I’d spent a large amount of the last 10 years regretting the fact that I’d wasted my opportunity of a university education in the most stereotypical fashion - I’d joined a band and abandoned my studies, spending two years of tuition getting nowhere except dingy pubs in England. Since, I’d resigned myself to careers in the unskilled sector - working in the service industry, managing in retail - jobs I enjoyed but was never fully happy in.
Recently I had been managing a team in a national supermarket, a position that enabled me to find my strengths and play to them. It was during this time that I realised that I enjoyed using IT and tech to make life easier. Although this was contained largely to spreadsheets, I was able to help streamline and automate local processes that otherwise would have been left as manual.
Although I obviously enjoyed it, I ruled out a career in tech because of my lack of a degree, and that was that - right?
I had worked behind a bar previously and one of my former colleagues had recently got a job as a developer. But he had no degree! How did he do it? It occurred to me - if he can do it, why can’t I? Seeing as we were both at one point bar-monkeys, surely I could follow in his footsteps?
As it turns out, I could. He attended a course run by local tech firm Mayden- they set about training up local coding-wannabees to help solve a local workforce supply issue. Also, as it turns out, I am just the sort of person that would pass their requirements tests and be accepted onto their Full-Stack web developer course.
I spent the last few weeks of supermarket work incredibly anxious of what it would be like: it had to be super intense and focussed at a screen 8 hours a day. There was no chance I was going to be able to keep up, and I was about to make a big mistake - putting my family in financial trouble and wasting the last 2 years of getting to a decent position at work. As such, I spent a good deal of my at-home time learning as much about the languages we were going to use as my head could fit.
I turned up 2 Monday’s ago and it was….relaxed. The pace has been realistic and, although I have found it incredibly helpful doing all that extra work in advance, I probably could have (just-about) survived without.
Now, 2 weeks in, I can start to see where my career as a developer might be. It may, of course, be nowhere - only by working hard and paying attention over the next 14 weeks will I be able to influence that, but at least I find myself on the right path.
What’s been good: Building with HTML & CSS, playing with Lego
What’s been painful: Nothing. Yet….
Looking forward to: Having OOP explained to me.