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What was your Dev Journey?

Hi all!

I'm a fairly new currently self taught computer science aspiring to be a game dev, but testing the waters as a web dev.

I've been teaching myself for roughly 3-4 months trying to grasp the basics and bouncing from one Udemy course and YouTube video to another.

Last week, I took on a task that was honestly a bit above my skill range. Creating a fully functional Weather Forecast app with React.js. This would be my first solo project with little to no handholding. I wanted to test out how much I've learnt and see if I could google my way through the challenges!

I'm still working on it but if you're curious, check the repo out on GitHub. Feedback, comments and general motivation would be much appreciated.

I'm determined to make more complicated projects and perfect my skills so I can start marketing them.

Well that's my journey so far. Drop yours below, whether you've been in the dev life for decades or if you just bought a course on Udemy yesterday, I'm genuinely curious!

Thanks for reading and good luck to you all.

Top comments (20)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

My dev journey:

  • I learned to build websites when I was ~13 on my friend's computer. I was really into it, and pretty good. But it didn't immediately become a major part of my life β€” likely because I didn't have much computer access at home.
  • In college I happened to take a degree path which required intro to computer science courses. This got me more into coding, but I didn't think "real" development was up my alley.
  • I graduated with the expectation to go into marketing, but in my first job at a small tech company, I found that the software development was where the magic happened. So I went back to the drawing board and taught myself the rest of what I needed to get into software development "for real". πŸ˜…
madza profile image

This is inspirational! πŸ’―πŸ‘βœ¨

thekillerrex27 profile image

That's really cool! I'm glad to see you got into it even at the very end. That's kind of inspiring.

envoy_ profile image
Vedant Chainani

My Journey -

  • There was one guy in our locality who was going for computer classes he introduced me to coding when I was 14. I joined that class later and completed C and C++ in like a year. Then I took a break due to school stuff.
  • After That I got Interested in Automation and Discord Bots so I learned Python and by myself and then got interested in Web Development and Learned HTML ,CSS and JavaScript.
  • Now I am pretty busy studying for college and just learning Blockchain and Solidity as a side task πŸ˜…
andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

I started to learn programming in College and then I went to University and studied Computer Science. After that I did some freelancing and worked for a few companies. I made the most progress through self learning which helped me to get better at JavaScript and I taught myself React.

I remember seeing in job descriptions that companies were open to teaching you frameworks if you did not know them. In my experience they chose to hire someone who already knew the framework. So to give yourself a chance you usually had to teach yourself how to use it prior to applying for those roles.

thekillerrex27 profile image

That sounds hard. I have a bit of a break because I enjoy reading and learning more. I hope you enjoyed your learning phase too.

martyhimmel profile image
Martin Himmel

I definitely took a long and non-traditional route.

  • Read both C and C++ for Dummies books in my teenage years. I got stuck on the idea of pointers and references. Bailed on it.
  • Started college in 2000 while working as a dental technician. Got married and started a family, bailed on college (eventually got a worthless degree in General Studies in 2010), and turned my dental tech. job into an unintentional career.
  • 2004, while playing a lot of Diablo II with my brother-in-law, I was looking up some info on the game. Got the crazy idea of thinking it would be cool to learn how to build websites, and started searching for tutorials online. Made my first website with table layouts in XHTML (a couple years passed before I learned about CSS). It was a terrible site but I had so much fun learning and building it.
  • Web development was on again/off again until 2014. In those 10 years, I learned HTML5, CSS, PHP, MySQL, JS (which I didn't use much and quickly forgot), and jQuery (same issue as vanilla JS). Built maybe a site a year during that time.
  • 2014, I decided I had had enough with the dental tech. career. I got really introspective and figured out why I stuck with it for as long as I did (basically came down to it was stable and I was good at it), and that wasn't good enough. It was time to chase my childhood dream of programming (technically, game development at Nintendo, but I learned a lot over the years and decided against that specific direction). I joined a Meetup group of Ruby developers (it was the only developer group near me). At the first meeting I attended, someone gave a presentation on JS and Ember. I decided I should probably learn JS (up to that point, I focused mostly on the back end). I spent the next 6 months diving deep into JS and learning it by remaking an NES game (Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior) - this part is another story altogether that I might write about some day. I also learned Java and did some Android development during all this.
  • 2015, I ended up finding a fully remote job doing both Android and WordPress development, and jumped on it. It was bittersweet leaving the dental lab I worked at for the previous 5 years, but that was my career-changing opportunity, so I ran with it.
  • That company fell apart 9 months later. I found another job 3 months later that was in the eLearning space. I helped build a ton of WordPress plugins and customizations for the platform. I worked there for 4 and a half years, while doing some freelance work here and there, and taught coding as I found people who were interested in it (including a couple co-workers, one of which ended up going from design to development).
  • My current role is lead developer at a company that does online auctions/fundraising for non-profit organizations. The funny thing is they found me at a coffee shop with code on my screen and me wearing a DEV t-shirt, so they figured I was a developer and they were looking for one. After talking with them, I ended up doing freelance work for about a year, then came on full time in mid-2020.

Looking back on this, I should probably write a full post on my journey. πŸ˜…

gabrielpedroza profile image
Gabriel Pedroza

I've been a frontend web dev for about a year and half and I should really recommend you to stick with html, css and js until u get comfortable with it. I jumped prematurely to react and it just made things more difficult for me. Currently, I'm trying to perfect my knowledge and fill every hole I have in html, css and js so I can confidently move to react again. I also went the self-taught route because my college doesn't teach frontend or even js. At the end of the day, do what works for you but from what you've said, you should reconsider making a project in react.

thekillerrex27 profile image

Thanks for the advice. Honestly jumping into React may have been a bit quick for me, I'll look into just filling out any gap in knowledge I have right now.

cerchie profile image
Lucia Cerchie • Edited

My professional timeline is:

  • literacy teacher
  • digital marketer
  • bootcamp -- first line of code written when I was 26 years old
  • first job as a developer at a GraphQL startup

I find that people frequently underestimate the value of their previous roles in tech. I use the skills I learned as a teacher and digital marketer every day!

wrench1815 profile image
Hardeep Kumar

People usually brush up like "nah bro you lying that's just flex" whenever i tell them how it all started. But anyways i don't care.

It all started when i was a kid amnd used computer for the first time. We went to the lab and were shown a computer, there was pain program open and were told to use it. It was fun but then i accidentally closed it and wanted to open it again so i used start menu and open command prompt thinking it's paint. There i saw it said to type "help" and so i did thinking it will open it up. (I've read many books of computer amd was very fascinated about them so i atleast knew some basics of how things work) Then i saw there various commands and i started to try each if em (thank goodness i didn't break anything lol) and then i reached tree command. I used it and first words that came were "wow". And that was the point when a spark was lit in me.

I know sounds dramatic and well scripted but ye that's truth. Accept it or not.

Now years later when i was in 11th standard, i tool cs subject and not physical education so that I'll get to use computers. 1 month into classes, purchased books and all, at home i was reading cs book for homework that we were given. Got bored and started to see what else was in there. Chapter no 6: programming with c++ 3rd page, example program: Hello world. I read code and said "interesting. So that's how it all works? ". In next 2 weeks, i cleared basics in my own while we were still on chapter 1 about input output devices and started to explore more with a new friend that i made who was already into computers.

And today, I'm a full stack developer (still a college student though) in Django, DRF + Nuxt. And my level of expertise in programming is way beyond that even all my professors combined can't compare. well that's exaggeration but truth is truth and 2 professors who I'm in good terms said that themselves.

gmf002 profile image
George Fazio
  • BASIC on TRS-80s and various Apple 2s in junior high, and Commodore VIC-20/C64/C128 at home
  • 1988 - COBOL in high school VoTech
  • 1990 - AP CompSci split between high school VoTech and Penn State Abington - PASCAL, SPSS, and some dBase 4 for relational DB experience
  • 1992 - Dropped out of Penn State
  • 1994 - Vocational associates degree in Computer Engineering
  • 1993 - 1998 Hardware repair at various places
  • 1998 - 2000 Y2K OS and hardware upgrades, data migrations
  • 2000 - 2020 Systems administration - Windows, Active Directory, Kerberos, LDAP, Email, Certificates, and some UNIX stuff
  • 2020 - 6 month rotation into .NET development department at current employer
  • 2021 - Accepted offer for permanent transfer to the .NET dev group

And, I'm still there. Most of the time I'm just happy to finally be doing what I always wanted to do.

mhmxs profile image
Richard Kovacs

I wrote an article few months ago

sixpounder profile image
Andrea Coronese • Edited
  • I had my first computer, an Amiga 500, at the age of 6. My parents bought me something they tought was a publication about games but really was a guide to programming on Amiga and I wrote my first "hello world" at the age of 9-10 (can't quite remember)

  • I studied computer science at high school and kept going in college

  • Started working as a developer in 2006 and been doing it since

  • As life goes, I specialized on web frontend applications but I've seen a lot, including mainframe PL1/Cobol and stuff.

  • Currently working as software architect at my company

  • Got hooked up in Rust in the last 3 years and re-discovered C as well. Good old times :)

snelson1 profile image
Sophia Nelson

Nice post

killerkvothe117 profile image
Kosi Iyiegbu

Hey this is a nice start...looking forward to seeing how the journey goes
Keep practicing

thekillerrex27 profile image

Thank you!

imagineeeinc profile image

i am actually writing a a
whole post on that, but my famous procrastination kicks in

thekillerrex27 profile image

You can do it! I'm excited to read it.

vulcanwm profile image