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Catalin’s Journey To Software Development 👨‍💻⏳

I meant to write this article for a few days, but I kept delaying it. Thus, I finally sat down to write it.

I consider I have an exciting journey to software development. I am not one of those people whose first words were “Hello World” instead of “Mommy/Daddy”. I was not born crying in JavaScript either. I did not build scalable web applications instead of playing with legos. You get the idea.

I am just a simple man that discovered his passion for programming randomly. That is why I think my journey is not the most interesting but exciting enough.

MY EARLY DAYS 👶

The first thing I want to mention is that I was horrible at math and barely passed the class. The reason for starting with this statement is that many people assume you have to be a maths genius to be a Software Developer. I want to specify that in some areas like Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning, maths might be necessary.

Leaving aside my maths struggle, I studied accounting, and I was on course to become an accountant or a bank teller. The only common point between the two jobs and programming is that they both use a computer. Nothing more, nothing less.

MOVING TO UK ✈️

Moving to the UK changed my life from all perspectives. I moved to the UK without knowing anyone, and without knowing English. The only things I knew were to say “Hello” and my name. And that is how it started.

I have been refused from all high schools because I was 17 years old and my qualifications from Romania were not recognised. The despair and panic settled. “What I am going to do?” I asked myself.

Luckily, I managed to enrol at a college (it is not a University in the UK, for American folks). I did an IT course for three years, where I learnt stuff that is useful for programming as much as a fork. Yes, a fork. If it were not for the fact that I learnt English, I would say I wasted three years of my life.

Anyway, this was the only option for me to get into University. I had to give up three years of my life, to waste another three years in University. I threw six years of my life out of the window. In six years, I could have taught myself programming and even become a senior developer. But it is what it is.

UNIVERSITY DAYS 🧑‍🎓

When I started university, I was very excited. I thought by the time I will finish University, I will be able a super developer.

In my first year of university, my mother almost died, and I went through a horrendous period. I hardly went to my lectures, I did not learn anything, and I did not prepare for my exams. I even wanted to give up on University altogether and work in construction with my father.

In my third year, and the last year, I suffered the worst burnout and anxiety of my life. I felt so weird and bad that I thought I am surely losing my mind. I worked to exhaustion to achieve good grades. What a fool I was. Nobody cared about my grades that much, and nothing is more important than health. It is one year since then, and I am still recovering from burnout and anxiety.

In the end, I achieved the highest degree, with excellent grades. However, I wholeheartedly say that it was not worth it. I almost wrecked my health and life. If I could do it again, I would not even do university again.

ODD JOBS ⚒️

Besides all of those, I worked odd jobs that had nothing to do with programming. I was a volunteer in a supermarket in Romania. After that, I worked all the summers in constructions for my father. I even considered that a path. I considered dropping my Computer Science degree and work for him. My last job before being a software developer was washing dishes in a restaurant.

So yes, I did not always have “glamorous” and beautiful jobs. But I learnt many other essential skills while doing those jobs.

CONCLUSION 🏁

My journey to software development was not an easy one. But overcoming that many obstacles is similar to programming, where you have to overcome the barriers on a daily basis. It made me stronger and more thankful for what I have.

  • I studied accounting
  • I was on course to become an accountant or bank teller
  • Almost gave up on my Computer Science degree
  • Almost lost my mind/health
  • Did odd jobs
  • Become a software developer

The moral of this story is that ANYONE CAN BECOME A SOFTWARE DEVELOPER.

5 replies on “Catalin’s Journey To Software Development 👨‍💻⏳”

Hello Catalin, how are you? I just read some of your website / blog posts and I felt represented by your story. I’m 28 years old and I have a degree in Business Administration, I had an e-commerce that gave me a good living condition, but I didn’t feel fulfilled and I wanted to achieve and create bigger things. Then, in March 2019, I found myself in programming, after spending a couple of years having existential crises and not knowing what to do with my life, I recovered a passion when I was younger to work with software development. So I decided to invest my time and efforts to study front-end development. I still haven’t got a job in the area, but I’ve already developed a website as a freelancer and I do some challenges and concentrate them on a website to show to recruiters!
I am very excited because I feel that I am close to getting my first job in the area and I want to go to Europe at the end of next year to live and work for a while, by the way, I am from Brazil, from a city called João Pessoa! I will leave my website for you to access and say what you think: https://ebradeveloper.netlify.com/
Thank you for sharing your story, it inspires us and gives us the strength to continue too! Let’s build and achieve our goals, happiness and success!

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