My name is Dan and I'm supposed to say I'm a designer, though i'm not sure if that's the best way of presenting myself. During my studies of Multimedia Design at college, I came across something I really liked, but never saw as a career option: technology. In this blog post I’ll explain how I migrated from design to software development, and how this two profiles are a good merge.
I was on my second year when got curious about software. I started watching some online videos to understand how it worked and without even knowing it, I was suddenly learning to code by myself. I discovered that coding was thrilling and not as hard as it looked, and started getting quite passionate about it. I realized that everyone can learn about programming, not only bold mathematicians, as I previously thought.
In my learning journey of this new “sport” I came across with Light-it. I discovered an amazing community that allowed me to learn and grow, there was always someone willing to teach me whatever I needed. At the same time, everyone was willing to learn from my design perspective, so synergy was awesome. Let’s stop talking about me and talk about how to lead your design career towards technology.
Programming can be divided into two worlds: Front-End and Back-End… AND NO, Back-End Developers aren’t the ones sitting behind Front-End Devs.
The Back-End Development refers to everything the user can’t see in the browser. It’s about making the web dynamic, making functionalities work and ensuring the persistence of the information. Front-End Developers will be in charge of making everything in the Back-End visually available for the users and creating a good and intuitive user experience. Developers can either specialize in one of these two areas or work in both.
Software Engineering careers tend to be focused on the Back-End, but many programers end up working as Front-End Developers. What's the disadvantage? That these developers hadn’t had the chance to learn about design and that’s fundamental to create a good user experience. This makes designers good candidates to be Front-End developers… But we got lot's to learn too! Design and Development make a perfect match because, by knowing both, you can achieve amazing results visually and functionally.
Why is it interesting for designers to work in technology?
Because it's an industry in constant growth and movement, salaries are higher and businesses tend to be centered in their employees and their motivation. The tech industry has an amazing environment... it's quite different to the preconceptions you may have.
Designers (and mostly everyone) tend to think that programmers look something like this:
But reality is quite different to the photo above and this prejudice was probably the reason why I didn’t think of Software Engineering as a career in the first place. I guess I thought that I wasn't bookish enough for it, before even knowing what programmers actually do on a daily basis.
So step number 1 is changing your mind about who engineers are and what you can do!
Here are some other tips for you to take into consideration if I tempted you to start learning about programming:
- YouTube is your best friend: there are hundreds of courses for beginners.
- Literally EVERYTHING is in Google… Someone has already been in your feet and the Tech Community is all about sharing experiences, solutions, and solving doubts.
- The ABC tools are HTML, CSS and JS, so start there. You will use this languages for everything.
- Nothing is impossible. I know it sounds Tacky, but when you're confronted to a functionality that seems impossible, just Google it and 99% chances you'll manage to solve your problem.
- Don't be anxious, it can take some time to learn but you will understand how programming works at some point.
- Don't give up easily, find the right places to get information and don't abandon your studies.
- Practice makes perfect!
Hope my experience was useful for you! Feel free to leave comments and doubts below!