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Maya
Maya

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How I decided to become a web developer at age 35

This is a thumbs up for all those who believe it is never too late to change direction later in life.
My career path has been anything but linear. I have always been a curious person, eager to learn new things so it has always been difficult for me to commit to a course or study or a career for a lifetime. I studied political science and worked for nearly 10 years in the non-profit and public sector. After a while, I became restless and decided that I needed a change. I have always been a big art lover so I first started to venture into the world of design so because I was in full-time employment at the time I opted for a part-time study and enrolled for a distance learning degree in visual communications at the Open College of the Arts (UK). Meanwhile, I discovered SuperHi, an online school targeted at designers and other creative professionals who want to learn coding. Because the tutors are very engaging and available and the projects are fun and visually very appealing, SuperHi is what really got me hooked on coding! After passing foundational HTML, CSS and JavaScript I took a deep dive with other frameworks and technologies: React, Wordpress, Shopify, Ruby on Rails...
In 2019 I moved to Italy taking a career break. I had time to focus on my studies and improve my programming skills. I took part in a three-month intensive bootcamp organized by Aulab, a software house in Bari, which in addition to the front-end fundamentals also gave me an introduction to back-end coding with Laravel. At the end of the course and after a few short gigs, I was lucky to be hired for my first developer job at Avanade where I am now working on large-scale enterprise applications using Angular.
It has been and still is a bumpy ride. For people like me with humanitarian training and atypical background programming has a particularly steep learning curve. I still continue to learn every day and try to add new skills to my tool box. This year I am also taking courses in UX/UI Design since I would like to move more into UI and/or mobile development.
Starting anew at age 35 is definitely not easy and it can be humbling to have colleagues who are much younger than you and with much more experience to coach you. You have to leave your ego behind and adopt a growth mindset - although it will be tough, don't think "I can't do this", but rather "I can't do this... yet."

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