From a non-college musician to JavaScript developer in six months

Facing reality

In a week I am 22 years old. According to my feelings, now in the IT world it no longer seems like a small age. You look at the stories about programmers who have been writing C ++ programs with their dad since the age of 5, and at 20 they are already seniors, and you think: what kind of IT do I need? Who needs me there? People launch rockets into space, and here I want to write programs.

Although I am also without any background in this area. When I was 10-12 years old, I made mini-games using the GameMaker constructor. I wrote a little code in the same place, tried myself in the only gaining popularity engine Unity3D and tried to make models for games in Blender. But then interest from gamedev turned into music. Impressed by the 30 Seconds To Mars concert in Minsk, I begged for a guitar from my parents and began to explore the world of music. Everything is as always: plans for success, world fame, girls, tours and so on. He wrote his songs, made music to order, tried to somehow spin in this area. But then I turned 21 and I realized that somehow I needed to earn money. I want to eat deliciously, and go somewhere with a girl, and live separately from my parents. Although I managed to get out of the bits to order for $ 300-400 a month, I wanted more, so I decided to go where I started.

From the outside, for some I was a fine fellow, that I myself earn some money from music, for the rest, a naive kid who hopes to be successful in this area. I myself did not understand until the age of 20 what I want and what I need. My parents did not understand this at all, they wanted me to graduate from a university, and my dad always told me about programming, they say it brings money. “Have you seen what their salaries are? That’s where to go.” I didn’t want that, it’s a clear path. Work 8 hours, 5 days a week, and summer vacation. There was once a little boy in me who tried to prove to everyone that he could do it differently. But … The time for dreams came out a little, and I began to think.

Education? Courses? No, but I started learning JS

Yes, I’m the ignorant who dropped out of university. Even two. In total, I managed to pass only one session and study for a little over a year at the Pedagogical and Technological University in Minsk. A year ago, I decided to still learn a language and try to look for a job. My thoughts were to become a tester, but I thought that it would be more fun to be a programmer, and they also get paid more. Here, too, I was a little lucky – I have a brother Javist with almost 10 years of experience. The courses are very expensive, at least for me then it was like that. All of them cost about $ 1000, and it is not at all clear whether you like it or not. Therefore, I chose the path of self-study, and plus, I was waiting for help from my brother. He told me what directions there are, what languages ​​are and what they are for. After receiving all the information, I began to choose. It would be logical to take gamedev, since I was interested in this as a child, but for some reason I chose Front-End. Probably, it seemed to me that if you see the result of the work immediately in the browser, then this makes it somehow easier and easier.

At first, everything was going tight, to be honest. Until the end of 2020, for 1.5 months, I did not make much progress. But already in the new 2021, I began to actively learn JS. I had some knowledge of HTML and CSS, I don’t even remember where, so there were no problems with them. Day and night, I did the tasks that my brother gave me. The tasks were of a different plan: write a small chat (without a backup), try to write chess, statistics for a card game, standard tudushki, etc. And all this in pure JS without frameworks. Now, of course, it’s funny to remember how I was stupid and did not understand how basic things work or how my brother explained something, but I did not enter at all. There were separate parts of the mosaic in my head, but they did not add up to a single picture. So much new information immediately fell on me that I really got a headache from all this while learning. But a day or two passed and what seemed difficult to you yesterday, today you understand quite well. If you think you don’t have enough brains to program, you’re not. Need a good understanding of math and physics? No! It’s a delusion. There are areas where this is needed, but in commercial development it is rarely seen. Do not be afraid, if something is difficult, it will be easier later. Storm further.

There is no HSE, but I wrote my diploma

After a couple of pet projects, my hands were itching to get started with the framework. Which? Well, what else, no matter how React? Most popular, lots of information and tutorials available for beginners. There was not much choice, although my brother drowned for Angular. And there, too, it started, again a bunch of information, some kind of Redux, I also wanted to tweak the back, and then Node.js and the MongoDB database. Oh … So on top, a couple of mini-projects, and then … an offer comes in. To write a program part for a diploma for a friend of mine at BSUIR (the main university of programmers in Belarus). And there is a full-stack application for a car rental service. Front, back, and SQL. In fact, I thought that I could not cope, because such a responsibility! (Ha-ha) But, my brother told me to agree, if anything – he will help. Of course, they paid me a little, but the experience that I got from this project was invaluable. And so, from April to early June, I riveted this diploma, studying node.js with the express framework, and communication with the database, and the UI of the framework, and graphics. Somewhere I did not have time to finish something, so I had to sit at night, somewhere everything fell off and therefore I also had to do it in a hurry. But in general, I really enjoyed working and I got the idea that I was ready to look for a job for June. But the girl is doing well, she successfully passed her diploma, and now works as a business analyst.

What about English? I’m far from perfect with him. Because of this, I did not go through many outsourcing companies. One hundred percent, which is easier with him, but without him you can. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to know it in order to name variables and methods, read the documentation, and write a summary. In the process, you still have to learn it, which is what I am doing now.

Conclusions and who I work now

Is it possible to get a job in IT without education and courses? Can. Can I learn myself? You can, too. I was lucky to have a lot of time to devote to my studies. But if it weren’t, it seems to me that it would just take longer. Of course, this training format is not suitable for everyone. Someone needs notes, a clear structuring of classes, a study schedule. It will help you a lot if you find yourself a mentor. I think at least one person you know works in the IT field and can help guide you, or even pull you up technically. It seems to me that such a mentor is even better than some promoted courses. To each his own.

And now I don’t even work at the front. It so happened that I got into a game development company for the position of Playable Ads Developer. For me, this was a new direction, in fact, there is very little information about it on the Internet. Playables are mini-games for advertising on various platforms. You can talk about this another time, but the fact remains that I found a job after graduation in a month. I responded to all possible vacancies, passed interviews, knocked on all doors. Some social security interviews were so disastrous that I wanted to die of shame, and some turned out to be simply wonderful, for example, as in my current company. The main thing is desire and patience, and if you can handle it, you will succeed.

You shouldn’t think that IT is some kind of magical world where everything is perfect. This is an industry in which now there is an opportunity to realize oneself. If you like this direction or you just want to work in this field – do not be alarmed. Everything is here, as elsewhere: work on oneself, desire and work. Good luck!

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