I've always found technology exciting and cool. Being born in the 80s, I was there when things around me changed significantly thanks to the internet. I tried coding before I entered uni - got myself a C++ book and tried the samples which never actually worked because I didn't even know what a compiler was.
Nevertheless I coded.
In uni I learnt Pascal, C & Java and majored in Software Engineering. I graduated with a degree in Computer Science and started as a software developer in a local software development house. I learnt a lot in this company - coding (in Lotus Domino, RPG and BHT8000) and visiting clients across the neighboring country to work on implementations.
It was during one of these business trips that I screwed up big time working on an AS/400 ERP system. I overwrote a production library instead of testing, OMG!!! It took a team of four many days of overtime and weekend work to clean up the mess I made. It made me overcautious and phobic of ever visiting a client place again.
Nevertheless I coded - thanks to my manager's support and encouragement.
Seven years later, I was still coding - as a mother with a newborn now. I said yes when a recruiter called with a great opportunity at a company I dreamt of retiring in. It wasn't a developer role but there was a lot of learning opportunities and hey it was my dream company.
The job required me to learn hardware stuff and none of coding.
Nevertheless I coded - building mini apps for the team to improve things around me.
Five years down the road, technology had evolved so much thanks to cloud; and I was now a mom of three who yearned to spend quality time with the kids instead of spending so much time in the traffic traveling to and fro work.
It was to start learning web development. I figured having these skills, I'd be able to get a job as a coder that would give me a lot of flexibility to work remotely. And as it was, I loved to code so getting paid to do what I love was just perfect.
It wasn't easy trying to catch up on things.
Nevertheless, I coded.
Udemy helped me a lot when I started on this journey in 2018.
Soon after together with a few colleagues, I got the opportunity to mentor final year undergraduates to further develop my idea.
These gave me the confidence to apply for an internal job opening for the role of a software developer even though I didn't meet many of their requirements.
I figured the personal interest that I've demonstrated all the while would compensate. I was wrong and upset for many days to come.
Nevertheless I coded and started picking up React and Linux skills.
Many months later, magic happened when I came across a post I resonated with on LinkedIn and requested to connect with the poster.
He kindly reviewed my resume and invited me to an interview session with the CTO. A few days later I got an offer! I didn't expect to get a break so soon and I was very grateful I did.
I've been on the job for two months now. It has not exactly been an easy journey since I joined - there's so much to learn and things are not really like how they were on tutorials. I've had many sleepless days trying to catch up on React, GraphQL, AWS and other related technologies.
Still I coded - even when deadlines loomed and I had five hours of sleep a day, I continued and tried not to give up. My teammates helped a lot along the way explaining stuff I didn't understand or get.
Compared to the days I thought I'd never get through, things are looking more positive now as I understand the work flow and get more familiar with how all the pieces fit together.
Does it mean things won't get challenging anymore? They certainly will as technology evolves and there's still so much for me to catch up on. But positivity and determination will go a long way in achieving what our heart desires.
I believe we'll do well to utilize the support offered by the internet - on communities like dev.to, twitter's #100daysofCode and even stackoverflow.
Throughout the journey as I got back to coding, the one constant support I had was on Twitter. Using the hashtags #100DaysOfCode & #CodeNewbie I was able to connect to many like minded people who were always generous in their support and encouragement.