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How did you figure out your field?

Jonathan Lacanlale on May 14, 2018

It's always fun to see awesome projects that other devs made whether it be in web, AI, mobile, etc etc. 90% of the time it's a huge inspiration t... [Read Full]
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It was survival for my story. I started out as a designer who loved Flash animation. Unfortunately, Steve Jobs (bless his soul) said that Flash was going to die and HTML5 was the future. Good thing that AS3 and JavaScript were somewhat the same during that time which made transitioning easier and faster.

Ended up loving frontend. There is so much stuff that you can do with JavaScript these days. It's truly the best time to be a frontender (sans the fatigue and everything)


That's so awesome how you adapted and ended up loving the frontend field! Was thinking of trying to get into javascript because I always see other awesome projects (and now a reading a response like this.) Do you have any recommendations for getting started?


Dont do what I did, I didnt study the core fundamentals of computer science or programming. I just assumed I would know everything because of my AS background. I jumped straight to jQuery, >_< bad idea. Know the core fundamentals, you will have an easy transition from language to language


I was selling phones for a while. Then started school for sys admin type work. Moved over to the Geek Squad and fixed hardware for a while. Then got offered a job doing actual IT work. I studied for a while, got all my Comptia Certs. Then I switched to the Microsoft Sys Admin certs. At some point I decided I wanted to make more money while I was actually making stuff. So I switched to software.

Been coding for a couple years now. When I first started coding I was learning front end stuff. How to develop sites using HTML/CSS JavaScript. I was obsessed about Ruby on Rails for like a month (like most other people). Then jumped over to learning PHP and making PHP projects. Then I learned Python and switched to back end stuff. All of that over about two or three years. About a year ago I got offered the job of taking over our SCADA, machine and quality software maintenance and development. So I've been doing that.

These days, I'm focusing on coding tools for animation studios, machine learning and opsec coding. I've always been obsessed with making and analyzing movies. I want to get into that so I can make the tools for making animated movies. I'm hoping to jump onto an animation studio team in the next year or two. See where I go from there.

It's long winded and convoluted, but there it is.

Mic Drop


Literally amazed at the thought of making tools for animation! That's an insanely creative way to apply coding talent and I'll be honest; creative paths aren't really talked about much in university (at least the one I attend) so that's super-freakin-awesome. I'll be sure to keep my eye out for your name when I see animations 👀👀👀


They should be talked about more. Creative outlets keep you sane, not to mention are really just another form of practicing creative problem solving.


Started as an obsession with computers in general. First started coding HTML when Netscape was a thing. My first "real" coding experience was playing with mIRC scripts though. Always fascinated by what you could make computers do. Totally self taught. Eventually a mutual friend started their own web design studio, got busy enough to hire me. Just kinda went from there.

Started as a script kiddie, now I get paid to write code. No complaints here.


So cool how you turned a hobby into a career! What language do you write in now?


I jumped around a bit. I started in front-end (HTML/CSS/JS) but I eventually moved to server side PHP/MySQL. I work a lot in the WordPress space, but I started learning OOP and such and built apps using Symfony / Laravel as well.

Eventually, I migrated into doing some server admin / ops stuff as well managing a number of VPS's and dedicated servers. I'd say at this point I'm kind of a jack of all trades.. master of none!


I started in game development when I was 13 or something, but that wasn't actually development as I always use some tool like RPG Maker or something. I did research about Ruby back then, but I drop it after a while. Later I learn about PHP, and then I did a course about Java, and started my personal game development path with LibGDX. I just had my first Android and it was insane how I could develop for both, Android and Desktop for free. I start collage, and learn about PHP, MySQL, I did not like those, so I keep going with my Java SE, and my LibGDX, I even develop some applications using just Java with Swing, just because I did not like PHP.

Then, for my final project, to earn the degrade, I started this AngularJS project with NodeJS. Check it out It was my first time with JavaScript, and it was really hard for me, because I want to develop as I did with Java. But, what I like the most about AngularJS was how it worked, and it was somewhat like working with Swing.

After that, I start learning more about AngularJS, then Angular was announced I was all over it, since the first day I hear about it, I started to learn it. I get my first job, and I talk with my PO to use Angular to develop the project, he accepted, and I just start to learn deep about Angular. After a few months I was out, and went into a new job in another country, and started a project with React.

During that time, I just want to learn Game Development properly. I was using Unity, and learning more and more, but when I started with React I realize something. I started to understand JavaScript, and started to understand how Typescript improve JS development, and start to love it.

So, I decide that I will be a JS developer full time, and from that time on, I started to learn deeply about JS. I haven't drop the idea of developing a game, but I do know that I don't want to that professionally.

Take the opportunities you have, even if you don't like them, or don't fell confortable, they all are experiences that will guide you where you want to go.


Dude thats so awesome how you found JS to be the language you want and enjoy! Its also super comforting to know that you made changes to what you wanted, jumping between languages.

Right now, it feels like I'm in the same scenario jumping between dev fields, unsure of what I like. Reading your story is comforting and really inspiring to continue trying different things

  1. Learned Flash while working as a parking attendant at a ski resort. Season ended, left. Want: to not swing hammers and work with computers
  2. Some got a job doing video pre/post-production because of Flash skills, never used them on that job. Got fired, totally worth it. Want: a job in my home state.
  3. Got job making Flash banners, started picking up HTML, CSS, JS on same job. Economy crashed, laid off with department. Want: a job creating animations with Flash.
  4. Got job as web designer and made a bunch of front-end stuff for the dev team because they kept telling me it was too complicated. It wasn't. Want: a job, the economy just crashed.
  5. Jumped to an agency as a front-end web dev, did that a few more times while picking up more all around skills. Want: to feel like I was able to evolve, I saw that in web development (versus web design)
  6. Got hired as web developer for a small agency. Want: a place close to home, no commute, doing the same stuff I've been doing.
  7. Now I'm working as an analytics developer. Want: remote, remote, remote.

No real game plan, just kept rolling, learn what is in front of me, learn what I don't want to learn. Just keep swimming and going. So now I use primarily JS, CSS and JS. PHP, MySQL, and a whole bunch of other stuff has been shelved for this job because it's not needed. I'm working on learning golang, ethereum and VR on my own because that is where I'd like to go. You can also notice that I started career focused and shifted to family focused once I had a career to point to.


Talk about a large shift wow! It's awesome that you had consistently thought/known about what you wanted. I think thats tough and hard to do, especially when pressures present. Big ups to you


Someone asked me if I knew how to make a website, I said yes even though I didn't, I taught myself enough to finish that website and I've never looked back since.

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