Being A Self-Taught Developer Is About Creating Your Path

It’s time to stop looking at how other people succeed, and start making your own.

Ann Adaya
Ann Adaya
May 12 · 5 min read
Photo credit to Tim Foster of Unsplash

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the mad man. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” — Steven Pressfield

When I found Web development, I always thought that this is an impossible path to take never in my wild dreams that I will be learning how to code, and I thought the only way to become one is to study Computer Science, but unfortunately, I was already 26yrs old when I found this, a 26yrs old without an emergency fund, no assets, just renting on a small apartment on my own, with my parents getting frustrated and expecting me to marry, have a house, a car by 30, and the worse part, I was stuck in a non-tech company who can replace me in a day, and I was so tired of my life and I did everything I can just to change my destiny.

Looking for inspiration is one of the first steps when it comes to creating our path, brainstorming for ideas, creating our plan, rewriting over and over, starting from scratch, again and again until we find that thing that sparks our soul, mostly inspired by people we follow, we adore, we look up to and we dream to become, they are part of the puzzle along with our principles, desires, and perspective, and all these together should we be able to find that spot where we define ourselves.

While I was looking for people whom I can learn, people who will be my inspiration into this journey I am about to take, I found out that they were all engineers, and computer science, it was disappointing at first because I didn’t know how to fit myself in, but I thought I’ve already wasted so many years playing it all safe, listening to other people’s opinion, and this would be my last shot I thought, so I took a risk, the skills can be learned eventually, it is the self-discipline, the commitment, and the drive to move forward especially in bad days that are so hard to overcome, that’s so hard to learn, for all those years, I didn’t realize I had able to build my bridge.

There is no stopping if you are committed and disciplined when it comes to chasing your dreams.

Start aligning yourself

It is crucial for us to realize, to recognize the things that our hearts desires, we wouldn’t really know what we truly want if we will not seek for answers, and we can only find this through experience, mistakes, failures, and having the strength to walk away and start all over again, and I say, it doesn’t matter if you’re 30, 40, or 50 to start from scratch, to rebuild your life, to find that spark, to start a new career, to learn new skills, to follow your heart if you want to be a developer then become one, there’s no plan b, if you want something then take it.

What, who and where are the questions that you need to find the answers first before you can start writing and setting up goals, you need to know where you will position yourself, you need to know which road to take before you can even start taking that first step, you need to know where you are going before you can start building bridges, there’s a big difference between a goal and a dream, a goal is a destination, you need to create a map to get from point a to point e, and a dream is just wishing that one day, suddenly you are in point e, that’s not how it should be and you know that.

Your environment determines what you will become in the future, that is why you need to be conscious in every decision you make, and it plays the most important part of your life, that even as simple as replacing your tv screen with your desktop or laptops workstation as the center of your home could make a huge difference, how we design our everyday life will define us in the next few years, that’s how it is, and I have my reasons of not owning a television for like 5 years.

Find people that inspire you the most

They should be living the life that you want to have.

In the beginning, we all have our inspiration, our guru, we all aspire to be that someone, we want to be just like our mentors, they are one of the reasons why we start to dream bigger, to think that we can be better and that we can do more with our lives.

In web development there are already several successful developers we can find online, most of them are teachers and senior developers, and we are inspired by their stories that remind us that we can make our success eventually, so when things get hard when stress starts to kick-in, we can look up to them to remind ourselves that every senior developer was once a beginner and that every success story has their ups and downs, and what made them become who they are was their perseverance, drive and ambition.

You can follow them, check on them from time to time, but remember don’t cling too much, you should start working on your own, you should start carving your path, it doesn’t matter the ideas you have or the things that you learned if you won’t take actions, work on your own so that in the future you can as well inspire new developers like you, always remember that your stories don’t matter unless you succeed, so keep moving forward.

Start working on your own

What works for them doesn’t guarantee that it will work the same for you, so work on what works for you.

We can’t just keep on daydreaming, we can’t just keep on waiting for some miracles to happen, the world doesn’t work that way, if you idolize someone, if he/she is living the life that you want to have, if he/she is living the dream, then use it as your inspiration to create your own, find out what works for them, find out how they made their dreams come true, find out the dirty work they’ve done, the hardship, the failures, the risks they took to achieve what they have, there’s no such thing as easy no matter which path you take, people that have become successful have their own sad stories, series of failures, and thousands of mistakes before they find their legacy.

Eventually, we need to step up and start building our own, we need to forge our path, make our own rules, and start writing our own stories. You need to do something, listen to your intuition, listen to your inner voice, ask yourself more often, what is it that you want in life?

I never thought I could become a Javascript/React and React Native Developer as I am now, dreams do come true.

At the end of the day, it is about giving the world a little piece of ourselves and at the same time, enjoy the ride.

JavaScript In Plain English

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