Journey Personal

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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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:
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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