Danielle Yosef reflects on her somewhat unconventional journey at Namogoo, from former Business Analyst to current Full Stack Developer. Danielle writes about what it took to make this change and shares some tips for anyone looking to make a similar transition.
For the past two years, I have been working for Namogoo, and I have had various titles ranging from Business Analyst to QA and now Developer. This blog post aims to describe my professional journey into development, including its ups and downs. It should, though, be noted from the start: I could not have done this transition without the cooperation and patience of my team leader, my colleagues, and those running this amazing startup—all of whom believed in me and my potential.
I’ll start, of course, at the beginning. I began as a manual QA tester, without any experience in the industry. It was all very new to me: I started researching methods of testing and best practices, practicing SQL, and Googling every term I wasn’t familiar with. I wrote test cases and test scenarios and performed them daily while documenting every bug I could find. At the time, I didn’t know what coding was, but I was intrigued. At some point, my team leader suggested I start developing automation testing and proposed I owned it. I knew that coding could lead to the next level of my testing skills, but I didn’t know where to start.
In addition to learning both at home and at work, I started taking part in the sheCodes community. This community acquainted me with many tools to learn the basics of JS and web development. Some tools and websites which I recommend are: codecademy, pluralsight, w3schools, and udemy. These online learning tools were helpful, but not nearly enough for the type of growth I wanted. I started learning the framework we use (Vue) and reading its documentation while studying our code. The more I became familiar with JS, the more I wanted to know—and not only JS. I started slowly with small bug fixes and small development tasks then went on to bigger tasks with each sprint.
Six months ago, I moved into a developer position. I can’t say it’s been smooth sailing ever since, rather the opposite. Sometimes I couldn’t figure out why my code wasn’t running, but the more mistakes I made, the more I learned from them. Coding is a lot like solving a puzzle; you need to keep an open mind and solve each challenge in a different way.
Some advice for anyone who’s looking to make this transition:
- Don’t stop learning. There’s always a YouTube video, a blog, a question in stackoverflow that can answer your question. Be prepared to invest the necessary amount of time and effort for this process.
- Find a mentor. A mentor is someone you feel comfortable asking questions and is willing to dedicate the time to help you better understand certain concepts. For me, I was lucky enough to have two senior developers on my team that always made sure I fully understood every explanation. I planned exactly what I should learn each step of the way with the help of my mentors. This leads me to my next bit of advice.
- Plan ahead. Know exactly what areas you should strengthen before entering the development world. Even after making the transition into development, you should know what your strengths and weaknesses are. That’s the key to sharpening and improving your skills.
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