This series is a summary of how I experienced the career change. Like what were the considerations, and what tips I picked up for successful job hunting. This blog series serves as an outline for a meetup presentation, which I gave at the end of May tom y fellow bootcampers.
Originally, I graduated as a geologist and environmental engineer, and I completed the latter in Denmark, where I ended up staying. I worked in an environmental analysis laboratory for 6 years as a lab technician, chemical engineer. During my maternity leave, I was "bored," or rather, my mind craved some challenges amidst all the baby talk and peekaboo. I was looking for a hobby that I could do with the materials I already had and in stolen moments. I had a couple of relatives who worked or work in IT, and they recommended the path of web development, specifically. They were right; everything was there, and you could easily start online. So I dabbled in HTML and CSS.
After the maternity leave (which lasted for 8 months), I went back to work, but in a different position that I didn't really like. Despite expressing my desire to regain my previous position at work, unfortunately, it didn't happen. That's when the idea of a career change started brewing in my mind, but I didn't feel brave enough yet, and I wasn't sure if development was the right path for me (especially with just a little knowledge of HTML and CSS). So I looked for an affordable part-time bootcamp. It was a bootcamp in Hungary (where I'm from), completely online, 2 afternoons per week for 5 hours in all. It was feasible to do it alongside work, and the best part was that we followed a structured curriculum. That was something I missed in self-study.
After a few months, due to personal reasons, I realized that I didn't want to be a lab technician and wanted to break free from that industry. I knew that job hunting with 8-year-old diplomas and zero experience wouldn't be great, so I contemplated switching careers altogether since I was in the same place. Plus, I enjoyed development more; it was full of challenges (as it always is in the beginning), but since the tech industry is constantly changing, I knew it would always be filled with challenges. And that's what I always craved.
So I knew I wanted to change careers, but how? The part-time course was already paid for (3 + 4 + 3 months). My family saw two options:
- Continue as before, alongside work. While not feeling great at my job and, as a result, being able to dedicate less time to learning. This would make the career change slower, but financially, nothing would change.
- Quit my job and invest 120% into learning, treating it as my "new job." This would likely lead to faster progress, but we would lose one income.
Fortunately, it was possible for me to quit my job, and that's what I did. My new job was 8 hours a day of practicing, struggling with the curriculum. Luckily, I managed to establish a routine and system, so I actually sat down to learn for several hours every day. However, after a while, I felt quite lonely. My husband went to work, the little troublemaker went to daycare, and my classmates also went to work. So I couldn't really share my successes or failures during the day. I knew I had to start networking to reduce this kind of loneliness. As a first step, I arranged a weekly practice session (called JS Seance) with my classmates, which brought us closer together and helped a lot in terms of coding and building friendships.
Motivation is essential for a career change, and fortunately, I didn't lack it. The reason might be occasional bouts of guilt (the family's financial situation changed due to me), and my personality also played a role. I'm the type of person that once I set my mind on something, it has to happen. I had decided that I wanted to change careers, and that was my sole focus. In fact, my biggest goal was to get a job in the IT industry in that same year when I started, regardless of the location or salary. I had to be part of the tech industry.
This kind of attitude was evident in my exam projects, which will be elaborated in the next section 😊
Thank you for reading this personal part! How and why did you get into development? Let's share our personal experiences!