My path to coding
6 min read
Before I was a developer
I was raised in a family of women - my mother, my grandmother, and me. I was encouraged to love literature, to love social sciences. But I had no one to encourage me to love science. I asked my mother a math question when I was about 10 and she ran out of my room saying: I don't know anything about math, don't ask me. And this is my first memory related to math! So it's no wonder I had problems in school with math, physics, etc.
There was no question of what to study - social studies. And what more social there is than social work. But it didn't fit me. It took me 1 year to figure out that social work is not for me, but it took me many more to figure out what is. Just when I graduated I figured out that I love to learn new things. I can still hear myself say to someone:
I'm interested in everything in the world, except two things. For the love of God, I can't remember what the other thing was, but the first one was programming.
After graduation I spent a few years behind the camera, filming events. The camera work was fine, but I didn't progress with editing. Someone suggested that it would be good for me if I'd understand computer programs better - via programming.
Second love of my life.
Here I have to sing praises to my first instructor dr.Chuck (Charles Severance). His amazing course is available at https://www.py4e.com/ and at the end of the first course, he gives you a diploma -that's when he got me hooked.
Just before I started with that course - I asked my programming friend if he thinks beginning with Python is a good idea, his answer was -
Python is a God
After that, I dedicated my scarce spare time to learning -Python, Holy Trinity of Front End (HTML, CSS, JS), React. It was hard not to lose focus - I still had to have a job to support myself and I got pregnant with my first baby girl during that time.
But I kept pursuing that dream.
Although my sweet baby didn't sleep for a year, I studied in the evenings and got myself to the point where I could say -
I learned to code
I created a few webpages for friends. This is something I highly recommend to everyone - you get to learn a lot, without the pressure of a paid job. The project I am still proudest of was an internal project for a company that analyses car's worth. It was in Django and included combining .xls documents. After a few years, that firm is still using my program!
I started looking for a coding job after that, with my hopes held high, that I'll be a Pythonista. No one wanted to take a chance on a rookie without computer-oriented education in the backend, but I was lucky and persistent enough to get a front-end job. I was (and still am) so proud of my achievement, but recently I feel like I'm outgrowing that job.
Starting a blog is my first step toward being a full-grown programmer, who can make her own decision about her stack and projects she choose.
Tech jobs are harder for some
My FE job was harder because I am a woman. When I started, I wasn't the only woman in my job, but after a while, almost all of them left.
Our boss didn't take us seriously enough and male coworkers had a lot of jokes that gave us an uncomfortable feeling. It's tough for a woman to succeed in the male-dominated world, that's why I wish to encourage females to learn to program and to get jobs in the tech field.
My FE job was also harder because I didn't have a diploma from the tech field.
My boss was faster to listen to someone with a degree than me. I had to prove myself constantly. I entered the company with an agreement, that I'll start as FE but transfer to BE when the position opened. A lot of time and opened BE positions have passed since then and I asked many times, but the situation remains unchanged.
I created this blog because I want to encourage people that weren't lucky enough to study programming, to code. To learn to be great developers and to get a job in the tech field, no matter their background.
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