Joseph Tsegen
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Behind the scenes: Dev edition - Dev Retro 2022

Behind the scenes: Dev edition - Dev Retro 2022

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Joseph Tsegen
·Jan 1, 2023·

6 min read

Hello there, today we'll be taking a look at my journey in the field of software engineering. In this article, I'll go over the highlights of my journey from newbie developer to where I am now. I'll discuss my key milestones, technologies I've learned, challenges I've faced, and valuable lessons I've learned along the way. I'll also be showcasing some of my most notable projects and discussing my future development goals.

Timeline

Towards the end of December 2020: where it all started

This was three months after I completed my A-levels at FUTA (the uni I wanted to get into). I came across a flier for TITA coding Bootcamp at a time when I had decided to learn a skill while waiting for admission to FUTA. I decided I wanted to learn to program but didn't know what I wanted so I picked web and enrolled in the one-month Bootcamp. During this time, I learned HTML, CSS, some Javascript, and then Basic React. It was a very short Bootcamp, and because my tutor was a university student, I had to learn most things on my own (using resources such as Freecodecamp, w3schools, and MDN) to get things done quickly so we could finish up before he returned to school. This was the only Bootcamp I attended (from here forward, I learned everything myself). We did some full stuff and created my first few projects, a calculator app, a todo app, and my portfolio website.

Feb-Oct 2021: Long period of self-learning

After the Bootcamp, I kept building with what I had learned and kept learning a new concepts, technologies, and programming languages as time passed. I didn't apply for a single role during this period, all I did was learn, and watch programming YouTubers such as Ben awad, Traversy Media, Nick White, Clement, Coder coder, Tech With Tim and Web dev simplified. I learned a lot during this period and built quite a handful of small projects. I also started to slowly network with other developers (this was around May), the first Dev I networked with was Glory Emmanuel (I reached out to her on LinkedIn), Reached out to Swayam Rout, Solomon Esenyi (A.K.A LordGhostX) and few others during this period. I joined a few tech communities during this time too, notably the OSCA yaba chapter.

Nov 2021: Started hunting for my first freelance gig

Started hunting for my first freelance gig and got it just after two weeks. Resumed 200lv in FUTA to study computer science around this time too.

Jan 2022: Got an internship

It's the start of Q1 2022 and I get my first full-time offer to work remotely as an intern at Gtext Soft inc (A real estate company based in Dubai) as a full-stack software engineer.

Apr 2022: Quit my job at Gtext

I rejected a return offer at Gtext because they wanted me to work onsite and I wasn't satisfied with the role I played at Gtext, I didn't like the type of work I was doing so I decided not to continue and just upskilled myself so I could apply for backend only roles.

May-December 2022: It all started to click

After a difficult period after quitting my job at Gtext soft, I continued to upskill, expand my network and build my project. I worked at 3 different companies within this period the last one being the one I am still currently in. I worked as a frontend developer in one of them which was an early-stage startup and a backend developer (which is my preferred role) in the rest. I learned a lot about working with a team, setting and meeting up with milestones, the importance of communication in the teams I have worked with, and so on.

Technologies I've learned so far

  • HTML and CSS: These are the building blocks of the web and are essential for anyone looking to become a web developer.
  • JavaScript: This is a versatile language that powers many of the interactive features on the web. I've used it to build everything from simple forms to full-blown web apps.
  • Python: This is a popular language for data analysis and machine learning. I mostly used it to build web scrappers and small scripts.
  • SQL: This is a language for working with databases. I mostly use relational databases so it's a must-have.
  • NestJs: A typescript nodejs framework used to build backends. This is my daily driver for building backend applications at the moment.
  • Golang: A programming language built by google with the aim of simplicity. I learned this out of curiosity.
  • MISC: These are other tools I learned such as git, docker, postman, swagger, and so on. There are other libraries I learned about as well (there are so many I am not gonna list them here).

Roadblocks I faced along the way

Like any journey, my path to becoming a developer has had its fair share of challenges and roadblocks. One of the biggest challenges I faced early on was my equipment, particularly my laptop during my early stages which gave me so many issues while learning and even after I got my first freelance gig. I lost a lot of gigs because of this and it affected my productivity a lot, I am glad I was able to overcome this after getting a much more powerful computer.

Another challenge I faced was taking on too many projects at once, this affected me a lot and make me burn out a lot quicker. I had to even forfeit a ton of projects so I could complete things. It is still something I deal with but I have learned to be better.

Lessons I have learned so far

If I have learned anything so far during the past 2 years is that there's nothing special about programming, anyone can learn anything and if you put in the work in the right places then you will see results.

Moving forward

It's been a fun 2 years, there were highs and lows. I learned a lot and made a lot of mistakes but I am grateful for everything. I am not changing much moving forward (at the moment at least), I will continue learning and prioritizing my competence. The only few things I would be changing are the volume at which I push content, contribute to open source, and do community work. I want to do more of that, I want to impact others, grow my income and become a top-level software engineer. "The best time was 2 years ago the second best time is now".

 
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