Join LinkedIn Learning Developer Instructor for an in-depth discussion in this video Christina Truong, part of Career Clinic: Developer Insights.
- The initial thing that drew me into this industry was as a child, I was always really interested in artistic things. I was drawing all the time. I liked to write. So I liked to create things. And I think as I got older and I was trying to think about what could I do for work, I always had that image of the starving artist, so I put that aside. And I was just working at a temp job and flipping through the junk mail, and I found a college course, it was a 14-week certificate program in web design, and I remember thinking it just looked interesting and I was thinking, I like computers, I can do this.
And it just so happened that I had been saving money for a car, and then it happened to be the exact amount, or almost the exact amount of the program, so I thought, you know what, I'll wait on the car, let me just go for it, go for this program, and I guess as they say, the rest is history. I did the program and just started working in the industry. My first job actually wasn't a full developer job, so I did a lot of content management with a content management system, rather than actually writing code. So then the logical next step that I wanted was, okay, I want an actual developer job.
So then I got an intermediate developer job, and then the next step was I want more of a senior role. And so once I got to that stage in my career, I also fell into teaching, and I found that to be very fulfilling to be able to pass on this passion to new people. And it kind of gave me a chance to do what I wish I had when I was learning, and so I think now later in my career, I'm still here because I like being able to now to share this with other people through teaching.
There's a lot of self-taught developers, but after you sort of get that initial stage when you've just learned, how you learn after that, I find that most commonly it happens when you have to, so I always have these grand ideas. I'm going to learn how to do this, I'm going to learn how to do that, and I just never get around to it, but when I end up on a project or something where I have to now, that is usually the push to actually get me to learn something new is when you have a real project to work on, because if you are just doing something in theory, I guess it's a little bit harder to apply that.
And so I find that as long as you can find something real to work on, that gives you the push to actually learn something new. And sometimes it's hard to know what it is that you need to learn because web development has changed so much that there's so many different, so many different tools that almost do the same thing as well, and so it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which thing am I supposed to learn first. So sometimes that choice is made for you when you join a specific company, or start working on a certain project, or work with a certain client, then you start to figure out which tool works the best for you.