How to become a programmer from the humanities – experts answer

I’ll tell you how I became a programmer from the humanities. I was 25 years old, and I worked as a public relations specialist. At some point, I realized that I literally hate what I’m doing, dissatisfied with my salary and ready to change my job as soon as possible.

I thought about what I want to do, and I realized that the main criteria for choosing a new specialty are as follows:

  1. I have to like what I’m doing.
  2. I want to communicate less with people.
  3. A new profession should have the opportunity to develop.
  4. In a new place should be a decent salary.

The choice fell on the profession of a programmer, or rather, the frontend developer, since it seemed to me that there was the lowest threshold for entry among all areas of programming.

I started my journey with layout. He spent about two months on interactive online courses, after which he got a job in a company that was only involved in typesetting. At first, my salary was only 8-12 thousand rubles (Ulyanovsk, 2015) – quite a bit, because I had little experience and had to learn a lot. Hence the advice: if you will radically change the scope of activities, first prepare a money “pillow”.

I worked in this company for a year and a half, becoming during this time a confident typesetter. He mastered Git, Webpack and Gulp, LESS, Sass, BEM, Jade, aka Pug, Bootstrap and simple JS tasks (plug-in, configure it, add classic, etc.).

After that I got a job as a typesetter in the company where I work now. Studying JS for some time (don’t do it! This is my main mistake on the way from humanities to programmers), but then I returned to this. To do this, I went through another online course in the specialty of frontend developer and mastered an online tutorial on JavaScript. By the way, I advise you to start learning not from JS itself, but from the basics of programming in order to understand how everything works inside.

A few words about why I always preferred courses (especially interactive), rather than books. The books provide a detailed theoretical basis, but without the practice and guidance of a mentor, it was difficult for me to master it. Interactive courses, where theoretical knowledge is given in parallel with the tasks in the online editor, solve this problem: they direct the person from task to task and indicate errors. This allows you to learn the theory on specific examples and accumulate the first experience.

In the current company, I was engaged in layout for the first time. Gradually, tasks began to appear on JS, which became more and more difficult, I coped with some myself, others were helped by advice from more experienced colleagues. Then they entrusted me with a small internal project on Vue.js, which I managed, then a large project on Vue.js, and on it, over the course of a year of work, I grew to a full-fledged frontend developer.

Thus, it took me 5 years to go from a public relations specialist to a frontend developer. But if you study more intensively and be less lazy, you can fully master this profession in 2-3 years.

What can I advise to people who decided to radically change their field of activity and get a job in IT?

  1. Do not delay learning and get a job as early as possible: experienced programmers from among new colleagues will tell you what to learn, and thus accelerate your development.
  2. Do not be afraid to go for interviews: many IT companies are ready to take people with minimal training and train them.
  3. Practice as much as possible.
  4. And most importantly – enjoy your new job!

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