“Scio me nihil scire - I know that I know nothing,” said Plato of Socrates.
It’s a saying I’m sure anyone who - like me - has decided to make a career change, will relate to. It can be strenuous, yet rewarding, as I discovered on my journey into software engineering at Goodlord.
I’m a 28-year-old self-taught developer who started learning about programming roughly two years ago.
As a teenager, I spent a significant amount of my free time playing computer games and developing some simple ones of my own. Although I studied four years of Computer Science in high school - where I learned plenty of useful fundamentals, even if some of the technology was outdated (FoxPro, anyone?) - I went on to study Finance at university.
Even though I enjoyed aspects of Finance, there was always a “what if?” at the back of my mind. So when I received a Google scholarship for an online Android programming course on Udacity, I jumped right in. I left my role as a Research Analyst and dedicated myself almost entirely this course. But I did need a source of income, so I started working as a temp in the Referencing department at Goodlord.
Right from the get-go, I found the environment to be one that encouraged autonomy, personal development, inclusivity, and transparency , and the work challenging. When the end of my course approached, I started thinking about finding a role where I could put my newfound skills to good use. With the help of the Head of Referencing, I got to plead my case to our CTO, Donovan, who took a chance by offering me a junior role in the Engineering team.
The transition from writing code for personal and course projects to writing production code was challenging at first. But I could throw myself in at the deep end knowing I had the support around me to ask for help. Regular one-to-ones, personal objectives, pair programming and mentorship helped me ramp up my skills exponentially. Socrates got it right - we should never be afraid to admit what we don’t know. There’s always more to learn.
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