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Simon Barker
Simon Barker

Posted on • Originally published at careerswitchtocoding.com

CodeNewbies: Don’t let your past determine your future

We often feel a debt to our past selves. We stay on a path because it’s the path we’ve always been on and changing course makes us feel like our past self was wrong.

If there is one thing that humans hate, it is the feeling of being wrong.

Just because you spent the first half of your life dedicated to being a biologist, physiotherapist or postman doesn’t mean that you can’t make a change.

Don’t let where you have been decide where you go next, if you want to change to being a developer then draw a line in the sand and realise that no time was wasted, you weren’t wrong for pursuing something else and now you’re making a change.

Take what you have learned in your previous career and apply that to tech, if you spent years working in a client facing role you’re going to be excellent at working with users on product improvement, if you spent years reading legal documents you’ll be great at whizzing through documentation and Grokking a new library quicker than other devs.

I have a PhD in electrical engineering and often feel I should be using it in some way. The truth is I am, just not the bits you would expect:

✍️ I wrote the better part of 200,000 words over my PhD and now I write on the internet every day
🎙 I have given dozens of presentations and now I have a podcast
📊 I managed my own time and projects and now I run a business teaching developers how to land early career jobs
👨‍💻 I taught myself to code and now I code everyday

Embrace your past and use it to spring into your new developer career.

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