New to FCC but not new to programming. Just for context, I’m an electrical & electronic engineer and for the first eleven years of my career, I worked in a multinational factory. Granted, I did programming but it was a different kind of programming. I wrote software to test precision hardware.
I always found it ironic that the first job I got, I picked a programming one rather than the traditional product engineering hardware route. And it’s ironic because even though I took one mandatory programming subject every year, I never understood it until my final year. I mean,
print ("Hello World") in C just went over my head for three years before it finally somehow clicked in my last year. Talk about slow…
So anyway, I was happy in my first job, I loved programming and I was really good at it. Then I got bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and had illusions of grandeur that I could build an awesome startup…or something. And decided to teach myself web development while still working my day job. This was in 2014? For awhile, everything kinda flew over my head (again) and finally I settled on Meteor + React because it was really easy to build and deploy and not really worry how to deploy on AWS3 and such.
So I did a lot of JIT (just in time) learning and basically learned how to build a website without really understanding much things. Which is kinda how I did programming, to be honest, I didn’t know how things work, but I knew I could make things work, if that makes sense. So I’d build stuff on meteor, deploy it on Galaxy and…they never went anywhere. I’m an engineer, what do I know about marketing my stuff. And thus went the never ending cycle of build stuff → deploy → and… go nowhere.
Cut to 2018, after 10 years of programming, I had to relocate because…husband. I thought I could focus on building a startup…finally! And I did manage launch a startup as a business after multiple pivots. But let’s be honest, it’s never going to be a unicorn. Probably more of a lifestyle business?
Anyway, six months into unemployment, I get approached by a family friend, asking me to be a mechatronics technical trainer for post-high school kids and I got roped into it and have been swept up in the ride ever since. Then a month back, I sat myself down and had an honest conversation with myself. I wasn’t truly enjoying the work that I do now. So…what do I want to do with my life? I’m 38, I have another 20 years of work life in front of me. Do I want to do what I’m doing for the next 20 years? And the unfortunate answer was…no. What I really wanted to do, what I loved to do was programming.
But looking at my actual skillset, while I have more than 10 years of programming experience, none of them really relevant to web development. I mean, I don’t even know if I can consider myself a full stack developer even though I’ve built both front end and back end for my teeny tiny startup. Most of all, I had too many knowledge gaps. So, I researched “How to be a full stack developer” and landed on FCC.
My goal at the moment, is to systematically go through the list of things I need to know in order to finally (hopefully ) be a full stack developer. And most of all, build a portfolio so that I can showcase everything I know.
I am both excited and scared sh*tless at the start of this new journey…
I can do this…right?