Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Why and how I became a developer

Hi,
It’s Ellie, and this week I want to talk to you about programming and how I ended up doing this for a living.


When I was a child I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew I’d most likely end up working with computers though. I was drawn to them, fascinated by the technology and even from a young age could see them being integral to the progression of humankind; although at the time I wouldn’t have articulated myself so succinctly.


I remember playing games like Chips Challenge and Pipe Dream on my Mam’s Compaq Presario 425 and by the time I was a teen I was sure I’d end up being a receptionist or some kind of white collar worker somewhere.


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I never finished this damn game!


I took a Computing Studies class in school and it was amazing. It was the only class I was any good at, possibly because it was the only class I was actually interested in, and/or possibly because I had a really good Computer teacher. Anyway, the point is, in this class we had to make programmes using COMAL. My eyes were open. This was amazing. You can write your own software!


Sure it was basic at the time, but it was fascinating to me, you write lines of code that the computer interprets, converting into 1’s and 0’s and executes what you tell it to. The possibilities seemed to be only limited by my imagination. This is definitely what I wanted to do for a living.


I started programming as a hobby, learning all I could, following tutorials and writing my own websites. They were terrible, but as with any new skill, you start out bad and think you’re good, until you’re good and think you’re bad. It’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect.


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I hit the confidence peak around 2010 when I got my first job as a web developer and realised I knew relatively little. I ended up taking a Computer Games Development course in university to improve my craft finally graduating in 2014 with a 1st class honours, distinction and a court medal. Cool right?


The reason I’m telling you this is because I actually love my job and it’s important that you do to. Your job takes up a decent portion of your life so I strongly believe that you should be doing something that you love.


I’m sorry, I’m going to leave you with this motivational quote from Steve Jobs to sufficiently illustrate my point. I ain’t no Apple fangirl as you can probably tell if you read my post about the latest Apple event, but it would be an understatement to say that these words have changed the way I live my life, personally and professionally.


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Hope you enjoyed that. You can follow Late Panda all over the internet


Ellie xx

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” - Steve Jobs