Retraining in the field of IT is accompanied by many myths. Who else but Andrius Meškonis, Adroiti Back-end developer, can know this better? Having started his journey as an IT specialist three and a half years ago, Andrius made an impressive career leap in this short time - from zero to back-end Python developer. Andrius shared his story and practical advice on how to successfully start a career in the IT field when burning eyes and a strong desire are not enough.
"I started studying IT more than three years ago when I decided to change my profession and devote all my time to developing competencies in this field. I started with the Python Django framework, took various programming courses, and spent the first three months just learning. After those three months, I landed my first IT job as a data extraction specialist, and later while working there, I didn't forget python and was always learning after work and on weekends. I had to participate in maybe 20 job interviews until I ended up here in Adroiti",- says Andrius.
According to Andrius, retraining is not an easy path. To reach your goal, you need a lot of persistence, faith, and commitment to move forward, even when you want to drop everything. The first major challenges in this path are:
- High requirements. In the job advertisements, the requirements were very high for both - the tech stack and the seniority level - it was unrealistic to know so much and understand things so deeply by learning on your own and not working in this field.
- High competition. Almost no one was looking for a junior in the areas where I wanted to work - BACK-end engineer or full stack. And if they were, you had to beat 50 other applicants.
- New technical language. It's easy to get lost in job interviews because of too little familiarity with the technical jargon used.
Andrius shared the most important tips, what should be understood, and what to prepare for if you want to follow in his footsteps.
Continuous learning. People need to understand where they are going. The IT field is definitely not for everyone - you need to constantly learn here, the pace is enormous, and the speed of change is incredible. Therefore, you must be really interested in what you are doing, and if you feel that you are not in the right place, it is necessary to look for an area that you like. Otherwise, it will be difficult to improve. In this regard, the IT field is convenient as it has wide variety areas where you can test yourself.
Programming language. It doesn't matter which programming language you learn first because all of them are more or less similar. It is important to build strong foundations and understand the main principles. The programming language you learn first won't necessarily be the language you use in your future job as a developer.
Market Analysis. To find a job quickly, you need to assess where you want to work, in which market, and in which city, and analyze job advertisements. Interest and curiosity will also be crucial in this process as every job interview is a lesson and an opportunity to learn specific things, evaluate your knowledge and expand it. I promise it gets easier with every job interview - don't give up!.
Reasonable expectations. To avoid disappointment it's best to review your tech stack right from the start and assess your financial worth. This is easy to do because the salary ranges are openly visible. And please if you apply for a job you're under qualified don't ask for a senior level salary even at the lowest end of the specified range, you will not hear the good news you're expecting for sure.
Appropriate channels for learning. When applying for a job as a developer, having a ready-made digital portfolio of software development projects to show is a huge advantage. Because of it, I was constantly learning, doing my own invented projects, and using various Udemy courses. My recommendation would be to start with learning ‘Udemy’, ‘Coursera’, ‘Pluralsight’. Check them out they constantly discount learning courses and you can grab a great course for under 10 Eur! Maximum value!
Interviews. Put aside your fear and self-doubt while in interviews. Look at them as an opportunity to learn. You can learn what employers expect of you and what tech stack is actually important. Take notes and learn these things you couldn't answer after the interview. Those questions repeat, and you will be more ready for the following interview every time. And on the interview for the questions you need help with today, show your interest and willingness to learn. Many employers love people who are curious and can learn on the fly. If they don't, well, it's not the place for you as you're still learning, and you need a place encouraging it.
"If you’re excited by the idea of becoming a software developer, start learning how to code and see if you enjoy it. You can’t retrain as a developer overnight, but it is possible in a matter of months", – says Andrius.
Among Andrius, it is also important to find the right workplace for you, where you will be trusted and have the opportunity to prove your talent and grow together with the team: „Today, at Adroiti, I learn every day and raise my competencies as a programmer by massive leaps - this is where I discovered the real speed of learning," Andrius shares his impressions, emphasizing that the most important thing on this path is not to give up!