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Stephanie Morillo
Stephanie Morillo

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How did you end up in your current role?

Hey DEV community! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿฝ

If you work in an engineering or engineering-adjacent role: how did you end up in your role? What has the hardest thing been for you? What do you like about your role?

Iโ€™ve been in tech for almost eight years (after switching careers) and Iโ€™m now on an engineering team! Previous to this, I was a content strategist on a developer relations team. I graduated with my Masterโ€™s in User Experience Design over the summer.

Iโ€™ve been in my current role for five months, and Iโ€™m a Senior Technical Program Manager on a web eng team. I ended up on my team serendipitously, the result of a re-org. My new manager selected me to lead a specific program, and I learned most of the role on the job (including Agile).

Iโ€™m now five months in and so grateful for the switch! Iโ€™m learning so much about myself and how to leverage my strengths in a completely new role. Itโ€™s not easy going from doing something you had years of experience in and was confident in to being a newb, but Iโ€™m energized by the work. Iโ€™m taking a related course, Iโ€™ve read quite a number of books, and spent some time looking at online tutorials for aspects related to my new job. And Iโ€™m excited to share that opportunities to do work that aligns with my UX degree is on the roadmap.

I look forward to hearing about your experiences!

Top comments (20)

kbono profile image
Jose Manuel Viloria • Edited

It all started when I was 15 that I started being a "Sysadmin" for a rather small organization of people (We were only two ๐Ÿ˜…), we kept going for at least a whole year were I was in charge of Development support for the people who wanted to host their stuff but didn't know much about coding, keeping our infrastructure up and running and automatizing pretty much everything so I could stop doing repetitive work day after day.

I had to drop it for college, fast forward two years, had to drop college because of the entire Venezuelan situation.

Started doing freelancing, managed to save little money here and there while I was basically the pillar of my entire house.

Stuff went down in Venezuela and I had to leave (like pretty much every young citizen who wanted to remain mentally stable and without an empty tummy)

Started as a Full Stack Developer (Mostly NodeJS and Golang) in a big Portuguese company for a couple years, got kicked due to a shady budget cutout, moved to another big brand here in Spain and here I am, leading some of the cloud architecture for projects based on Document Management while still, automating stuff that consumes time with Go :).

I'm 26, born on April 21st and that's pretty much it.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I took an entrepreneurial path which means no specialization, lots of generalization, lots of hectic self-learning.

So I've slightly different roles, and evolving capacities to get stuff done, but I've basically had the title of "technical founder" the whole time.

egilhuber profile image
erica (she/her)

I'm a product of being in the right place at the right time! I'm a bootcamp grad, and the bootcamp I attended sets up opportunities for graduates to present their final projects to companies. One of those presentations turned into a "Let's see how you work with the team." From there, I did those trial-run days. Those around me wanted me to keep looking.

I ignored them and now I love my job.

madebygps profile image
Gwyneth Peรฑa-Siguenza

I dropped out of college after one semester; I was living in Ecuador at the time. I then moved back to the US and got a job as a repair tech at an Apple Store. I soon got tired of being treated like crap by the customers so I quit and landed a help desk role. I started to teach myself how to code and got an AWS certification, after a year and a half I landed my current job as a Cloud engineer, I've been in this role for almost two years now.

rjmoise profile image

At the end of my college program we had a Capstone project that was meant to showcase everything we learned during our time there. Companies from the area came to see what we worked on and I was offered a job that same day as a Jr Software Developer. After 3 years there I wasn't feeling like it was good for my future so I moved on to become a Problem Analyst. I was only there for 6 months before realizing it wasn't a good fit for me. Luckily for me a previous company I had interviewed with was sending me offers to join there team so I did, landing me in my current position of Cloud Developer.

bhavaniravi profile image
Bhavani Ravi

This is an interesting story. I was blogging for almost a year and made one open-source contribution.

Here is how I did it?

Fast forward, I was casually looking for a job which was more challenging; I found this cool research team working on the life sciences domain.

I walked into their lab one day and showed my pandas contribution code and they showed me some of their work, that was the interview

2 days later I had my offer at hand.

dougaws profile image

I currently write code examples in Go for AWS docs. I got here by:

  1. Working as a journalist for the university newspaper while getting my CS degree (go OSU Beavers!)
  2. Hiring on at Tektronix in the mid-1980s as a technical writer, although I had no idea such a career existed.
  3. Working as a contract writer from 1988 to 1999.
  4. Taking a Java certificate class at UW.
  5. Working as a Java dev in downtown Seattle during the .COM days.
  6. Going back to work as a contractor at Microsoft (C#, what's that?).
  7. Taking a Ruby class as part of an online UW class.
  8. Getting hired at Amazon in 2015 as the first writer tasked with working solely on an SDK (Ruby, but you knew that).
  9. Discovering Go and digging it. Now I get to write Go code daily, while mentoring the new folks.
etozzato profile image
Emanuele ๐Ÿ•

Not the last role, but my first US job: I was visiting a friend that put his office for sub-lease on craigslist. I was just checking my email when the new tenant came in and asked if I came with the furniture. They asked if I knew Ruby and I said I was a master, so they told me I could choose my desk. And that's how I met Miley Cyrus and subsequentially landed a dream job at PlayStation. <3

bschandramohan profile image
bschandramohan • Edited

Close to 20 years in the software industry and have worked on various technologies for desktop, web, mobile (Android and hybrid), and backend apps. I made a conscious decision to move away from Android to Backend 2 years back and now enjoying the micro-services paradigm and its challenges.

moreurgentjest profile image
more-urgent-jest • Edited

I am in my late fourties, have been working in IT for over 20 years and don't dance ... at least not ballroom. My first degree was in Arts and I discovered an interest in computing as I was finishing that. Then I enrolled in some vocational training and after another 2 years got my certificate and my first fulltime IT job as a publications programmer working with Omnimark, SGML and XML. After 3 years I decided to study computer science part time as I found the vocational training background limiting. When that was finished I got another job as a .Net developer doing a mix of back end and Web development, where I stayed 10 years, mostly because it was convenient, I liked most my colleagues and didn't have much to do with the toxic company culture. After 10 years I quit and it took me 3 weeks to find a new job as a .Net web developer in a great team, which I left after about 3 years to move overseas. Now I have been working in a new role as .Net developer, have been doing a bit of win forms as well as web development. It's been challenging to start new roles after a 10 year stint, but it's also been rewarding. I would like to go back to my previous job though since there were some really strong developers on that team that I felt that I could learn a lot from.

heatherw profile image
Heather Williams

After getting a degree in chemistry I began working as a technical content editor for an EdTech start up. After some time of picking up odds and ends of coding I was given the opportunity to move over to dev at the same company. Several years and lots of MOOCS later (massive open online courses) I have learnt the skills I need to do my work efficiently. It took two years of hard work taking course work part time and working full time but it was fully worth it.

petr7555 profile image
Petr Janik • Edited

At the age of 16 when students in Czechia take dance classes, I fell in love with dancing and joined a dance team. Then I started dancing with a girl who is now my girlfriend and whose friend's dance partner works in IT. He told me his comany was hiring an intern for GUI testing with Selenium. I got hired and after one year I moved to a different team of the company and now I am a Java developer. Throughout the time I have come to realize how many people who dance also work in IT.

cheukting_ho profile image
Cheuk Ting Ho ๐Ÿ

I become a full-time Developer Advocate for almost half a year now. Loving it. Before the transition, I was a data scientist but always love doing (and spending "too much" time on) community work (speaking at conferences, contribute to open-source, organise events). So after reaching out to a few DevRel friends and getting some tips, I am lucky to find a job ad from a mailing list and get my dream role.

kerldev profile image
Kyle Jones

I've been working in tech as a software engineer for around 5 years now, with my current position being my longest stint.

My previous role was at a company developing software for life insurance providers and I felt like the company was on a downward trajectory both in terms of the culture and the technology in use.
One evening I happened upon an article about a local AI startup getting funding to expand so I visited their website, and sent an email expressing my interest and asking if any positions were available or would soon be available.

I got an email back pretty quickly asking me to send across a CV and to meet at a coffee shop for a short chat.
I then got invited to do a short coding challenge in my own time and to come to an interview.

I joined the company around 3 years ago now, we've grown from around 7 employees when I first joined to around 50 now, with the runway looking pretty positive.

cmohan profile image
Catherine Mohan

I've been programming since high school but actually got my Bachelors in Materials Engineering. After discovering that I am not a good fit for the rigid structure of a chem lab (though chemistry is awesome), I fell back to my computer roots and worked as an IT tech at the help desk at my college. After graduation I had some false starts, getting laid off from my jobs as a technical project manager at a tech startup and then again as an IT Tech at an MSP. Fortunately, I applied for and got a contract help desk position at my current company. That turned into a senior IT tech full time role and then into a promotion to my current role as an IT Engineer.

I'm very excited that I now have time to develop and that I'm highly encouraged to. The other engineers on my team do a lot of scripting, but I've been able to branch out into actually applications. I just finished my first C# program for our Office Management team to track meeting room usage using data from Microsoft Graph. Those stats are something they've been asking about for years and it's really great to be able to finally give them something.