How I accidentally got into software development?

How I accidentally got into software development?

“A low shot of a person with a backpack and a camera standing on a white arrow on asphalt” by Smart on Unsplash

It’s intentional and unintentional at the same time.

A recent graduate asked me on LinkedIn,

“I noticed you majored in advertising, why did you become a developer?”

I gave him the short answer,

“Why I became a developer and why I chose advertising while I was in college are quite similar. I love to solve problem in a creative way.”

I reflected on my answer and thought I should had been more thorough. Hence, here’s a post.

The truth is…it was never on my dream job list to be a software developer.

My dream job is not to have a job. ?

When I was in college, I wondered why would anyone look at code for hours.

And now I love it.

How did I get here?

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. –Steve Jobs

Follow your curiosity

“Two men playing basketball outside in Venice Beach during the late sunset” by Matteo Paganelli on Unsplash

Back in 2012, Google maps didn’t have basketball courts marked in Taiwan. Because I love basketball, I wanted to record my basketball courts’ locations. Being broke, I couldn’t hire anybody to build a website for me.

So I thought to myself, “What if I can build it myself?”

Then I stumbled around the internet to find learning resources,

got overwhelmed by choices, Do I learn Ruby on Rails, PHP, Javascript?

paid money for computer school,

quit computer school,

drag and drop in Dreamweaver,

thought I can make website,

met a senior developer,

destroyed what I already knew,

started learning Javascript,

learned Angular,

finally hacked together a website. (It’s on a free dyno on heroku now, if you must see, be patient.)

Find your Inspiration

During the learning period, I wanted to quit many times.

Then I met Elon Musk,

Of course not in person, but I learned about him through Peter Thiel’s book: Zero to One

Elon didn’t major in rocket science in college, but he founded SpaceX.

This gave me the courage to pursue coding.

What you learned in college doesn’t have to be what you do for the rest of your life.

Trust that you will be fine no matter what

I was just as confused as any graduate would be, if not more.

I even went skydiving, because I heard that fear of death can help you think clearer.

Didn’t really help.

When the bank balance was running low, the oh shit moment hit me.

I couldn’t really feed myself with learning.

I got a job at a retail store, but I continued to code at night.

The job turned out to be a great experience.

They encourage entrepreneurship, because they wanted people to take ownership of the store.

This pushed me to quit the job to pursue a business.

Do less of what you hate, you will end up with what you love

I spent countless hours trying to figure out what I love.

What is my passion?

Most motivational contents out there tell you to follow your passion.

However, it’s pointless to decide what’s your passion when you haven’t try enough things.

Once you pick a direction, you will learn what you hate and what you love.

Steer away from what you hate, you will continuously mold your life with more things you love.

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