Are you coming into web development from a totally different field?

I recently published my first article on Medium, in which I tried to inspire readers to do what they love—no matter their current situation—by describing my own transition into web dev. Please let me know if it helps you in some way, or if such blatant self-promotion is looked down upon here. :slightly_smiling_face:


It is a win-win situation when people promote themselves and, then, give something back to the community. Some frown upon this strategy (as it requires social maneuvering), but there are tangible benefits for everyone that can come from it. The quote that you included at the end of your post: “To be what you must / You must give up what you are.” is a hard truth to accept if you are bound to your identity and cannot retain it for various reasons. As someone coming from linguistics and the sciences, I am making a transition over into computer science. I am bound to my identity as a linguist yet want to become a computer scientist. My approach is to merge the two identities.

Congratulations on your publication, and do continue to write about your transition into web development.

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Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it!

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The University of Colorado (near me) actually has just started an cross-departmental graduate program certificate in linguistics and computer science, the Interdisciplinary Certificate in Human Language Technology, that I kind of want to go for.


It looks exciting.

Congrats on finding your calling! It sounds like you may have known it all along, judging by your experiences as a kid with the internet. I had a similar experience and fondly recall the eerie modem sounds and experimenting with Photoshop 6 (?).

I think physics and math are really not that far off from programming, though, but my background is even more far removed, and in the traditional fine arts – painting and ceramics. Although I also grew up building websites and feeling a rush in creating something for ‘all to see’, it’s been a difficult shift retraining my brain to think in logical instead of intuitive steps.

Painting is the thing I really love, but unfortunately, the money and job security just aren’t there, so I’m settling for the next best thing. :slight_smile:

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Thanks very much for reading. :slightly_smiling_face:

One thing I’ve discovered is that, although some fields are more and some are less related to computing, everyone coming from outside brings a unique skillset that inevitably helps with some aspect of programming. Though the fine arts are less focused on logic, the kind of creative thinking you develop in those programs can be very useful in both visual and code design, and in “seeing the big picture” to architect a software system.

It’s definitely great to hear that you made the switch, no matter how much of a leap it is. Please keep up updated on your journey!

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Truck Driving (still working).
Before that, CNC machining where I used to set up, edit and occasionally write G code.
Great article!
I remember it was around 1994 when my wife and I bought a pc running windows 3.11
I remember the kids playing the games that came with it, but I used to create web pages (strictly HTML) on the desktop with notepad.
I would draw inspiration for layouts with the Netscape Navigator “view source” button.
I remember an old site called GeoCities where you could host your own static website, so I made one about my first experiences with Slackware Linux (which I had installed on 200 megs of our one gig hard drive). I recall getting an email with a gif from Linux Journal that I could use to indicate I was awarded a Linux Journal Cool Site nod from the magazine. good times…

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I love my current profession (consulting), and plan on doing it as long as possible. I’m learning web development to gain an additional skill that may, or may not, lead to future employment.

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I was a German major, Spanish minor in college, and I’ve worked retail most of my adult life. My background in languages really helped me understand UTF-8 encoding and why it was so important. I also like to think that my experience in learning different human languages is helping me to grasp concepts in computer languages.

@ArielLeslie That program looks really interesting. I’ve studied a little bit of morphology in my teacher certification studies.

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