Before I move on to explain why I made this major life decision and how I did it, I want to give you the background story. So I completed my bachelors in English when I was 22. I didn’t continue with masters because, well, I honestly wasn’t interested. I had a passion for writing, so I started looking for content writing and editorial job opportunities. Luckily, I found a job after one week of my graduation, it was in an IT firm. I started off by writing web content and blog posts. The pay was good and the work was easy, so I continued to work there for around 2 years.
After I hit the 2-year mark, the realization hit me. I love writing, but it just wasn’t fueling me anymore. I needed a change, something challenging. I had interacted with web developers, app developers, AI experts, and worked on multiple projects. Something that always grabbed my attention was ‘website development’.
The process of creating the development timeline, creating wireframes, choosing the framework, and developing and designing the website, it all fascinated me. Of course, I didn’t just jump into it. I took the time to get advice from developers, career counselors, and some of my close friends. They all advised me to make the move. I even went on and studied the website development market, the old and upcoming technologies, I basically got myself ready by studying the basics of web development.
Now that you know the backstory, here is how I went about making my career change.
How I Became a Website Developer
Great goals require great motivation. Trust me when I say that when you work in one field for a very long time (especially if it’s somewhat bland and not so challenging), you can feel burnt out. It’s very hard to get yourself out of the rut and wake up and smell the roses. Once you figure out that ‘programming’ is your passion, then it’s finally time to pursue your goals.
There were people that told me that I could do it, and then there were some that told me that ‘it would be a mistake’. The most important stage for me was listening to myself and believing in myself.
When it comes to website development, the quality of a good website developer is their tendency to being excellent team players and problem solvers. These two skills are essential for the level of collaboration that is required by becoming a website developer. As a content writer, I had witnessed this myself, the developers interacting with content writers, sales teams, designers, clients, and the product managers.
I actually enjoy working in a collaborative environment. Asides this, the amount of innovation that you see in the web development market, I knew that this was an excellent platform to put my creative skills to use.
When you make a career change, the main obstacles that you come across are ‘time and cost’. And of course, the mental barriers that seem to pop up when you want them to vanish altogether. Some people (even I myself) have a feeling that they aren’t smart enough or that it’s too late to pursue another career path. I was only 24 and I still felt that ‘it was too late’. But, this is natural. The important thing to remember is that ‘education’ and ‘learning’ are both timeless. Furthermore, if you’re becoming a web developer, you will have numerous routes to achieve your career goal.
You can start by contributing to open source projects or directly by starting your career via bootcamps.
Another obstacle that I faced was ‘releasing that I will be wasting the efforts I put into getting the bachelor’s degree’. I thought that I would be entirely betraying content writing. But guess what, here I am, writing a blog post. After I became a developer, I never abandoned my writing skills. I started incorporating them in various ways to leverage my website and my brand.
Now I know that writing is something that you can continue to do no matter what other careers you adopt. But even if you had an entirely different career before you decided to become a web developer, don’t forget that ‘your career does not define who you are’. So if you want to become a website developer, then don’t hesitate in exploring the opportunity.
How I Started Off
Once I was contented that website development was what I wanted to do in the long run. I left my job and started looking for an institution that could help me develop the required skills. Luckily, I found an institution that offered a one-year diploma in website development and UX development. It provided the exact environment that I needed to learn and grow. I could easily communicate with everyone and ask for assistance to get through tough questions.
If you’re a self-learner or you want to develop your skills online, you can do that online by joining bootcamps and other such services.
Finding a Job
From what I’ve experienced. Finding the right job isn’t an easy task but if you have the right skills, it’s not so difficult either. The majority of the companies don’t really require a specific set of qualifications, instead, they are more interested in the experience that you have and what you can do.
When it came to finding the job, I’m lucky that I have a wide network for friends in the tech industry. My previous experience of working in an IT firm proved to be very valuable. A good friend of mine helped me land a job in a software house situated in Dallas. My skills, my drive to grow and learn, my motivation, and of course my professional network, all worked together to help me get where I am today.
It Was All Worth It
If you ask me whether all my struggles were worth it. ‘Yes Absolutely’. I’m glad that I made this career change. I was stuck in a rut, there were no challenges and nothing to learn. On the contrary, web development teaches me something new every day. It’s a field where I can fully utilize my skills and solve a different puzzle piece every day.
When you want to make a career change, you will be unsure, you’ll face obstacles, and even some of your family and friends will tell you that it’s not the right choice to make. But if it’s something that will give you satisfaction, then why not go for it?
Be positive and open up the door when opportunity knocks.
About Author: Khloe Hunter is a website developer for a custom web application development company in Dallas. Her expert writing skills enable her to convert complex information, into content that anyone can read. Her technical educational background, combined with the know-how of content marketing, gives her an edge over others in a variety of blog posts.