My Journey to Software Development Career

My Personal Journey to Software Development Career

Hello everyone, It’s Naz-Al Islam, the creator of Subtle Coding. I am a 19 year old guy who learned programming by his own and now call himself a software developer. From my childhood, I was very interested about computers. My curiosity insisted me to learn the way computer works. I began to learn more and more about computers by reading books, watching tutorial videos, listening programming podcasts and so on. I learned new skills and developed some sort of expertise in making some applications building bits of code together.

Though the journey was not an easy one, I learned a lot going through the steps. On this post, I’d like to describe the journey I decided to go through to become a software developer. I believe aspiring new programmers will find something noteworthy or useful to learn about my story. As I will demonstrate, the journey was not easy, but it was not unbearable either. As I went through the must-do things one-by-one I literally learned more about myself and my capability as a programmer.

I might be seeming inspiring, but believe — it’s the truth.

So, first of all, I will start from my background, and gradually dive into the details. I think this post is gonna be a big one, so keep patience.

Background

I was born in Bangladesh, a small country in South-Asia, in 1997. At the time, I am writing this post, I am 19. In 2014, I graduated from high-school with flying colors. I was in the science faculty in my high school, and computer programming was not a part of my curriculum. However, I had my own computer and I liked to play around it. Basically, I was first introduced to some sort of programming while doing some experiments using some code, which I found on the internet.

After passing high school in mid-July, I began preparing for the SAT test, because my brother got admitted in UTSA in Texas after his graduation from high school and my parents wanted to send me for higher education as well.

After taking the SAT test, I received several admission offers. Among them I chose study at SUNY Plattsburgh in Computer Science program.

My First Programming Experience

When I was in high-school, during my free time, I would like to surf the internet, and by this, I learned a little bit of web design. I found it on various Facebook pages, or some news article or so. Also, I learned about some people are earning big amount only by working at their home.

I researched a little deep, and found some company line Upwork or Freelancer post many online jobs to be done by freelancers. This strategy felt great to me (though I never knew this is not the end of the story, well I mean making a living sitting at home and write program as a freelancer is not so easy). And as I’ve said, I always feel curious about anything related to technology. Once, I was reading a blog post about web design. The author described how to make an HTML file (webpage) that will print “Hello World” on the screen.

I went through all the instructions and wrapped the phrase using a H1 tag. I saved the file as ‘index.html’ and ran it on chrome. BOOM! I was very excited that something created by me was showing on the browser.

At that point, I never knew this Hello World is a practice in any programming language program to learn it’s basic syntax. Also, computer scientists use this program to know whether a programming language is better than others.

My Approach of Learning Proper Web Development

From that point, I became so curious about making webpages. At that point, I didn’t have any mentor, or friends or anyone familiar with programming. Moreover, I did not have any idea how will I make the local webpage available online. But, I had the greatest source, the internet. Some people think online media is a messy kind of thing where everything is scattered. However, I am trying to be clear. Internet is the best source for learning programming.

I searched online for any source of learning web development. There are many more websites and youtube channels at present than there was three years ago from now. Among them I would like to take some of the greatest ones:

  1. The New Boston – Free youtube video Channel
  2. Treehouse – Premium online tutorial
  3. Codecademy – Online free interactive tutorial
  4. TutorialsPoint – online text based tutorial

I learned about these sources by following many blogs and forums. Also, I would download torrents files for getting some premium video contents (yeah! I know this is illegal, but hey, I want to be honest with you).

By this, I could be able to grasp a whole lot of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This was particularly especial for me, because I was graduating from high school soon, and before that I got all the tools in my tool belt for doing an IT profession.

But, later I found that real practice lies in practice. Basically, the single most important goal of a software developer is to solve problems. I knew all the syntax and usage of different tags and classes. Still I needed to utilize my knowledge to do some real world projects.

I began to download PSD files of sample webpages, and work on them. I definitely learned a whole lot when I was making their clone.

After working out on my design projects, I tried to apply for some freelance job. However, I found I need some popularity or feedback to raise my bar above than the average. And another thing I found is most of the design jobs are directly or non-directly related to some backend development.

Now I didn’t have any idea about backend development. Without knowing PHP, I was not able to work on the server and thus was unable to meet my clients’ certain need.

Heck! Was this the hell for which I was working day and night?

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A Shift in Career

That was my exact expression when I did not get a single job offer after applying several job. But, I was not leaving my dream. As a science student, I am always skilled in math, and I knew backend development relates to algorithms and data calculations. So, I decided to hone my skill in backend development.

At this point, while I am still confused about my work, I graduated from high-school. Since my parents were insisting me to work for the college application, I had to shift my attention to study. I will say that was necessary for me as I needed a break to be ready for more work.

After I get rid of my college admission, I started my research backend languages. I learned that Python is getting more and more popular in spite of being new compared to other languages. I started learning Python for backend and its Django framework.

Now, I write computer applications in Python. At first, I started my career as a web designer, but later I found the backend development more attractive. So, I switched my career to a backend programmer or a software developer. Now, I have my own blog where I share my new ideas and findings and run my own business.