Hi, my name is Evgeny and here is my story.
My pastWhen I was a kid, I used to always like to spend my time with computers and do all the technical stuff, but my parents decided that a Business degree would be better for me. And so not knowing what I really liked, I applied to some business school in the USA (I am originally from Russia).
Studying abroad was quite an experience in itself and deserve another topic, but unfortunately (or fortunately) with time I started to understand that business, and more specifically Marketing, is not what I wanted to do. But I couldn’t change anything, I had to finish the super expensive degree to not disappoint my parents and to not appear as a failure. I guess I was afraid of that.
First line of codeWhile studying business, I continued to mess around with computers and even started to learn Java on YouTube, which was quite hard for me and I burned out within the first week.
At that time I really wanted to code but coding seemed so difficult that I started to think that it is not for me, that I am not smart enough or I don’t have what it takes. I jumped from language to language to find the one that I would be able to learn. At that time I didn’t understand that the problem wasn’t the language but the way I was learning. So… I burned out again and this time it was for almost a year, I proceeded with my business studies and stopped learning any programming.
I moved quickly through the FreeCodeCamp curriculum. The thing that I loved the most was the feedback. I was tweeting all of my finished projects at FreeCodeCamp and receiving some feedback that made me overcome that feeling that “I am not good enough”. I don’t remember if we had a forum at the time, but Twitter was the way for me.
First "coding" jobAfter graduation, I found a job as a Junior Marketing Specialist in a very small company (so small that it was me and, well, the owner of the company).
On my first day at work, I noticed how horrible the website of the company was. So as a Marketing specialist I suggested that we need to update it to “provide a better user experience and potentially better client retention”. Because of the small budget of the company I also suggested that I can update the website with my newly acquired skills (smart move huh?). And this is how I become “Junior Front End Developer”, well kind of, not officially.
I worked for the company for 6 months, mostly working on web site and doing some technical staff. The company wasn’t big enough to sponsor my visa so unfortunately, I had to return back to Russia. I guess this was that failure moment that I feared the most.
First coding jobWhen I moved back, I learned the hard way that marketing is not a very popular profession in Russia. I couldn't find ANY job with my experience. I continued to learn FreeCodeCamp and finally received my Front End Developer certificate. This was a very good achievement for me because with this certificate I could start applying to Front End positions.
Ooff… I think I applied to at least 100 open positions, I was applying to every open position in the COUNTRY. I had many interviews though. it was pretty embarrassing at first because of a lack of knowledge. But with every new interview, I learned what I was lacking and improved my skills. And finally, after about 20 - 30 interviews I got an offer! YAY!
Career upswingFrom there on my career started rolling and today after 5 years I have moved to the UK, working as a Senior Software Engineer in one of the top startups in Great Britain. What a journey that has been.
I am really thankful to the FreeCodeCamp and personally to Quincy Larson for all the help and inspiration. I hope that this story will inspire some of you. Keep doing what you doing. Consistency is the key.
I am ready to answer any questions you have. You can comment here or DM me on Twitter @Dzheky