Well after reflecting a bit I realized that after years and years of project managing in many ways (finance, digital agencies etc.) my biggest frustration was that I was not actually ‘doing’ or producing anything. Not that there is anything wrong with that (the world needs good/better managers). And also, not everybody is a manager — that’s another topic but look at all those companies where the only way to grow as an employee once you reach the ‘senior’ level of your position is to become a manager in some way. So it means that good, qualified, elite, senior ‘doers’ is not something feasible? Sorry, I digress — . But wanting to make or do something was always there. My only source of satisfaction in that area was putting out EP’s with my previous bands.
Then, mid-2016, at the age of 34 I started drinking coffee. Told you, late adopter… As soon as I got that addiction, I realized I wanted to make coffee at home. Understand how to grind beans, thin/coarse, which quantity, how long to brew, how to froth the milk etc. How could I have fun and improve what I was making?
Fast forward to late 2018, my good friend P.O. Bonin, a fellow coffee enthusiast and beer-brewer told me that coding is pretty much the same: trial and error. He told me you’ll never master anything so be ready to keep learning. He also conveniently sent me 4 links to Udemy: complete CSS course, ES5, ES6 and React.
That’s when it hit me:
The why is not ‘to become a developer’, it’s to always learn how to improve your craft and have fun doing so. Whatever your craft is.
So that would be my first advice to anybody who wants to start a bootcamp. Find your ‘why’.
During the bootcamp.
Well obviously, this part was the most fun and the hardest. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of pointers:
Trust the process, trust yourself, focus on the journey more than the outcome and keep at it. Everyday.
Thanks to networking and Le Wagon’s extended connections, I got 4 offers only one week after searching for a job and having interviews. So networking counts. Tech skills count. But soft skills too, especially when you are a junior like me. I am actually not even junior, I am a noob who needs to learn from other people. Hence the soft skills.
Look for a place where you can learn from others, grow as a coder but also as a person. I emphasize that part. Coding is teamwork, even if you are a remote freelancer in the deep Amazonian forest. Eventually, you code for a user, a client, your team, a designer etc. Being a developer is also being a people person in some ways.
Another good point to keep in mind: don’t focus on money. I know nowadays it’s trendy to be a dev, and recruiters are trying hard to reel you in by offering more $$$. But exactly like when you try to debug a feature: if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Get your expectations straight and don’t overthink it: do you like the job and the company? That’s it. Sold.
That being said: unless it’s a timely gig for a non-profit or something like that, don’t work for free. Don’t sell yourself short. You earned it. With or without the imposter syndrome.
Finally, a lesson I learned from the 3 best developers I know (Osman Zeki, P.O. Bonin, Clément Guillou):
Never compare yourself to others. You do you, you are not perfect and that’s what’s perfect.
This blog was first published on Medium