A programmer’s journey from breaking things to making them. Who believes “When in doubt, choose change!”
Writing code is power…
Change is not easy. It takes a great deal of discipline, motivation, inspiration, and most importantly courage. I come from a Quality Assurance background and now develop code. And I hope these tips will be useful to anyone in a tech team and aspiring to become a developer. I used to believe that I was supposed to be a ‘software tester’ and restricted my coding habits to test automation frameworks, testing scripts, and tools.
Thinking of becoming a developer is a great idea, but it requires more hard work. And people will listen to you only if you are knowledgeable about the things that you want to do. And you believe in what you know. I am fortunate enough to have supportive managers and a team at People Interactive who always motivated me.
One of the things that gave me hope during my interview was words of encouragement by the CTO and he told me “You can do anything in our company whether it is testing or development” And so, after testing for six months I finally decided to switch into development. As I mentioned it requires courage but that time I didn’t have enough to speak up.
Sometimes in life, it is very important to have someone to talk to – who can show you why you need to stand up for yourself. And ask what you want. Too often, we suppress our voices because we lack enough courage. We need to overcome this initial fear and at least approach someone who can help us. I was lucky enough to find that opportunity in an HR associate, who encouraged me to speak to the right persons.
And we would both sit for hours after work, where he showed me what he used to do. When I would run into errors, he assured me that time doesn’t matter. Just focus on getting the best solution. While engaging in this, my thought process was getting better, and this really helped me a lot in our future projects. It will help you too, throughout your career.
Here are some things that worked for me –
Attend community workshops and talk to experienced people
I suggest these as the first steps as they will get you oriented to the subject and help you feel supported. Community events usually have a group of people who come together for a cause and are more willing to help each other. Every time you talk to a person having some experience, you will learn something valuable from them.
Choose a stack and stick with it
Choose an editor and learn all the shortcuts you can
Learning the shortcuts in that editor you work with is very important. It allows you to quickly navigate through your code without thinking about it, which is very helpful when you are building something. Also when you show your code or ask a question, it’s easier to use shortcuts rather than click around with the mouse.
Surround yourself with people who support you
I would have never achieved anything without the people who listened, understood, and helped me. So surround yourself with people who support you with their knowledge and positive attitude. I am grateful to have a team that guides me at every step and celebrates my little wins.
Once you have learned enough, and are comfortable with your editor, It’s time to build something! It is not necessary that building something should be interesting or should work properly. In fact, you can build anything you want e.g you are visiting a website and you liked it or a website which is not very complicated so go start building it.
Ask as many questions as you can
Ask as much as you can – whether it is a silly doubt or a big problem – don’t worry about what people will think, or if they laugh at you. This will not help you to learn and grow. Just remember! Clearing doubts will make things easy and sometimes when you ask questions you will figure out your answers on your own.
Don’t give up!
There will be days when you question your decision to switch to development. Sometimes you will get frustrated and you won’t understand things. Just don’t give up! Keep trying until you succeed. Development should be for people who find it interesting and who are curious.