Just before getting into high school, I wasn’t really sure what to look forward in terms of work. I initially considered getting into electronics, following on my older brother’s footsteps, but it wasn’t something I had much interest before, so I hesitated.
As I had interest in computers, I ended up choosing informatics. This choice was purely made due to this existing interest, not anything informed like if there were a lot of jobs in the area or if the wages were good. I had no idea at the time what kind of job I would end up with following this path. Looking back, making a choice like this was probably not the best way to go about it, but fortunately everything panned out nicely.
After finishing high school, got into college to do a bachelor’s degree (and eventually master’s as well) in informatics and computing. Even then, I had no real idea what my actual job would eventually turn out to be, as the course was kind of general within the context. It was about half-way, when we started to have more serious software development courses, that it finally clicked and I understood what was the path that I would eventually follow.
Fast forward to finishing the degree, and to today, I work in the software development space, having worked at different companies, across different industries and different kinds of projects.
During high school and college, my study was mostly guided by whatever the teaches would tell us. I wasn’t really one of those students that explores a lot other possibilities, outside specific projects in which we were asked to do exactly that.
When I got working, not much changed, I mostly continued to learn only things directly related to tasks I was doing, with the occasional extra exploration.
At around maybe 5/6 years into my career, I started to feel a bit stagnant, that I wasn’t evolving. The tech industry in general is one that evolves a lot and quickly, so it’s important to keep up, or be left behind. At that point I started really learning more stuff on the side, started blogging to force myself to learn things and try to explain them. This continues to this day, though I do even more different things (e.g. recording videos, presenting at events), and I believe it was very important to improve my career.
I think the biggest challenge was the one I just mentioned regarding becoming stagnant. This is probably true for all professions, but talking about technology, it’s very important to keep learning, because new things are always coming up.
Forcing myself to get back to the learning mindset, also including blogging to share what I was learning, pushed me forward in my career.
The accomplishment ends up being directly tied to overcoming the previously mentioned challenge. In 2019, I was awarded as a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional). This award is attributed to folks who participate in the community, share knowledge and help others using Microsoft technologies. As the main technologies I worked with and blogged about were from Microsoft (a software development stack called .NET), I ended up being awarded.
I currently work as a software architect, which I guess I can summarize (maybe oversimplifying) as a software developer who cares not only about what they’re building, but also the bigger picture of the whole system, as well as helping other software developers learn and improve themselves.
What keeps me engaged is solving problems with technology myself, and helping others do the same.
I think the biggest advice regarding getting into the software development field, is don’t get discouraged and look for the good people who are there to help. Software development is not easy, but it’s not rocket science (well, unless you work developing software for NASA or something). There are folks who aren’t very helpful, putting obstacles in the way of newcomers, but there are also a lot of people that genuinely want to help everyone succeed.
Here is a link to a presentation I’ve done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM5sTt39A8g