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Michael Lee πŸ•
Michael Lee πŸ•

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What has your developer journey looked like?

I'm curious about what has everyone's journey into being a developer and as a developer or even after has looked like. Like a choose our own adventure, I feel like a developer's journey could look very different from one person to another. In sharing I hope we could show others how they can potentially navigate their careers.

You could also share what you aspire to. Perhaps you're a certain type of developer and would like to aspire to a certain role or career path.

Here's a little template that could be fun to help visualize your journey for others.

[Role title]
Description
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[Role title]
Description
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[Role title]
Description
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-- <-- indicates where you'd like to go but not there yet.
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[Future or aspirational title]
This could be where you'd like to go in your career. Could be based on a path as a developer or not.
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Discussion (22)

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highcenburg profile image
Vicente G. Reyes
[Sales Consultant]
Chevrolet Philippines 
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[Customer Service Representative] 
Telus Int'l Philippines 
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[Federal Land Inc.]
Real estate sales
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[Int'l Marketing Consultant] 
Century Properties Inc. 
[Customer Service Representative] 
Convergys Philippines
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[Business Development Executive] 
AAFM Corp. 
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[Relationship Manager] 
Cartrack Philippines
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[Freelance Developer]
Rave For Good, Herb Guard
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[Django Develiper Intern] 
IdeaMakr
--
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[CTO]
My own tech solutions studio
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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ• Author

Thanks @highcenbug for sharing. Would love to hear how you made the transition from Relationship Manager to Freelance Developer were you self teaching yourself leading up to the transition? Or did you take a course of some sort?

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highcenburg profile image
Vicente G. Reyes

Hi Michael, I hold an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. I somewhat retained the memory of some of the lessons I've learned while I was still in college hence the transition was not too difficult in my case.

While I was a Relationship Manager, I tried to build & customize my own Shopify store on my free time which led me to discovering GitHub, which then led me to freeCodeCamp, and some courses on Udemy, LinkedIn Learning & on Skillshare.

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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ• Author

Very cool! Were you in undergrad somewhere along the timeline you shared or did you have your degree before working?

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highcenburg profile image
Vicente G. Reyes

No, I was a college undergraduate. πŸ˜„

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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ• Author

Very cool! Thanks for sharing :) Really dig the journey you took. Looks like you have a lot of experience as a non-developer. Would you say some of the skills you have from your prior jobs helps as a developer? Really believe it would.

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highcenburg profile image
Vicente G. Reyes

Definitely! Working in a call center somewhat helped me gain an understanding of how people living in Canada and Australia think. Sales taught me how to stand my ground and persuade πŸ˜„. Being a Business Development Executive in a startup taught me how to think & create strategies on my own(aligned with the companies vision, of course). And being a Relationship Manager taught me how to sell in a building-a-relationship-with-the-client manner πŸ˜„

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daedtech profile image
Erik Dietrich • Edited

This looks like some fun in the "what a long, strange trip its been" sense, so I'll give it a whirl.

[CS Student]
Started out with a BS in computer science.
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[Software Quality Engineer]
First programming job was somewhere they looked for 5 years experience or a Masters in CS, so I was hired with this "probationary" title.
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[Software Engineer]
After about 9 months, probationary title removed, worked on a variety of projects ranging from web development to embedded systems and kernel module programming.  Worked here a long time, left with unofficial tech lead responsibilities.
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[Senior Software Engineer]
Moved to a different job, better title, working on a different tech stack.  Continued doing tech lead activities, started to earn architect cred.
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[Senior Consultant]
A few years later, jumped ship again, worked for a while in an app dev body shop
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[Dev Manager]
Took a job managing a team of software developers at a small company.
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[CIO]
Promoted at the same company, took over running all of IT.
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[Dev Trainer/Coach/Freelancer]
Got tired of working for others, went into business for myself, doing some contract app dev, but mostly training devs in TDD/XP practices.
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[IT Management Consultant]
Found that coaching gigs naturally led to proper management consulting gigs, which were more lucrative, so focused on that for a number of years.  Eventually left after weariness with 4 years of 100% travel.
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[Founder/Business Owner]
Started a content marketing agency that specializes in helping dev tools companies.  
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-- 
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[Early Retirement]
Go back to spending my days writing code, but for the love of the game instead of for paying my mortgage.

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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ• Author

Erik, thanks for sharing! Loved reading about your journey. Curious what the transition was from CIO to freelancing/consulting. Was it a big jump to make this transition or were you working towards this with a financial cushion?

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daedtech profile image
Erik Dietrich

I did set aside some runway, but also stacked the deck in a few other ways in my favor. I agreed to consult for the company as they transitioned to a new CIO, and I had a few other engagements lined up for when I left, as well. So, it was a combination of runway and bookings out of the gate. (I also had a working spouse, so that's a help as well, of course)

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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ• Author

Very cool, thanks for sharing Erik!

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lbonanomi profile image
lbonanomi


Youthful attempt to program chatbot to simulate friendship. 
Discovered if I stayed awake long enough computer would talk to me anyway.
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Friend gives me a shell on his Linux desktop.
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Uni (CJ/Sociology), college gives me shell on SPARC Ultra 10 host. I goof-off 
in UNIX lab, hawking my services to CS students who cannot tar-up their final 
exams for submission.
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Fall-into alleged web "Startup", never see a dime.
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Convince social services internship to let me code an intranet database 
application, trade on this for the next 10 years.
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Sell service as "IT consultant": install printer drivers, berate Limewire users, 
babysit samba install on Fedora. Learn to tear-down a wide 
format printer to make mechanical repairs, service blueprinting machines, 
that I don't like Windows 
servers.
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Clients discover Fedora boxes need little maintenance and that leasing 
large format printers is much cheaper than having an on-call geek; they cut 
my hours to about 4 per-month per-client.
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Take helpdesk job, have related nervous breakdown in public.
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End-up at repair desk at CompUSA, learn professional deportment and some humility. 
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Laptop tech for Dell, learn that I hate driving for a living.
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Answer Craigslist ad, get job at NYSE. Cower at NYSE hiring through staffing 
agencies that troll Craigslist, sell stock portfolio for cost of a pizza.
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Trade money for self-respect, join Thomson Financial as apps analyst. Fall in 
love with job. Go on-call for 4 years, sweat blood, help to shepherd integration 
with Reuters. Make lifelong friends, visit India to train new ops shift. Learn 
important lessons in cross-cultural communication, potency of Indian beer.
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Get bored, join established company that manages AI-augmented IT services as 
automation developer. Discover proprietary platforms and hard-partying culture are 
not my thing.
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Go to current employer, learn quite a bit about workplace culture-fit. Sit on 
floor in front of Bell Labs programmers who regale me with stories about the 
adolescence of UNIX, debug goofy LISP problems with a guy with plaque on desk for 
his role in invention of the blue LASER. 

Stop styling myself as old-man-UNIX.

Launch a fleet of Jira hosts, cluster Github Enterprise, do various weird and 
ugly chores no one else who can has time for. 
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---
???
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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ• Author • Edited
[Freelance web developer]
Dabbled in freelancing as a web developer using self-taught skills on HTML, 
CSS (Thanks Chris Coyier) and JavaScript
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[CS student at NCSU]
After dropping out twice from schools, I met the love of my life and decided I
needed to finish school and decided to pursue a degree in computer science 
as it felt like the correct journey into a developer career
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[Web developer/designer]
Was a web developer and designer for an online clothing store. Found the job 
off of Craigslist. Learned a lot about ecommerce and marketing.
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[Web developer]
Worked for an agency converting Photoshop mockups to websites run on 
Wordpress and custom PHP applications. Also found job off of Craigslist.
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[Front-end developer]
First stint at a local startup as a front-end developer learning what it felt like 
to be on a product team with other devs, product managers and designers.
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[Senior web developer for NCSU]
Worked for the communication department of my alma mater. Learned what 
it was like to do development within a higher education role.
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[Senior software engineer]
Worked for a medical startup. Learned a lot about electronic health record 
systems and about the health industry in general from working here. 
Fell in love with Ember.js.
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[Interaction designer]
In this role it was moving away from a pure developer role and more of a design role. 
This was my attempt to see what it felt like to be on the design side of product
management. Learned a great deal. Especially about design systems and how to better 
communicate between design and developers.
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[CTO]
Currently I serve as the CTO of an agency. Crafting software solutions for our customers 
and their users, mentoring developers and advising on how technology could be 
used to solve problems. This has been the most challenging role in my career. 
Imposter syndrome is always at peak, but am also comforted that I have a team of 
super smart people that help me do my job better.
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--
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[Business owner]
I'd like to aspire to being a business owner. Be it a software product or perhaps an 
analog business. I'd like to build a business that solves problems and serves customers 
in my unique way. I'd also like to use the business as a vehicle to help others be it other 
developers or non-developers. I'd also like to use it as a way to mentor more using the 
skills and knowledge I have gained.
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emmanguiang profile image
emmanguiang • Edited

Here's my 3 years journey for now.

[Electronics Engineering Student at PLM, PH]
Studied some basic coding like c and matlab.
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[Associate Software Engineer]
Accenture Inc.
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[Application Development Analyst next level from ASE]
Accenture Inc.
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[Senior Software Engineer next level from ADA]
Accenture Inc.
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[Full Stack Developer]
Willis Towers Watson
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[Full Stack Developer]
Hammerjack Ltd.
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[CTO]
My own startup company together with my trusted friends :)

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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ• Author

Wow that's a great advancement in 3 years! Hope you achieve your CTO dream soon. Definitely working with good people is a highlight.

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charlexmachina profile image
Carlos Eduardo PΓ©rez Villanueva • Edited

[CS Student]
Just the basics.
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[Freelancer web developer]
Mainly static websites for small businesses and Wordpress blogs
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[Full time .NET Developer]
At a relatively big hospital here in Nicaragua. My biggest career achievmement yet
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[Game Developer]
Managed to publish my first game on mobile platforms called "Eden: Fruit Catcher Game".
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|--
[Game Developer]
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Have my own game development studio and a portfolio of high quality games.

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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ• Author

Very cool Carlos! Congrats on the .NET position and publishing your first game! That's a huge accomplishment!

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charlexmachina profile image
Carlos Eduardo PΓ©rez Villanueva

Thanks! It's been a journey for sure and I still have A LOT to learn, but I still try to keep moving forward even when problems get complex or impostor's syndrome attacks :D

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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ• Author

Oh man tell me about imposter's syndrome...I've learned that taking tiny steps forwards helps with the sometimes paralyzing effects of imposter's syndrome.

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moink_tdr profile image
moink

[Bachelor's student of engineering science, focus on aerospace engineering]
Took required courses in C, FPGAs, Smalltalk. Almost got lured away from aerospace engineering by computer engineering because I loved both. For my Bachelor's thesis, wrote a Java applet to teach a fluid dynamics concept

[Master's Student in Aerospace Engineering]
For my thesis, wrote a flight simulator for an experimental aircraft my colleagues were building, prototyped in Matlab and implemented in C

[PhD student in Aeronautics and Astronautics]
Developed a new optimization algorithm, applied to aircraft design, and implemented it in Matlab. Ported an ancient Fortran IV aerodynamic code to Matlab. Dabbled in Python for the first time and loved it

[Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering]
Didn't code much myself but supervised students and postdocs who did. Found academia wasn't really for me.

[Aeronautical Engineer]
Worked in a group to design a specific part. Automated the analysis process with Python.

[Lifecycle Engineer]
Weird title but it essentially meant I did a lot of statistics to predict failures in aircraft parts. Automated a good chunk of the job using Python

[Data Scientist at Aerospace Engineering firm]
Current, new, role. Title is data scientist but the team is so small I am now essentially a full stack developer. I can do data science and Python but I know nothing about the front end so I have a lot to learn.

--

I don't know where I want to go. I am enjoying developing full time for now. I don't want to go into management so my options may be limited.

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daganev profile image
Daganev

[Video Game Player]
Kid playing video games
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[Artist]
Kid learning to use Corel Draw and Photoshop
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[Computing Art Major]
Learned to make fine art with computers.
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[Flash Developer]
Making kids games and video players
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[Backend Developer]
As flash died, tried millions of different things.
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[DevOps Architect]
Current job.
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-- <-- indicates where you'd like to go but not there yet.
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--[Developer Coach, trainer, teacher]
I want to help people and the industry get better.
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--[CTO]
One day...

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iamshivampandey profile image
Shivam Pandey

Here's my journey, It's an inspiring one.

dev.to/iamshivampandey/my-story-so-far-as-a-developer-1e38