It’s started: a future in tech

As I write, I near the end of the start. Yes, that statement was as clarion as “this” is in JavaScript. Actually, I think it’s more clear. Anyhow, I’m nearing the end of my first step — seven months of incredibly awesome but grueling work at Turing School. My time in the Front End Engineering program has been amazing. As I look back on my first projects and the utter anxiety I felt as I saw a merge conflict or when stuff didn’t show up in the console, I can’t help but smile. Just last week, I built a desktop REPL (read-evaluate-print loop) app with Electron that gives you a text editor and console from the menubar (coming to your App Store soon).

It’s been a ride. And I’m excited to be on it. The following is a short memoir on my thoughts on tech, what it’s like to be a fledgling developer, and what lies ahead.

First, my thoughts on tech.

The tech world, and development specifically, has the most open, “I want to help you succeed” approach I’ve felt. The sheer number of Stack Overflow Q&As, issues/pull requests open for React.js, and meetups illustrate this quite well. I’ve realized that the industry is so big and challenging that we need each other to build better, cleaner, simpler, and more efficient applications. Instead of a dog-eat-dog-world, in many ways it’s a group effort from across the globe.

Second, what it’s been like.

I left a great job in finance. It wasn’t an easy decision, but knew now was the time to make the jump. I didn’t know what to expect and how quickly I would pick it up. It’s been challenging. There’s been several all-nighters to finish a project, 4 hours spent trying to debug a typo, and the majority of weeks have been over 60 hours. To those who are considering a similar transition, I can’t emphasize the importance of commitment. It needs to be 110%. The number of developers across the world can cause us to think “it’s easy”. Not true. It’s hard. But worth all the effort.

As a junior, the job search can be challenging. It seems everyone wants 5+ years experience, sometimes with technologies that are less than that. For me, it came down to communicating my excitement and ability to learn quickly.

Last, but not least: my future.

It’s unknown. I’m excited, though, for the opportunities. Opportunities to grow, learn from those better than me, teach those in a similar spot I was, and make a big difference with a great team. I know stupid bugs won’t stop, production meltdowns, and those ever-present webpack build errors will remain, but there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and from what I’ve heard, and experienced in a small way, the journey is the best part.

My list of thanks is too long for this article, but to those with an unique impact on my transition, a few words. Thank you: Preethi Kasireddy (for your well-written articles and example of career-change), Meeka Gayhart (for your code wisdom), Tyler McGinnis (for your React Native stuff), Egghead (for nuggets of gold), all my fellow classmates who are smarter than me, and my Mom (for everything).

For the rest, thanks for reading. “Keep doing hard things.”

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