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Transitioning to IT


I have noticed recently that a lot of people are thinking about entering the software development space. From friends, and family, to complete strangers, it seems that the recent boom of IT attracts people from all walks of life. Personally, seeing more people interested in that space makes me super excited to talk and share about web development. So in this post, I'll try to share with you ways to get started in the web development sphere, either as a starting career path or for someone who is thinking of switching.


Choose your career path

Contrary to popular belief, IT sector does not consist mostly of developers that only code. Whilst it is an essential part, other roles have a huge impact on development that does not require you to code at all. So before learning anything, decide what role seems to interest you the most. Do you want to code? Do you want to assure the good product quality? Do you want to manage a product or project, or perhaps the day-to-day itself? Do you like working with people and managing them, rather than processes? IT is broad and you can find to fit in.


Some roles that you can choose from

  1. Developer - in web development there are three types of developers: frontend (creates the look of the program), backend (works more with logic and databases), and full-stack (does both). My recommendation, if you want to become a developer is to start learning about all of the basics of the web and from there choose a path that most interests you.

  2. Quality assurance - is sort of an in-between role. A tester is responsible for the quality of the product, he analyses requirements and tests the system if developers implemented everything and that everything works as expected. A good tester also codes, he creates automated tests to make his job easier and smoother, so expect to learn about code as well.

  3. Business analyst - this role does not require you to code. A B.A. (business analyst) is responsible for communication between what the user (or business) wants from the system being created and how these needs can be implemented by the development team.

  4. Product Owner - this position is responsible for the whole product that is created. This person has the larger picture of the product and understands its needs and requirements from both high and low levels. Communicates with the business side and development team.

  5. Scrum master - many companies work with agile principles of work, use a variety of methodologies (at our company we try to use SCRUM as close as possible, but any methodology is flexible to the team’s needs) and in SCRUM development the scrum master is responsible that everything is run smoothly. He organizes SCRUM ceremonies (meetings and work methods), ensures that the developer has everything he needs to finish his work, helps the team plan and execute their tasks, and removes any blockers and anything else that the team needs.

There are more roles that I did not mention, but these are the main ones and roles that we are always on the look out at Reiz.


How fast can I get hired?

Getting hired is notoriously hard in tech. A junior or entry position often has loads of applicants, the homework exercises are often overwhelming and difficult. I see a lot of people (me included) get discouraged and annoyed at the length and difficulty of landing a job. In reality, to become a developer and your first job it can take up to a year of learning, depending on how much you learn. But don't get discouraged, passion for this line of work and willingness to learn is highly appreciated, just get your basic in order, and landing your first gig should be no problem.


What to learn for developers

Since I myself am a developer, I can give basic idea of where to start in order to become a developer, mostly a frontend one. I myself am a self though developer, whilst I do have a degree in IT, I did not learn enough there to land a job and needed to study on my own (at least the technologies I wanted). So, you can do it in three ways:

  1. Go to a university to get a degree (would not recommend)

  2. Go to a bootcamp that has a curriculum dedicated to learn all the basics (a good one in Vilnius is Vilnius Coding School or just google for one in your country)

  3. Go the self thought rout and learn everything online for cheap or completely free.


Becoming self thought

Teaching yourself code is difficult, and time-consuming and you often get the urge to quit. But it is also rewarding and forces you to head straight into coding, if you survive this and find passion here - all doors are open. Here are some great resources I have found and used:

  1. Odin Project - One of the best free platforms to learn. It goes through all the fundamentals, gives you free resources, and guides you to build various projects, that help you build out your portfolio - an important part of getting a job.

  2. Free code camp - also an amazing platform to learn the basic (and more).

  3. The Complete 2022 Web Development Bootcamp - this is a huge course on Udemy made by Angela Yu. It has everything you need to get started, has great explanations, and was the first course I took that made me fall in love with development. This is my personal favorite and with all kinds of discounts, you can get it for less than 10e. Highly recommend it.

  4. Anything you like - just google stuff, look at YouTube videos, follow interesting people, and all-around be in the space. Learning this stuff should be fun and interesting - that is the easiest way to learn. Just have an interest in this space and learn whatever you like, it is all connected.


Conclusion

If you are thinking about entering this sphere, don't hesitate, jump right in. It can take a long time to learn and everything might seem overwhelming, but remember - we've all been there and it is normal. Just don't give up, build some cool stuff and you will become a great specialist in no time!