My journey to becoming a developer

2021-08-09

3 min read

I’ve worked in book publishing for eight years but I’ve loved it. I’ve won awards (which is really nice and slightly embarrassing) and I’ve worked on some beautiful books.

Now though I’m transitioning into becoming a software developer with Founders and Coders. If you’re interested in my journey this is how I got here...

Photo by Emile Perron on Unsplash

Dabbled with coding

I started dabbling with coding quite soon out of Uni and I even attended a course on Dreamweaver (when that was still widely used). I taught myself the basics of HTML and CSS which is what you needed at the time to make basic websites. I ventured into Javascript but found it quite scary without a maths or computing background. I kept coming back to it though mostly because I liked the elegance of coding. I realised it was all about finding the most efficient solution to a problem.

Made learning a habit

What really supercharged my interest in coding was when I made a commitment to practising it every day. Initially this was just a few minutes and I used the Mimo app. I worked my way through the HTML and CSS tutorials on W3 schools and started reading Javascript.info. This was when I properly started to grapple with Javascript and I found that persistence and googling were enough to see me through. The developer community also has a great ethos of sharing knowledge and constant learning which really inspired me.

Got involved with events and meetups

Eventually I started to get brave enough to talk to other people about what I was doing. I was a coach at the 2019 FutureBook Day of Code which was a turning point for me in terms of trusting in my own abilities. I started attending (by then online) meetups at Codebar and Founders and Coders. At these events I got free support and tuition but I also connected to a group of people who had, or were, transitioning their careers towards software development.

Made projects

I think it’s really important to put your new skills into practice as soon as you can. I started making websites - including the one that hosts this blog which I built following this tutorial. I tried to combine my existing skills and experience in publishing with coding so I also made a React application that returns data from the Google Books API. I created a GitHub profile where I pushed my code and went through the whole process of building a site from create-react-app to hosting on Netlify.

Joined FAC

Earlier this year I made the huge decision to apply to the Founders and Coders bootcamp. It was a lengthy application process and the requirements were tough. I knew though, that even if I wasn't successful, the learning I was gaining wouldn't be wasted. I am in the middle of the part time course now and it's already one of the best things I’ve ever done. In September I’ll be leaving my current job at Abrams & Chronicle Books (which I’ve loved and has supported me to take this step) to study at FAC full time and become a junior developer.

I hope that this has been interesting to read and has given you some insight or inspiration to start your own journey with coding! Please feel free to contact me using the form on my about page or email hello@annacunnane.co.uk if you have any questions or would like to work together.