Zero To Mastery
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Zero To Mastery

How I transitioned from Mechanical Engineering into Web Developer Full Time

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Unarguably Mechanical Engineering is one of the best fields of engineering to pursue. But the taste and passion can be different for people. But every decision you take in your life may not be right. Sometimes you may end up taking courses that may not bring the best in you.

So if you are like me who finished mechanical engineering or any other degree or a field unrelated to Computer Science then this article is for you.

So how did I make that shift? There is no magic pill, you need to be ready to commit at least 4hrs per day learning and doing projects. I started by working with a WordPress website. I created about 4 websites lol!!. And I didn’t commit much to build it and one of them was for a social community. That’s how I started as part-time work.

Later, I wanted to learn how to create websites without WordPress or any other tools. We have youtube, twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Amazon etc. These kinds of websites require to be built from scratch by using more complex frameworks and libraries. That’s how I started to shift to web development. So let’s see how this journey started.

How to begin…

The first course I took was Andrei’s Complete Web Developer course. It is very comprehensive and easy to understand. This course helped me a lot on taking that 20% to give you 80% of the results, including the latest framework used and best practices. After this course, you will be well good to go with a full-stack project. Which is very impressive, to begin with, you can show this in your portfolio and resume.

After this, I mainly focused on applying what I learned. You should get your hands dirty by doing as many as projects you can think of. You learn more when you do projects because that’s where you apply your skills.

Master JavaScript

No matter what frameworks may come and go. This language is going to stay for long. It’s now the most popular language on the internet. Mastering this should be your priority, then any frameworks will be a cakewalk for you. Moreover, it’s an easy language to understand. No compiler is needed since JavaScript doesn’t require compilation process. The browser interprets JavaScript as it HTML tags.

Another set of books that so popular with Javascript and this can make you advanced JavaScript Developer is You Don’t Know JS series. I am currently reading and learning this one. And it’s really exciting to get to know the tricky parts of JavaScript

Also, you can join Freecodecamp which is one of the best online platforms where you can practice plenty of JavaScript. You can learn most fundamentals on this site. The site is built in such a way that you are given a brief description of the methods or syntax used and after that, you do it by yourself.

Tutorial Hell…

Be aware of this, you could end up signing in plenty of courses and you end up not doing much and confused. In my honest opinion sign up for the courses that would make a difference that makes you learn a new skill well. The important thing is to practice more by solving problems, creating new projects and also submitting to open source projects.

When you meet a problem by yourself and find the solution, then the idea is stamped on your brain. Because creating something from scratch requires you to know about the technology well and be able to place everything together. While sticking with tutorials will only give you comfort, once you know something start digging deep by applying it however you can.

You can join leetcode, hackerearth to practice plenty of problems, These platforms have coding challenges running periodically which can even get you hired with a good package.

Landing a Job

Linkedin is your best friend here. I got a lot of call through this platform, though I couldn’t land a job anywhere in the first two months of trying, and moreover, I was in a beginner stage without a really meaningful project on my resume ( highly recommended).

And after that, I started to update my profile on other major websites like Naukri, indeed etc and soon I started getting a lot of calls from different companies and I failed in most of the interviews that time, but I got a real knowledge of how the interview is going to be like and what kind of question I can expect. I started getting a lot more confident after that and by this time I had two good projects from Andrei’s courses. One evening I got a call from a company in Bangalore and the hiring manager was interested in my resume and asked me if I am confident in ReactJs and what salary am I expecting. I replied confidently to him. The very next day to my surprise I received an offer letter from the company without a technical interview. It was really surprising and also created some kind of doubts that why would someone hire me without really testing my skills. Anyway, I decided to go for it.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

I packed items just for a week and traveled to the location. Yes, the job was real, I introduced myself to my colleagues and it went fine. Honestly, the pay cut was too much to think of in the beginning, but I was confident it would change in the future.

Benefits of being a Web Developer

Entrepreneurship

This is a big thing in the field of Web Development. They have a few advantages compared to other types of business. They don’t need to own a physical shop, for one. Creating a complete digital franchise has its difficulties, but it eliminates the major cost involved in finding a property to do business from. Web design is an overcrowded industry.

However, it’s also the fastest-growing industry with a need for designers who know what they’re doing. Proper plan, filling the gap in the market, gathering essential resources and more importantly staying committed will pay you off.

Freelance

Freelancing is another career path web developers can take. But its less recommended at the beginning. It’s better to start working for other firms and get acquainted first and starting freelance part-time and slowly moving it to full time. There are several websites to start your freelancing websites Truelancer, Freelancer, upwork Fiverr etc…

Good Career. Endless progress…

If you are not into entrepreneurship or freelancing, definitely web development has an endless career path. The more you sharpen your skills the more you can grow in this area. The salary is very competitive compared to other industries. From my experience, if you have an updated profile on LinkedIn, Indeed, Naukri etc. job sites that are popular in your locality, you start getting calls even though if you didn’t apply to any company directly. This show you how demanded the area is.

Conclusion

The first day of work to be honest, when the real work came I was so worried and frustrated. I called my friends who work in the same field, and I googled for solutions. Honestly, this happened only for two days, the third day I was on track and I could deliver more than expected. I expect this to happen for everybody too, but no worries, Stackoverflow is there to rescue you. Rest of the worries are due to the imposter syndrome.

Photo by Workshop& on Unsplash

Now when I get a project my rule of thumb is to slice it into tiny pieces, each piece representing specific tasks. So this way I can track my progress and testing also becomes easier. I use trello for each project and make several cards for each section. I make several lists for each card that directed me to complete the respective section.

If you are really up to becoming a software or web developer, the path is clear, just you need to give some effort in building yourself. If you are excited about constantly learning and building new things, this path is very exciting. Once you decide that don’t look back just do whatever it takes. I was discouraged at first by my relatives and friends when I decide to leave my job to pursue Web development full time. But now they are happy as I made it. And remember if you are already working in other unrelated industries and looking for a career shift, be ready to embrace the massive pay cut. But when you keep on sharpening your skills things start to get extremely rewarding.

Since you have read till here, I feel you could also be thinking the same as me. Now it's time to get started with your journey and be excited. Let me know your opinions in the comments.
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Faiz Hameed

Faiz Hameed

Software Developer. Love to create beautiful things.

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