This post is specifically for anyone who has made their mind to focus on learning programming and sharpen their coding skills to get the first job in tech. Anyone who has made this brave decision to leave their monotonous or low-paying jobs and grab their dream job in tech. Yes, it is possible. It is possible for anyone!
It all sounds great, thanks for motivating but hey who are YOU to guide us?
I am a Dentist turned Software Engineer.
I graduated with an Indian degree in Bachelor of Dental Surgery. I studied for 5 long years, mugged fat books. Banged my head preparing dentures for patients. From wax carving the dental anatomy of all the teeth set in a human dentition to doing root canal treatments, tooth extractions, flap surgeries, preparing arch-bar and anchor clasps for the tricky orthodontic patients, to restoring/filling the tooth with dental materials, I did it all. Giving local anesthesia to patients, taking their case histories was like a mundane job to me. It all may sound interesting to some people, and this is what I signed up for when I was 18 and took admission in a dental school.
Things were going slow and steady. I worked for a few years as a Dentist in various hospitals, wrote medical articles, prepared white papers, associated myself to work as a coordinator with an NGO focusing towards women empowerment. However, things were not going at a fast pace which I was expecting, there were still some constraints which I will share in another post.
So fastforward I decided to quit my dental career and focus on getting into tech.
I didn't want to invest money in learning a new skill by going to college for the next couple of years.
I think IT is the only industry which welcomes a self-taught person. Other industries require a relevant degree, for example, management.
So coming right to the point, I want to share the first steps I took when I really got serious of making a career change. I was very focused on my actions and these are the two foremost advice I want to give to the people who're just entering into the programming journey is -
- Create a Github account
- Push whatever you learn every day.
- No matter if you can't do it from CLI — create a repository and upload your simple program files.
- What matters is getting the habit of learning and committing those programs every day.
- The chart showing the green boxes shows the hard work and passion. It will represent your documented journey online. The silly projects, the good projects.
- Make a Twitter account
Join the #100DaysOfCode #CodeNewbie communities on Twitter.
- I can say this with confidence that Twitter plays a big role in my journey. My feed is filled with people I admire, the people who're on the same path I am, or the ones who're just starting out so that I can offer help.
When I started my journey, I chose to go through the self-taught route, and let me be clear that it isn't easy. In Bootcamps, you get more centric guidance, a routine to follow, people you can go up to. But if you're a self-teaching yourself by online resources, you're learning alone.
There are times when you feel - to quit (or may actually quit), that you don't belong, that nothing is staying in your head. But once you scroll through the Twitter feed, you'll see that it's natural, and it's part of this journey. Some people are able to learn quickly, some take relatively more time. But nobody is going to ask after how many days you learned certain technology to build a particular project. What matters is to pick a concept every day. Try to understand it. Read and practice it from several resources.
Programming isn't easy. It takes time!
Even after getting a job, you need to learn every day because there's just so much to learn. You will only know 10% or maybe 20% of this wide world when you'll get hired, and then you need to keep pushing hard. You should be self-driven and motivated.
Don't be overwhelmed by thinking to cover 100%. Nobody knows everything.
Just focus on limited things, one programming language and that's it!
Build projects on your own, no matter how big or small. Make a portfolio, and apply like crazy.
Getting the first job as a developer is the hardest, but everyone can make it! If I did, so can you.
Practice, persevere and join the community of people who're following this route, you'll feel less lonely and more optimistic.