The Path to Being a Developer

rfindley profile image Ryan Updated on ・2 min read

I’m sure many others have thought, “Maybe web development” when they are looking for a new career. I know I’m not the first, and likely not the first dealing with this decision in my late 30s. So even though many have dealt with this every situation is truly unique. Sharing the journey is a great way to put my own fears, anxieties and concerns out there even if all it does is clear my mind.

My first foray into web development started about 5 years ago. My wife was in school to become a graphic designer and she suggested I take a look at development. I was not happy with my job at the time and was looking for something else within my company. I dipped my toe into development, quickly realizing I had an aptitude for this work. However, I had a job offer within my company to take a new, exciting position in Colorado, a place my wife and I had been looking to move to for years.

We took the new job and spent the next 4 years traveling the country for my work. We got to go to some great places. Lassen Volcanic National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Seattle, Salt Lake City. It’s a big list (that comes with spending 160-200 nights per year in hotels) and was a great time in our lives. This year my company went through a series of mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations that resulted in my job being eliminated. I am taking this opportunity to get back into web development and looking at making a completely different career choice.

Not knowing where my future leads has been scary but also exhilarating. For the first time in a long time I feel like I can do anything. I have many concerns – will I have to move, how do I reconcile 13+ years of non-tech work experience into my resume to get my first web development job, will I remember the things I need to when it comes to coding, etc. But through all of that I’ve found a sense of enjoyment in coding that was not present in my prior career. I’ve seen a greater sense of community as well.

To date I have a minimal portfolio and know there’s a long road ahead of me. But there are so many promising aspects of my future that I can’t help but be encouraged. So many people are out there writing about how to start in this line of work, where to get experience, and just sharing their own thoughts that I feel confident I’ll be able to soon say I have a job as a web developer.

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rfindley profile



I’m a web developer working to build my experience, knowledge and portfolio. My beautiful wife Melissa and I have been married for 12+ years and currently live in Southeastern Wisconsin.


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