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Artur Osypenko
Artur Osypenko

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It's never too late

I believe that this post will be the start of the set of stories about my mentor's view of beginners. Today I would like to share encouraging real persons' situations who achieve their goals despite uncertainty, age, and lack of background.

I have surprising statistics. Only two-thirds of students digest the theory. In the best case, half of them successfully apply knowledge in practice. It is about the majority of my students. If I ask them what the problem is, answers would be:

  • It's still too complicated, so I won't even try.
  • It is is not my cup of tea.
  • I'm not sure I need it.
  • I think it's too late to start.

I can't get why it happens where so many free, publicly available materials are. They have even spent money on a paid course, and it is still a lot of doubts.

Mark's story

When I first met Mark, he was on the position of a House Manager in for a building company that owns a few premises. His job was in maintaining facilities, ordering supplies, hiring people to fix pipelines, or whatsoever. Mark is Ukrainian as I am, but he lives in the US. He won a Green card lottery a long time ago and built his new life, family, and career. The problem is that the company decided to reduce staff and Mark lost his job. There were not many openings for such type of work, and the nearest employer was far away from Mark's home.

Shackled by the financial difficulties, Mark went back to his unused knowledge from Polytechnical University. He knew a little how to write code. So Mark decided to go through learning JavaScript code camp, which was pretty expensive. He did good enough not to be kicked out and not enough to be in the top 10 people who likely would get a job after completing the course.

Here where I appeared. Mark decided to hire me as a tutor to help him cover all the gaps in his understanding of JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc. The reason why he chose me was simple - I'm much cheaper than any US-based mentor. We worked intensively for 2 hours a week. It was an exciting mixture of knowing how to make asynchronous AJAX requests but having no idea what parts URL consists of and whether a need in those parts.

Still, with perseverance and desire to become a Software developer, Mark expanded his knowledge in two months and what's more valuable - got on top 10 people in his code camp. When the course finished, he got three offers to junior positions and accepted one of them.

Long story short, Mark didn't miss his previous job and felt like he just did the first step in a road to an exciting adventure.

Sofia's story

The second story is about the student who was already over 30. This is the case when a student can teach a teacher. She had rich experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Her position was senior enough not to think about a lack of money. But the cons of this profession was the constant tension as such a business in Ukraine was often associated with an informal, shadowy part. She did not want to become the head of this, so she reached a so-called "glass ceiling".

Due to less interaction with a computer than the younger generation, which is known for "holding a keyboard from birth", it was more difficult for her to grasp information. But she had the advantage of higher education. I do not mean a degree in computer science. Apparently, she learned to be a pharmacist. But she was given knowledge on how to gain more knowledge.

Specifically, my course didn't help her to get a job right away, but I know that she wouldn't stop studying the front-end of technology. The question was rather not a lack of knowledge, but merely a decision - to break off relations with the current employer and build another future or stay where you are. I hope she will make the right decision for herself.

Anna's story

That's an entirely different situation. It doesn't quite fit here because Anna is quite younger than me. Yet, I would like to emphasize the lack of any professional education. Being a non-technical person, Anna, from the beginning to the end, was the best in class. The reason is that she had a lot of desire and the delight of discovering something new.

In fact, there was a little discovery for me that if you add a bit of humor to the examples or homework, you would love to do them with pleasure. Additionally, and most importantly, you could remember it better. It goes without saying not to overdo it. Otherwise, the lecture will turn into a circus.

Right after the course, Anna went as a trainee to a startup, and a year later, she became a Junior JavaScript developer. She was lucky, work turned out to be exciting and full of new things. Now she is rapidly growing as a developer.

Let's look at the key points from these stories. I put them in order of importance:

  • Find the real motivation in yourself because you will need it. The threshold for enter the front-end technology is growing every day, and you need to find strength and perseverance to make the first step.

  • The presence of higher education. In any industry. It isn't essential. You can learn about Computer Science later. As I mentioned, Universities give you skills and tools on how to gain more knowledge.

  • Have the desire to know everything, like a child has. Try to turn any routines into a game. Then it simply ceases to be a routine. Once we enjoy the process, time flows unnoticed, and we will have remembered this information for years with no extra efforts.

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