made me feel like I was on the right path. I realize how actually building something that is useful to others gives such a thrill to forge on.

Fast forward to August 2022 when my husband told me about a tech boot camp ad he saw on Instagram. I was lucky to get a 100% scholarship for their 12-week full-time program! That meant cancelling our anniversary trip to Mexico and fully leaving my finance career behind, but it was totally worth it. The boot camp was intense, but I learned so much and worked on some awesome projects.

So, what do I want you to take away from my story?

Photo by Canan turan on Unsplash

Tech ain’t easy. It takes some serious discipline, grit, and mentorship to make it through. But it gets easier by the minute with more practice.

If you’re thinking of switching from your career to software development, what I’ll recommend is that you find a great online course for beginners. And practice no zero days! I highly recommend Angela Yu’s The Complete 2023 Web Development Bootcamp on Udemy. Get about 25% to 50% through that course before you even think about a boot camp or some sort of organized learning!

Find yourself an accountability partner, a buddy who will be your rocking sidekick in your learning journey especially if you don’t have a Computer Science or Tech background! Someone who is learning as you are but preferably someone who has more experience in the field. Mine was my husband, lucky me. I also have friends from my BootCamp. They’ll help set goals, keep you motivated, and have regular check-ins. Sharing resources, giving feedback, and offering emotional support, they’re the groovy system you need to stay committed and grow those coding skills!

There will be some days when you feel like you’re stuck in the past and just want to groove back to your old career, but then there are those moments when you totally kill it and debug that code like a boss. It’s a wild ride. It’s like riding a gnarly wave — but you have to go with the flow and ride it out. But don’t sweat it, because it’s totally normal. So if ever you’re feeling down, and yes those days will come, always remember that it’s just part of the drill and keep on pushing.

And when you’re feeling those good vibes and making that tech magic happen, don’t forget to celebrate your awesome self!

#SoftwareEngineering #Web Development #Finance #Accounting #Tech Careers #Career switch



Finance Analyst turned Software Engineer

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