I'm Kofi Ramos. An aspiring web developer based in Accra, Ghana. I'm writing this during the world's Covid-19 crises. The title is called I switched. I switched from being a culinary cook to pursuing my long time dream of becoming a web developer.
Let me take you back a few years. I've always been interested in tech, as a young boy I got to play video games, i.e Mario, donkey Kong, ninja turtles. That's where my interest peaked when it comes to computers. Had one myself, donated by my dad's boss who got a new computer and was looking for a way to get rid of his old one. In case you're wondering, my dad is a good cook. His job was to cook and organize parties for expats hence my access to computer at a young age.
Fast forward, after high school. I decided not to go to university. I wasn't naturally gifted when it comes to intelligence nor was I really good with my hands or legs, but I could kick football or what the Americans call soccer. Life became tough as I didn't want to go to college because I knew my parents couldn't afford the bills, and also I believed in this mantra that you didn't need a college degree to be in tech. My parents tried and sacrificed a lot for me, they always got me a pc to play around with despite us having just enough to make us comfortable. That's when I started learning how to code.
I started with html/css. This was the time when online coding websites started gaining the recognition, think of code academy and the rest. After basic html and css, I picked up php and started building websites for few friends, and friends of friends. That wasn't enough to get me a paying job in tech in Ghana because the tech scene was still young. Stayed home for about 2 years and decided to look for other alternative for income.
My uncle who was also a chef, gave me a few months of training which ended up getting me my first every paying gig. I was going to become a cook/cleaner for a family of 2, occasionally 3 on summer holidays. I was there from 2014 till 2020 before lockdown in Ghana. While there I continued learning and building website for a few people. I picked up basic laravel, WordPress and node. I was grateful for having an income but I still held to my dream of switching.
I switched!! I switched when the lockdown for covid 19 was about to be imposed in April 2020. My guts told me this is the right time to switch if I ever wanted to pursue my dream. I won't lie! Its been tough and I keep second guessing myself. I took a month to study with an accountability partner. The support of family and friends keep me going. It's been 2 months since I switched. I'm currently interning at an agency. Imposter syndrome still in the corner, I'm not super talented or super gifted. I still struggle with basic stuff and this few weeks as an intern has exposed that, but I'm determined to improve myself and become a better developer.