How I became a Software Engineer
what I studied, how I studied, my trajectory as a woman developer...
6 min read
My relationship with software development started early, at the beginning of my teenage years. When I wrote my first line of code I was only 12 years old and got impressed with it.
Back then my parents couldn't afford to buy a computer for me. I used to go either to Lan Computer Centers or friends houses' who had personal computers. I love remembering it because I started my journey customizing web pages on Tumblr using HTML and CSS and today I'm very bad at it 😂.
My father has always been my greatest support for learning technology of information. Software programming was the profession of his dreams!
However, nowadays, he still gets impressed when I show him a piece of my work and he loves to hear more about my area. 😍
During my high school time
I live in São Paulo Brazil. The state of São Paulo has provided technical schools which teach technology and high school at the same school grade. They're known here as ETEC (State Technical school) There I had been studying for 3 years and got certified in Electronics.
The picture below shows one of the ways I used to learn logic programming. I was 15 years old and I remember that this was a digital electronics class where I learned to program LEDs according to the logic programming challenge.
In this photo, I'm holding the first microcontroller I ever assembled. It was welded and planned by myself. I was really proud of what I had done. This actually was one of the pieces that later became a digital watch.
In the ETEC I met a lot of great teachers that taught me a lot about not only software programming but also daily life, decisions, and to challenge myself. Today realized how the support they gave is important. It has been helping me to make me a better professional and better person.
Thank you to all my teachers 👩🏫
Should you study at a University?
Okay. This is a little polemic, isn't it? 😂
I often say that either a specialization course or a university degree would help people to realize in which area they want to go and make of this an accurate decision.
Is It really necessary to have a university degree in your curriculum? I don't think so.
But for me, it was a range of learning and networking with teachers that made quite a difference.
And I didn't go to a four-year-old college, I preferred to do something more objective. I was living with my parents being the main source of money, and I needed to work as soon as possible to help with their household expenses. I found a 2-year course complete with a 100% scholarship that changed my life.
In those two years, I've dedicated myself to my best, I've had the best of myself.
This course/university provided for me to have my first job in the area of technology as an intern.
My first job as an intern was a little confused, I didn't know my work at the team, and most of my time, I spent studying Amazon Web Services and Java.
Study routine as an Intern
I wanted to put my hand in the code on my internship, and I was on a very technical architecture team and in a company that had a little pretense of career growth.
My dream always was to be a Software Engineer with a focus on Java. That's when I understood that I would have to be the person who changed my reality, I set up my study plan as follows:
- Learn Programming Oriented an Object
- Learn Algorithms and Data Structures as soon as possible
- Rest API's
I started to search the community of technologies, at the beginning Womakerscode and DevsJavaGirls had a big difference in my career, I meet a lot of great women developers that inspires me until today!
First Frustration with Java 😬
Search for the first job in Java was so frustrating, all the companies wanted a lot of a junior's stack. The companies always were looking for a junior developer who knew: Advanced AWS, DevOps tools, Microservices, Advanced Java or knew the most recent version of Java, Azure, and something more. 🥲
That's when I started to think I wasn't going to make it, I continued my studies and got a proposal to be a junior in a consulting company where I grew up very technically inside.
The technical interview was so nice, they propose to me resolve 6 exercises of algorithms, I was so happy, and did. And guess so, I passed!
Working with Java
In my first job working with Java, the hardest thing I had was dealing with troubleshooting while working, knowing how to solve a task without breaking my head with simple things, and understanding how to solve the code errors I generated myself.
Dealing with troubleshooting is challenging, but in my conception when you know more about the business rule of the project software, and your technical knowledge is also solid, everything flows better.
Taking into account my little experience with Java at the beginning, and the first sprint of nothing productive, I decided to ask if someone could be my pair programming.
That's when a Senior Developer come to be my pair and this is where the rocket took off! I learned how to put my knowledge of JVM and Object Orientation into my tasks.
After a few three sprints working on pair programming, I picked up the first bug alone and felt a huge difference! But the tip my friends is to know how to deal with frustration and learn to solve your problems alone, this brings you a great differential during the career.
How I challenged myself to learn new subjects
Evolution is necessary!
And I can speak with a property that being part of the community building with lectures was one of the things that helped me to learn new subjects and put them into practice, not only at the job but into my life too!
This photo was taken when I gave my first lecture at a meetup here in Brazil, Sao Paulo in the unicorn tech community.
I always remember how anxious I was, and the feedback that I receive. After this meetup, I decided that start to share knowledge and contribute with the communities.
For me contribute to the community it's so much more than status, it's a reward for all the bests things that I receive from the community at the bigging of my career.
. . .
I see now how many situations and events made me the software engineer I'm today. I love what I do, sometimes less than others, I confess 😂
What I want from me in five years
I'll keep doing my plannings aiming in 3 months, it's a very nice practice that I do that helps me achieve my goals.
One of the things I'm working hard to make happen is to be Tech Lead and be able to be a woman who inspires other women because I know that we still need many more.
And yes, have a few more things but I prefer to maintain with myself 🤭.
That's it for now, I hope that my journey could help someone that's starting on the tech career or just for you to know me a little more!