Transitioning from Industrial Automation Engineering to Web/Software Development

Hello everyone,

This is my first Topic in the community and I hope I am respecting the rules of the community.

In order to set the context, I must mention that I am an Engineer, specialized in Industrial Automation and Project Management. I have decided to go fully remote 28 months ago and it’s going well so far. I was able to manage a remote-first team of 25 people in the Web Hosting industry and I’m currently providing Technical Support and already doing some low-level web development with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Why do I mention that? Because as part of my work experience in the industry, I did develop computational/algorithmic skills and did a lot of programming of industrial machines in different languages. I also understand the C language, which I used to program robots - I also built a few websites.

I’ve been studying web development for a while and nowadays, I feel fully confident in HTML and CSS and I’m learning/doing ok with JavaScript. But I found a major roadblock, I don’t know what path to take from now on.

I am presented with too many options: front-end, back-end, dev ops, full-stack, and mobile development. Then, I feel like I need to choose among different technologies, programming languages, frameworks, and stacks in general - it’s overwhelming.

I can learn anything and I’m not afraid it will be too difficult for me, however, I want to make sure I am choosing the right path. I am already in my late 20s and picking one developer path will be an important milestone for me.

I will appreciate any advice that you can share with me and your own experiences if you transitioned from any branch of science and technology to web/software development.

Hi @quinterodiegoco and welcome! :slight_smile:

I don’t think anyone can really tell you which path to take, it depends on what you will like and enjoy to do. From my personal experience I can tell you that what I thought I would like to do turned out to be not that enjoyable and therefore if I would be you, I would try different areas before settling on one.

Why don’t you give freeCodeCamp curriculum a try? It gives you an overview and once you are finished with it, you can choose the path you most enjoyed to dig deeper. There are also a lot of people here willing to help if you get stuck on challenges and projects which is great as it does not make you feel like you are doing it all alone. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply Trix!

I’m already following the freeCodeCamp curriculum, I’m currently completing the JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Certification!

I’ve learned so much, but I’m also looking at the future, but have too many (good) options. :grinning:

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Hey there,

as a seasoned engineer you probably know, that it’s more about learning the concepts than getting lost in small details.

If you are able to learn one language, it’s not so hard to learn N other languages.

Stacks, languages, frameworks, libraries will come and go, the concepts behind them will probably stay the same.

I tell my mentees to solve their personal problems. Because mostly technical problems aren’t the problem, it’s the motivation to put the hours into the learning, probably in your free time after your day job.

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I don’t know if you are 100% focused on web development but you may want to consider data science / machine learning as well. A lot of second career programmers don’t have the mathematical background to really do well in those fields, but if you’re an engineer, comfortable with matrices, calculus, (and maybe stats), you could move that direction as well. Maybe check out the Python courses here for data science if that would also interest you.

As for JS libraries: consider this.

Full disclaimer: not employed as programmer.