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Level 40

From university to mid-level dev

Published in the Success Stories group
Hello, everyone! I've been meaning to write my story for a year now. I never found the time. But the thought would never leave me, and then one fine evening the opportunity came.From university to mid-level dev - 1I'll give you a little background. I graduated from the university with a degree in applied mathematics and computer science. Then the time arrived for me to move on and become a programmer, but suddenly a problem arose. Either I was not interested, or education does not know how to generate interest. At the time, I didn't know where to move on to, so probably the first. But I would recommend working on the second possibility as well. So, I graduated from university, and guess what I did then? I enrolled in the university again! A new diploma — that would probably be cool. But after studying for a while, I looked at the professors. There were good ones, but there were also some with imported pseudonyms, which, as you know, boosted their self-esteem. Perhaps they are worth something, but this wasn't anything the average student would notice. So, the question arose: what to do in this life? And then I remembered the words of one of my mathematical analysis professors, who said "try everything, and you might like something." And this phrase became all-important. I started trying it at the very moment when I was working on a master's degree, i.e. learning a new language that was not taught at the university, but which was in-demand in the labor market. This became something new for me. The languages that I studied at the university are C ++, Basic, C#, JS, 1C, and PHP. I also had experience with HTML, CSS, and mathematical models in MAPLE. But I chose Java. Why? Because this language was not at the university, and because it is one of the most popular languages in the world. I also remember Java apps on my phone. To be honest, I thought I was going to write games. But fate determined a different path for me. While I was in graduate school, I thought it was time to find a job and get real experience. Since my academic focus was rather difficult, it was very challenging to combine my studies with work. So, I only had minor part-time jobs unrelated to my field. But an opportunity appeared when I was getting my master's degree. I found my first real job at a company that works with CMS platforms, whose hot product is online stores. I was willing to work for free just to get work experience. The experience was to log bugs reported by customers and send them to the development department, i.e. it was support role. If I could fix the customer's problem on my own, that was good. As for the technology stack, it was PHP, JS, HTML, CSS, and mySQL. I even managed to become a partner at the company where I worked, reworking customers' websites, but that was unofficial and my heart was not in it. And at the same time I managed to drop out of my master's program. But I wasn’t satisfied with my work and thought that I deserved more. At this time, I read a book about Java and went to an interview, where I learned a lot, but naturally I did not land the job. Since I had so much to learn, I thought that maybe I should try CodeGym, as it is such a popular resource. So I decided to try it, and in six months I reached level 40. In truth, I tried very hard to finish quickly and move into a software development job. And then the moment came when I started thinking, "I'm a programmer". It's time to find a job. I quit my job at the terrible company and started looking for new employment. One of my friends said that he had a coworker whose classmate worked in Company Z and lived in the United States. So, he recommended that I pursue this company. I was scared and ignored the advice: it sounded too serious! I went for an interview at a company located in the same business center as my previous company. In discussions there, they said, "Why don't you go work at Company Z?" And then I went home and thought, what is this Company Z? I opened a website with job offers and saw the first job listing for Company Z, and I thought, it's fate! I submitted an application, was contacted, and went through several stages of vetting. In the end, I was hired. I rejoiced each time I passed a stage successfully. At my level, I could have gone immediately into the laboratory, but I asked to take courses to fill in my knowledge gaps. This was somewhat helpful. Eventually, I ended up in the lab and started writing code. Then I passed the junior developer exam and was recruited for one of a major local market project. During my time, I rose to the level of mid-level developer and the project, the very heart and motor, came to an end. Then I found a new project. While I was looking for it, I managed to teach about 20-odd students whom I was preparing for the laboratory. I was once one of them, and then I found myself on the other side of the fence. A very interesting experience, and it was tough! In conclusion, there was a lot I didn't like: what they assigned and tried to foist upon me. I found my calling by using a saying of one of my professors. And I'm building my lifestyle differently: "Do what you love and never work a day in your life". It's really quite a controversial phrase — I'd rather be lying on the beach drinking a cocktail, but my response is, "Take it easy". It's a way of life. Not everyone can do it, but you have the motivation and desire, then you never give up.So why am I writing this article? To show off? Probably, yes. I plan to become a senior dev next year. Or perhaps that's not it. I want to motivate others. Because I was once one of you. Once upon a time, I was on the first level on CodeGym, and I thought, why do I need all this? Nothing seemed to be succeeding for me! But I got motivation from reading others' articles. That's precisely what made me dedicate two hours of my life to sharing another success story with you, my future colleagues!
Comments (1)
Simphiwe Level 33, Johannesburg, South Africa
10 February 2023
Wonderful story!