Ever since I can remember, there has been a computer in my house. My dad had always been interested in computers and technology. He knew that personal computers were going to be more than a just a novelty few people would have, so when other kids were playing Super Nintendo, I was playing Wolfenstein 3D on a 486.
When I started on this path around age 12, what blew me away was how easy it was to make things happen on the screen and in the browser. The only barrier to entry was having a computer. An internet connection, albeit near indispensable in it’s breadth of resources, was and still is optional.
My first website was about a video game. My second was on video game cheat codes. And my third was made to help my dad sell automotive invoices. Each time, I would try something new. When I didn’t have a reason to make a website, I would make a reason by creating a problem to solve.
Here’s how I turned my hobby into a career:
1) Never Stop Learning
I never stopped learning and wasn't afraid to try new things and experiment with new technologies. Not understanding something is the first step to understanding something. And a varied skill set can do nothing but help you in the long run.
2) Be Honest
When I approached Lewis, I was completely honest about my skill set. While the “Fake it ‘till you make it” modicum works in some circumstances, I’ve never operated that way. Being honest lets everyone know your strengths and weaknesses, and helps your employer place you in a position where you can do the most good.
3) Be Humble
Taking a humble approach to most any situation can help, especially with programming. Understanding that you will likely never learn everything keeps you on a continuous path to seek knowledge. Also, knowing when to speak up instead of speaking out is important.
4) Put Yourself Out There
I never thought I would be able to actually do this for a living. There were a ton of excuses and reasons not to try. Finally, one day I’d had enough of working jobs that I hated, so I sent an email. I was lucky enough that the person on the receiving end saw potential in me and gave me the opportunity to learn and grow with such a great team.
There may have been a little luck involved, but in the end, by being honest, humble, willing to learn and putting myself out there, I was able to land my dream job. If you are a motivated, self-starter looking for a career at a thriving company, we’re hiring. CLICK HERE for more information.