I know Tech Is The Future, But How Do I Get Started?

From driving your car from your mobile phone to closing a chrome browser tab with your mind! you need no other proof to realize that the golden future we’re envisioning is here and you have to take the time to understand tech and how these crazy inventions work!

Yes, the journey is long, there’s no doubt about that but let’s not forget the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and that step is just a decision away from you agreeing to commit (get it?)

So in this article, I'd be sharing with you how you could get started in tech!

Let’s Begin

The life of a software developer is one of insane adventure, the ability to think of something in your mind and you make it come to life.

The steps listed below are great ways to get started in tech

  • GET A MENTOR

Getting a mentor is an important part of your tech journey. You need to find that individual already making it in tech and reach out to them to mentor you. To a large extent they don’t even need to be tech celebrities, they just need to know more than you in tech, If it requires you to work for free for them to learn, do it!

A mentor is like your map when you’re traveling a road you have never been through before. Three things a mentor does for you;

They show you the right way to go

Unfortunately for me I never had a mentor in my early age of programming (JSS2) I was learning everything and never focused on one. from batch programming, c#, HTML and CSS, python, PHP, TypedScript, then Javascript (and now forever JavaScript)

I kept moving from one language to the other, I had no one to ask questions but lucky for me I found a mentor in the 2nd year of my BSc program. But take a moment to think and imagine if I had a mentor I could ask questions on what to learn and how to go about it, where to get resources and checking up on my progress from time to time, take a moment to imagine the amount of time I'd utilized well and improved my JavaScript skill from the start.

A mentor is everything!

They show you the fastest route to take

From the moment I first heard about programming I wanted to be able to do everything! and by everything, I mean everything (desktop apps, mobile, web, IoT)

It was this mindset that drove me to keep switching programming language when I started learning. But when I got a mentor, I told him this and he asked me, do you know you could do everything you just mentioned with JavaScript? And you could guess my response, NO.

My mentor just took the time to understand what I wanted to be, he listened to me and showed me the fastest way to go about it. He told me I could build mobile applications with React Native, web applications with ReactJs, desktop applications with Electron and IoT with Tessel 2 using JavaScript to write to the boards.

And that’s what I currently do, I build everything with JavaScript. See links below of most of my works.

They inform you of your progress so far

Over time I began to see the need of a mentor and I ended up getting numerous mentors, 4 to be precise.

One of the four mentors gave me a task to do in 2014 to build a desktop application of which I didn't even know how to go about it and in 2019 he gave me a call and asked if I could help in a project and I agreed, to know fully well I have never built a desktop application before.

Long story short in less than 6hours I was able to come up with a demo which I sent to him, after which he reviewed and called me immediately to thank me, adding that this was the same task he gave me 5years ago and I wasn’t able to pull it off. He ended the call saying you’ve really improved yourself and your skill.

You might not know it but a mentor is everything.

  • LEARN AND RE-LEARN

The second point was obvious, wasn’t it?

The truth is for anything you want to be a pro at, not just software development, you need to dedicate your time to learn and also re-learn.

Learn

You have to learn! You’re coming into tech as a newbie, you’ve heard all this beautiful and crazy stuff tech is doing all over the globe and you want to know how it’s done, you have to study! and practice.

Tech is different from any other field cause it’s practical, sure some theory side to it exists but you need to know how things are done and do them, not just copying and pasting codes from one ebook or video tutorial for 6months straight saying you’re learning, NO! Begin to put what you’ve learned to practice, craft stuff!

Re-learn

Everything in tech is changing by the second! each moment you waste in not learning a particular concept you only prolong your journey. You must at all times be learning and re-learning what you feel you know, you must be finding a better way to do things, that’s the way to learn.

  • GET INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY

If there’s one thing I always say, it’s,

“Tech is like any other establishment, to say you are part of it you have to belong 100%”

In Nigeria, they’re numerous tech communities that host meetups, most even go the extra mile to have WhatsApp and telegram group chat where members can ask questions and seek advice and sure enough, they post job alerts tailored to their community and tech stack. If you don’t know how to connect to your community, twitter would be a good place to start.

Get involved in the community, begin to network and get to know people, remember, no man is an island.

  • CRAFT STUFF

Imagine walking into a job interview for a software engineer and you’re been asked to talk about projects you’ve worked on and you have nothing to show or have nothing to talk about. Tragic right?

The world wants to see what you’ve built, besides the only way you can ever improve yourself is to build stuff and continue building stuff and finding better ways to do things.

Take out time to learn and build a project, not just copying tutorials. And don’t be afraid to show the world what you’ve built, even if it’s an app that adds two numbers, build it and show everyone, let the world know you built that and who knows, someone in need of such application would reach out to you.

  • START A BLOG

Starting a blog is one great way to get started!

You might say but I'm new to all this, I have nothing to write about. Well, write about what you’re learning. Writing lets you express yourself in your own words, in your own understanding and view. It also serves as a journal of your progress.

Starting a blog doesn’t need you to write a single line of code to get started, they’re a lot of online platforms that can handle the whole process for you, some of which are Medium and dev.to (my personal favorites) and they’re 100% free.

Starting a blog also challenges you in new ways you can’t even imagine, for example, After finding out how I could host my Laravel application on Heroku for free, I decided to write an article about it (you can check out the article here) A random person asked a question in the comment section, saying;

Honestly, I have never had the need to do this before but I had to go find out how this was done so I could reply the question and in less than 5 minutes I found a solution and i replied;

By writing about the little I have learned, I was able to learn more. Never tell yourself you don’t have a topic to write about, just write about what you’ve learned so far in your tech journey.

  • JOIN TWITTER

If you’ve ever had a discussion with me on the first thing you should do as a code newbie, you’d probably testify I told you to join twitter.

Twitter really has it all, from a pool of mentors to pick from, to job offers, twitter is and has forever been home to the tech community, it’s your #1 place to connect to outstanding software developers.

Conclusion

Software development doesn’t only involve writing code, a lot of roles exist that doesn’t require you to write one single line of code. From software testers to UI designers and even Q&A engineers, tonnes of roles are available and the steps listed above still apply.

I know you enjoyed the articles so do give it a clap and feel free to share. You may also have some other ideas of your own on how to get started, I'd love to read them in the comments.

Also, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter

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