Success Stories

My Journey to Becoming a Developer

Jul 16, 2021

Zsiga Daniel avatar

Zsiga Daniel Junior Web Developer

The Drive


As we know, we do not always get what we want, when we want it. Everyone has its own pace and rhythm, in order to achieve certain things. We just need to be patient and no matter how hard things may seem: we need to keep moving forward and remember why we started in the first place. This is one of the things I like to tell myself whenever hardship comes my way.



How it all started


I started with “average jobs”, as some would say. Working for a fast-food restaurant and a furniture store for almost 4 years, to be more precise. During my time at the furniture store, I managed to get a friend of mine hired too and little did I know how much of an impact he would have on my professional career. He started doing a professional retraining in fact, taking programming courses. Hearing it coming from him, I could not do anything but support him, for his courage and determination into finally taking a big step to turn his life around. Besides my admiration for him, he also inspired me to discover this new world for me at that point, called IT.


And so, I did, getting into one of the greatest University on this planet earth called The Internet, being able to learn from its finest teachers like Google and YouTube. On YouTube is where I found everything someone needs, to become a developer. I started from web development: HTML, CSS then JavaScript etc. Basically, the base of any website. Tutorials helped me understand what HTML is and what I can do with it. I began writing, testing to see what happens, what it does, what tags should I use and so on.



The results were starting to show up


After a while of learning HTML, next thing I learned was CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). As the name implies it, it manages the styling for websites. I spent a lot of time on CSS, as I wanted to be able to recreate websites just by looking at them and know everything there is to know regarding the stylings used for the elements. So, I did, and after about three months of CSS I was building websites… like no tomorrow together with something else. My confidence. By this point, I started to feel quite confident, something that helped me tackle the next though subject: JavaScript.


I remember just sitting there, watching my first JavaScript tutorial, trying to understand something out of it. It was a three-hour video from FreeCodeCamp on YouTube. I kept coming back to this video, during the time I was learning programming, understanding more and more everytime. It was like a constant check on my progress. I started web development out of curiosity and along the way, something else was coming: the feeling of accomplishment. Every time I was finding a solution to a problem I was having on my personal projects, making me realize I really like coding, problem-solving, working my brain to get to the solution.



Next step: Applying for a job!


In November 2019, with only a couple of projects added to my portfolio, I took my chance and attended an IT career fair, where I met all sorts of people and applied to a lot of companies. One thing that stood out to me regarding the career fair was that no one seemed to be bothered by the fact that I didn't have academic studies regarding IT (a course or a diploma). Although I didn’t land a job, this only encouraged me to deepen my studies, so I started working on more personal projects that I added to my portfolio, reaching up to 5 in total, covering things I learned like website responsiveness to API calls, projects made with Vue.js, a JavaScript framework and many more.


I started to apply to jobs left and right, and in October 2020, Eureka! I found ANT! Or better said, they found me. After three interviews, I finally got my first job as a developer. As the “newbie” in this area, I was feeling quite nervous to be honest but the people I met at ANT were just great to work with and easy to talk to. The atmosphere was relaxed, and you could tell from the very beginning that people here were first and foremost humans, creating an environment you can trust and feel comfortable within. Eight months now, I can only say how happy I am to be here. My collogues are just great, I made friends, friends that helped me to become a better developer. I have their full support in learning and trying my best to improve and dabble in all sorts of new technologies and experiment with them as much as I can.



Retrospective


Looking at it back now, it wasn’t necessarily easy, to become a developer, by learning everything by yourself. Just thinking about the fact that after a long day at work, I was going home and had to start all over again, learning new things every day for at least 2 to 3 hours, makes me realize how much self-discipline, dedication, and hard work it takes. Let alone all the questions like "Can I even learn all this?", "Will I ever be good enough at this?", "Am I going down the right path?". Questions that didn’t necessarily have an answer. Question that make you feel unsure at times. But the only question that truly matters, as I found out, is “Am I enjoying this?". If the answer is “Yes”, then you’re on the right path, as everything else will come together eventually.