Web Dev? Software Dev? QA? So Many Options.

Apr 3, 2020 | My Journey

What a week! I never knew there were so many different paths someone with my skills and interests could take within the development/programming space. There’s development, software QA, web development, and so many more. This isn’t to mention the different languages out there, each with pros and cons in being the “first” language to learn.

And then there’s the issue of how to go about learning these things once I decide which of these paths might be right for me. In my week of research, I’ve learned there’s three basic paths–bootcamps, traditional education, and self-teaching–and much like the languages themselves, each path has its own pros and cons.

However, I haven’t done quite enough research on those to really expand on them here, or make a decision, so this is more about my experiences and interests up to this point.

In The Beginning There Was HTML

When I was about 13, I fell in love with the idea of creating my own website. I used free services like GeoCities or Yahoo! Sites to create fan-sites of my favorite anime or video game, but the customization were so limited that they looked just like all the others.

By the time my 16th birthday came around, I’d met a guy a few years older than me who, at the age of 18, was on track to work for NASA and was already working as a freelance web developer. He inspired me to learn to code my own websites, which pushed me to purchase the amazing HTML for Dummies book. Being able to code something from scratch changed my life and I haven’t been without a website since.

Then There Was C++ And It Was…Not So Good

A few years later, I took classes on C++ and, while it helped to set the basis for my experience with coding, it wasn’t the greatest experience. I don’t know if it was the teacher, my state of mind at 18, or something completely different, but I pushed programming aside, telling myself that I couldn’t do it (You know, normal 18 year old stuff).

After that, I continued my journey into HTML and also picked up CSS and some JavaScript. I loved web design, but a part of me still yearned to create actual full fledged programs, not just websites. When I got into RPG Maker in my mid-20’s, I learned the very basics of Ruby on Rails and then, many years later, Python.

The moment I started learning Python I knew it was different. The concepts came easy and I was able to quickly see tangible results in front of me. What was different? Well, the difference was I wasn’t pursuing Python for a specific reason, as I did with C++ and school or Ruby and RPG Maker. I was learning to learn, to prove to myself I COULD learn programming, and for the passion I had inside. 

Along with Python, I learned some Django and even furthered my knowledge of JavaScript a bit.

What I realized in starting to learn Python was that passion alone isn’t enough. Without effort, even your most passionate pursuit will still fail. While I’m still unsure of the ‘how’, I do know the ‘what’ now, and the excitment for the future only continues to grow.

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