David’s way into tech
I’ve been asked a lot about how I became a developer. So I decided to write about my journey.
This is a very personal post, so almost no technical content, just personal experience.
In my last year at school, I had to make a decision. I have had almost a plan for what to do with my life. I want to become a Sound engineer. Therefore I either needed a high school diploma or completed vocational training. I felt I was done with school at this time so I decided to start a career as a television technician. The training company was awesome. I learned so much and enjoyed the topic. What I loved the most: Fixing TVs and VCRs. After my training, I moved to Hamburg in order to start a job in a small workshop.
At this time I realized that most of the televisions in the shop became flat TVs. So, after two years I quit that job and joined a company that made aircraft electronics. Passenger control units and entertainment systems for several companies such as Boing, Airbus, Bombardier…
I loved this job. I was able to develop some skills and even hardware. After a few months, I was promoted to head of the production. My job was to take care of the PCB production. I also had a team of 8 awesome engineers.
Again, after a few months, I asked my self: How can I get better? Of course, I already was playing around with some production parameters (movement speed, pressure, temperature) and hoped I could learn how these changes affect the production.
One day during lunchtime I talked to some software developers and asked a few questions. They told me that often, these machines are able to write data into databases and I should check it on my production machines. I found these databases and learned how to access them and how to connect the production robots to them. When I arrived home this evening, I started Googling about databases. I had no clue. I found words like MySQL, MSSQL, so I searched for resources to learn more about it. The next day I came up with an (ugly) SQL script for reading some specific data and I was able to compare them after I changed some parameters.
So I was deeply impressed by my one-night skills. But I learned that only seeing these numbers wasn’t particularly helpful. It was kind of weird to open an MYSQL admin tool to run this script.
I can’t remember how I started with AngularJS but I can remember the day when I had my first attempt with Angular2. It was at around alpha-52. At this time, I had already started doing workshops at my employer at the time and I wrote blog posts on how to do web technologies. I also had a tutorial on AngularJS. So, starting an Angular2 tutorial was the next logical step. When I published my post about Angular2 I recognized a new follower on Twitter: Robin Böhm, Founder of angularjs.de reached out to me to have a chat on some serious topics. I was scared. I was expecting some serious argument about Angular posts. But he was very nice and asked me to join the community. He also asked me, if I’d interested in becomeing a team member and instructor at angularjs.de.
This was the beginning of very successful collaboration and we became friends.
In 2016, the first conference organizer reached out to me to have me as a speaker. I was totally scared because of my English skills. Then I found talk by Manfred Steyer on YouTube and his confidence on stage gave me courage on doing this. Later that year, I finally met him in person and thanked him for his silent mentorship. We started collaborating and we became friends. At this time some Developers from the Angular Community recognized me and encouraged me to send an application to the Google Developer Expert program.
In 2017 I decided to give it a go as a freelancer. At the same time, my GDE application was approved and I was announced as a GDE in Angular and web Technologies.
Since then I’ve spoken at many conferences and meetups, did a lot of workshops and met so incredible awesome people from the community.
This community is very special, it’s almost family-like. We take care of each other, like a real family.
I hope you see, there is no “The way” to start your profession. It’s important to have mentors and friends. It’s important to stay curious. Find your passion, follow it. never give up.
Here are some of the important (at least to me) people in the community (in no particular order) mentioned. They gave me (often by accident) opportunities or help or just a good feeling of being welcome: