From being a musician of a symphony orchestra to a web developer.
Since I was a child, my parents focused on cultivating my music literacy. My father is a famous musician and my mother is a doctor. Yes, I am also talented, my ears are born with absolute hearing. I can tell the exact pitch with closed eyes when people press any key on the piano. It would make sense that music should be my future career, right?
After high school, I was admitted to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where I studied hard for 4 years to obtain a diploma. In the second week, after receiving the certificate, I decided to visit Vienna, the famous city of music in Austria, because I didn’t want to stay at home for a career under the cover of my parents like a child forever. So I packed my bags and boarded a plane.
In Vienna, I passed the entrance exams to get into a Master's course. “Don’t be idle anyway and give it a try” I thought. I signed up and came to the examination room. The result was very pleasant, I didn’t speak a word of German but I was admitted. Yes, I was proud of myself.
The studying journey in Vienna allowed me to make many friends, speak German fluently, co-operate with orchestras, whom I often performed with abroad. It was around the time I was about to graduate, that I met my husband.
The world is sometimes so wonderful. On the night of our wedding, I had to perform in the world-famous Golden Hall in Vienna. It was so stressful that after our concert and dinner I fell asleep while walking.
Less than a year after marriage, my husband and I noticed that, although we live together, we rarely see each other. The reason was that I often traveled to other cities or even other countries to perform. So I made the decision, to have a normal 9–5 job.
I experienced different jobs like filmset catering, concert performer just for one day, and finally as a store manager assistant of a luxury goods company. There I faced a variety of different orders every day and was able to arrange the warehouse inventory, dealing with customers from different countries, and collaborating with fashion designers.
My motivation were simple: 1. The job has fixed working hours; 2. I could meet people in various industries.
Time goes by fast and my enthusiasm became less and less after I became an Austrian citizen. I was now determined to enter the third turning point in my life.
I have to thank my previous company as it allowed me to come into contact with a lot of amazing web pages and different celebrity blogs, which acted as a catalyst. On a whim I asked myself, can I create one? Let me Google how to make one.
In the beginning, I just wanted to create a simple page for fun. After I learned HTML by myself, I found that it would be cool if I could change some styles... So I started to learn CSS.
My husband was very supportive of my decision and he introduced me to a developer colleague in his company. Since then, we’ve met and he helped me to get in touch with GIT, understand DOM… I mean the most basic knowledge. Can you say that I have just stepped into the web development branch? Not sure, because everyone says “HTML is not a language.”
After one month, another whim came to my mind. How about a course? Maybe it will help me with a learning direction? In fact, my mind was still in chaos at that time. Thanks to my husband for his continued support, I found a Bootcamp and signed up.
It was a 12-week Web Development Bootcamp Link and on the second day, we started to get familiar with Node.js. It was like a fantasy for me, I understood almost nothing. I often could only sleep for 4 hours a night (down from my usual 7 hours). My feeling was: This kind of learning method is crueler than a war.
In fact, I have to say that you need to go into the bootcamp with the right mentality and focus. You will not be an expert by the end. You will still have plenty of questions. However, it’s a start and you must accept that not all the learnings will stick.
I remember that there were nine people in that class. Three of them gave up in second, fourth and fifth weeks but I persisted until the end. After doing a few small projects the Bootcamp colleges were prepared us for a job search(what? after weeks of learning?). In fact, for me, it would be satisfying to get an internship because my feeling was I KNOW NOTHING and I was not confident at all.
The first remote interview (because of covid-19) was an experience I will never forget. The CTO of the company gave me a sentence after asking me a bunch of skill questions: “It doesn’t matter if you don’t know everything, I will send you a TEST…”, I was speechless because I didn’t understand what he was asking for.
A few days later, I received an email which contains a TEST with attached: “Normally this test will take 2.5 hours, since you are a junior, you can complete it in 7 hours, but after you opened the test, you should finish it without a break”...
I opened and it requested that the camera be turned on. From the moment I turned on the camera I knew that the next result should only be known to God, because there were so many “Terminology” which I never heard before and didn’t know where to start with those questions.
I completed the assignment in 4 hours. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass the test. What was disappointing was that I didn’t receive feedback or a response from the company. I politely wrote an email explaining the situation and expressed my apologies that I did not meet their requirements. That I will continue to improve my skills and so on. The result was that I still haven’t received any response — — maybe I really did that terrible. It was hard, but I’m not the type of person who gives up easily, not in this case.
One week later, I had the Bootcamp graduation presentation with my final project that I created with Next.js. It was a funny App about dog adoption. I believe people liked it because I got several requests from companies that were looking for a junior developer. After I went through interviews, I was lucky enough to get a chance from a nice company which I’m officially working at and started with my first IT position.
That was my road to web development. I hope this article can inspire you whether you have similar experiences or ideas or intention. Nothing is impossible and it’s never too late to be a beginner.
Thank you for reading my first article!