Becoming a Developer — Through Hell And Emotions

I was a happy Project Manager working in a good company but once I decided that it’s enough — “I need to change something in my life. Probably I need to change my profession. Oh wait — IT guys are so cool, smart, and earn good money. Of course — it’s a way to go! I will become a developer!”

If you have similar thoughts yourself, you must read my story! I just hope you choose your profession wisely! No, I don’t want to make the impression that this choice is bad but it is really worth evaluating if you have enough courage to make it.

So let’s get back to the times when I was a Project Manager. After a few years in the same company I started thinking that I’m not making any progress with my professional life. The media was overwhelmed by stories about successful IT guys who are spoiled with good salaries and can be hired in one day. They are making huge progress in our lives, they are creating new cool things. They are a dream of all the recruiters and they are so important! So the decision was kind of easy — I will become a developer myself.

This is when I joined JAVA developer’s program and I was so ready to change my life. It was a few months program with a good introduction not only to Java but other important courses too: databases, Linux, front-end development. Perfect to have a good understanding of how things work.

The first month was interesting and I was full of energy. Each day I spent a few hours at my school, then went to work and evening was a time for homework.

After learning “if… else….” statements I felt like a god. I was SERIOUSLY thinking that it’s time to start looking for a developer’s job.

I didn’t quite understand how “if… else…” will help me to create a fully working and ready to deploy program (though I had no clue how to deploy it), but still, I thought that my new colleagues will show it for me. My husband — experienced system administrator — was listening to my stupid talks about finding a job and was smiling like an old fox.

In a few weeks, the topics were more difficult to understand, my homework wasn’t so easy anymore. Google and my “IT guy husband” were my best friends when trying to code something. Bugs, errors, not working code — it was my everyday life now. I tried to google the solutions but guess what — I couldn’t understand documentation or explanations of other developers.

You google, you find a solution but you can not understand or implement it — I felt like a stupid cow!

So now the emotions started to hit me — tears, beating the keyboard (please tell me you do it too and I’m not the only one psycho here) and decisions to quit the school (every second day). I decided that probably I am not the only one facing such difficult times when trying to learn to code, therefore I started to google with a hope that I will find a few articles where people share about similar challenges and I am not the one. I hoped it will give me some courage to continue learning but all I found was “Programming is easy”, “Learn JAVA in a few days”, everything was so freaking easy! So listen to me now — PROGRAMMING IS NOT EASY! Studying is a never-ending journey and I MEAN IT!

I managed to finish my school and found my first and later second job as a developer. And even now I face so many challenges and difficulties when trying to solve the puzzles of coding. It is the most difficult job I have had in my career of 15 years.

I don’t want to dissuade you from becoming a developer or starting IT studies. I just want to comfort those who are in this already and have doubts about their decision.

Do you find programming hard to learn? You are not alone! You can’t stand those headlines lying about easy steps to learn programming? You are not alone! After spending a few hours you still can’t solve some coding issues? You are not alone!

Be patient, be calm, and find peace with your journey!

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