My first job at 31 after 2 months coding

Hello everyone,

I wanted to share my story in the hope that it could help others.

I am 31 years old and have an academic background in Community Psychology and Housing Studies. I have a BSc a MSc and a PgCert that I have completed in different countries (Italy, UK).

I am currently based in London.

After going for several managerial interview I realised that I did not like anymore my profession and I was looking for something that could make me feel passionate about what I do.
In my teens’ years I have been a professional e-gamer (CounterStrike 1.5) and I have been always really close to the tech world (building my own machine, etc), although without ever writing a single line of code.

At the end of September 2018, something clicked inside me, and I bought the John Duckett’s book ‘HTML & CSS’. After scrolling a couple pages I just dived into online tutorial, and so on and so forth (buying the standards Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy).

After 3 weeks into HTML CSS and JS, I have seen a Software Developer position opening for the company I currently work for (public body) and I asked the Developer Manager for a meeting to have some insight regarding the work being done and how to progress as a starting developer.

She explained to me that the position was for a back-end Developer and he encouraged me to apply to gain experience as internal candidate (working in a totally different department).

I wasn’t sure of the stack as it included different technologies I never heard before (Ruby, RoR, C#, .NET, Angular) and I started learning Ruby whilst simultaneously applying for internship and (free) bootcamps which required passing Ruby challenges.

2 weeks later, and barely a month into coding, I had my first three interview. One for my current employer, one for a start-up looking for a Junior Dev to train, one for a coding bootcamp which provided internship and basic salary.

I went to the interview with my current company and they sat me in front of Visual Studio and C# and gave me a challenge to solve.
Needless to say, I had never seen VS and C# before that day, so it was a total disaster as I could not use Ruby on that machine to solve the challenge.

After 59 minutes of humiliation in front of that screen, I got to the second part which was a more standard interview with Q&A.

Three weeks later they emailed me to say that unfortunately I was unsuccessful (no surprise there).
I asked the Manager for a chat to get some feedback on my interview, and surprisingly, he said he was really impressed by my enthusiasm and that I clearly had skill which could be easily transferrable into the Developer job.

They offered me a 6 months contract to test me and see what I could learn.

8 weeks into my developer journey I landed a job as back-end Software Developer using C# and .NET.

I spent every second until my new employment to learn C# and .NET, and I must say, compared to the basic of front-end and JS, that felt like climbing a mountain, blindfolded and with both arms tied behind my back.

I am now two months into the job and I must say it’s really challenging to work with people with years of experience whilst I have to learn everything on the go, which includes different technologies and how the server-side works.

I have helped building a simple website which taught me a lot, and I am about to start writing APIs in .NET.

I am receiving great feedback around my passion and willingness to learn, and more important the fact that I do not wait for them to tell me what to do, but I take initiative and I can work independently when required.

I hope my story can encourage others to believe that the most important skills to get a job as Software Developer is not what you technologies do you ‘know’, but it’s a combination of your personal attitude, demonstrating passion for what you do, proving you are a team-player (and a person that people wouldn’t hate!) and that you can learn on your own if required.

Focus on learning the technologies but most importantly focus on how improving your personal skills.


Hi there, you have quite and impressive story :-). You have quite a courate, that you went for position, which demand knowledge of quite a technologies, respect! :slight_smile: I did got my first job 2 weeks ago, but it is all realted just to ting I was already learning - Javascript, PHP, data displaying in inteactive charts. They might be using React, but that needs to be decided in future by the managers. Fingers crossed I would go well for you :slight_smile: .

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Really amazing story and has given me room to work hard as to software development