Everybody has to start somewhere

April 09, 2020

I remember when I was at the beginning of my career and I was lost as I assume everybody. I feel something like that at this moment, because I decided to try write a blog which is totally far from me. So, if we are in the same boat I want to share my advices and experiences with everybody, but especially with those who are just starting to work in the IT industry.

When I started my developer journey I was full of questions and I wanted to act: What should I do next? At that time I felt totally stupid and I had no experience in any field.

John Snow knows nothing

Later I realized that it was okay, I just had impossible expectations about myself at the beginning of the long story. I wanted to know everything and I mostly compered myself to others. I mean to the big names in the IT. However keep in mind these famous and successful people started at somewhere too.

Blogging is something I was sure that I will never do, because I thought that I don’t really have anything what I would like to share with broad audience. Right now I am here and writing this post and I plan to share on my personal blog. Why?

Think about what I told you that I had some wild expectations about my skills and that’s why I usually felt ashamed. I was afraid from people’s reactions. What will they say? Who I am to give advice for someone else? How can I do everything correctly? Now I have some years of experience with knowledge in web development and I feel more confident, but it took time and lot of work to reach this phase in my life.

These are my advices for you if you want to avoid the stress from your journey (believe me, it hurts…):

  1. Find your niche as soon as possible
  2. Time will solve a lot of things, be patient
  3. Don’t forget that hard work will always beat the talent

Find your niche

This advice is really important. I think it’s always good to try out and see as many things as you can. It helps you to decide which one is closer to you. If you feel comfortable doing something then go ahead with that. When you found what makes you happy then it will be much easier to be productive in that field. I was sure that I want to be a programmer in the future, but I didn’t know what to develop and where to start. Later I had photo manipulation and 3D modelling as a hobby and I realized that I am mostly a visual type of person. I like nice images and to create everything what other people see and use.

Okay, so I want to develop something what is close to design and visualization. Let’s do UI development for my friend’s business. Well… it was ok, but to be honest I missed the complex technical solutions, so during my studies I dived a little bit deeper in web development and I joined to a local company as an intern and I started to work on frontend heavy web applications.

Yeah, I have found my niche. I am happy to create nice and smoothly working web applications using trending frontend frameworks just to satisfy the customers. That’s what you will have to find too. It helps you specialize, you can plan your learning path. It makes you productive and valuable for companies, because you just do what you love.

Time and patience

You will have to learn lot of things especially if you want to be a developer, be prepared for that. The key is you will have time to do that and the learning is continuous rather than a single point in your life. Don’t expect that you finish a computer science degree and you will know everything. The skills and the knowledge will come by time.

Knowledge time curve

For example I stressed a lot, because I had no clue about the SPAs and frontend frameworks like Angular or React. A lot of developers did good tutorials about these tools and it looked so easy for them. I felt that I am on a wrong path, I didn’t even know which framework should I choose to learn.

Please just don’t overthink this…

You will know where to start when that opportunity comes into the picture. I think the best you can do is find an internship or a junior position based on your previously chosen niche/specialization at a company where the mentoring mentality is there. It’s possible that you will end up with a good mentor and she will show the paths you can take during your career and helps you to start learning what they actually need to solve real world problems.

Hard work beats the talent

I guess everybody met once with someone who had one specific talent and it was so easy and natural for her to achieve results. Yes, you was jealous in some way…

If I had to choose from two job candidates, the first is very talented from the beginning and she knows what is enough to work in this industry without putting any energy in it, the second candidate has a good attitude and has the ability to learn and grow in her field.

I would prefer the second.

What I am talking about? Maybe the employer would win the jackpot with the first one, she could work on our projects asap. Well, that’s true in some cases for the companies, but don’t forget about the long term plans. What can our first candidate achieve? She will close some tasks and she will feel that her job is done. On the other hand the hard worker, I am sure that will deliver a good amount of work and will help for other developers to reach the project goals and lastly will keep herself up to date for the next challenges.

What are the differences from the clients perspective? If you work hard you do from the passion. It always means that you care about what are you doing. You not only finish your tasks, but you are thinking how can you deliver more value for your customers, you start to care about the project vision and once you take the ownership of the project you will feel that your are part of the mission to make it successful.

Be a hard worker instead of act like the talents.

Follow me on TwitterNorbert Bartos