Let’s be honest, the tech world is anything but a bed of roses.
The highs are there and they are thrilling but the lows are quite low too.
So if you’ve set your mind on this path and are starting up, here are 8 things you need to know.
1. Tech Is More Than Coding
Image credit: Donson
Everyone has seen those movies where developers are in black hoodies writing thousands of code throughout the night. Over time this shapes our mindsets and we come to think of tech as just programming. But this isn't always the case.
If you're not interested in coding, there are other several opportunities for you in the tech world.
Here are 5 tech professions that don’t require coding.
- UI//UX design
- Technical writing
- Project manager
- Data Analyst
2. You’ll Learn Faster When You Build
Watching tutorials on YouTube is great, attending hackathons and tech workshops is plausible, but real growth happens the moment you sit down alone and build. That’s right.
Sit by yourself and try out the new thing you learned. This is how you’ll be able to access your strengths and weaknesses.
We all started with the famous “Hello world”, so don’t be afraid of starting small. Just start, and keep records. In a year’s time, you’ll be amazed by the progress you’ll have made.
3. Manage Your Expectations
Image credit: Zhanna
As humans, we usually put a lot of pressure on ourselves to automatically pick things. So when we don't, we see it as failure.
The truth is that it’s hard in the beginning, really hard. You’ll get so many errors and spend hours looking through the code just to notice that you misspelled something or didn’t add a dash somewhere.
So, pace yourself and when you stumble, pick yourself back up and keep going. It does get easier with time.
4. It’s Okay To Ask for Help
Image credit: gilaxia
Getting stuck can be very frustrating, especially if you’ve spent hours trying to figure out the solution. Instead of throwing in the towel and cursing the day you chose this field, ask for help.
There are great online communities out there filled with people who’d be more than willing to help you out. Here are some to get you started:
5. Learning Never Stops.
Image credit: Fizkes
When I was in high school, I used to joke that once I was done with the 8-4-4 system, I’d never read again. I swore that I wouldn't be caught even with a newspaper. Well, I was young and dumb and now I know better. Currently, I read even more than I did when I was in school.
Learning is an ongoing process especially if you want to remain relevant in the tech world. So listen to podcasts about the ongoing changes, read books and deepen your understanding of your particular field.
6. Don’t Be a Jack of All Trades and a Master of None
Image credit: Nosyrevy
When starting out, there’s usually a kind of excitement in the air. You want to try this framework and a little bit of that while learning about this and that language. But this only complicates things in your mind.
It’s like opening a hundred browser tabs and shifting from one to the other. At the end of the day, will you have made any progress? Think about it.
So as you start out, try one thing at a time. Once you’ve gained substantial knowledge in one, try more things and more. Over time, learn a little about everything as you figure out what to specialize in.
7. Burnout is Real
Image credit: Frazao
Remember the lows we talked about, this is it.
Your job is a vital aspect of your life, but it isn't everything. You are important, and your mental wellness is as well. Listen to your body and mind, and rest when you need to.
Take a nap or a stroll or even both. By the time you come back, you'll be feeling much better. If you’re currently going through one, we've got you covered. Here are five ways of dealing with burnout.
8. There's Real Value in Networking
You might be the best of the best, but if no one knows who you are, the chances of landing your dream job will be pretty slim. That's why networking is very important.
At SCA Nairobi, we developed a guide to help you reach like-minded individuals. Here's how you can network with no network.
Once people know your capabilities, they'll recommend you when an opening comes up.
That's it for today, feel free to share the lessons you learned on the way. Cheers