A Fireside Chat with Junior Developers Trying to Break into Tech


4 min read

A Fireside Chat with Junior Developers Trying to Break into Tech

I co-hosted a Twitter Space yesterday and had 3 aspiring Junior Developers as speakers. I knew it would be a great topic to share amongst other developers who were learning, but I didn't expect such great feedback and for our speakers to be so vulnerable.

The goal of this Space was really just to provide a platform for these aspiring Junior Developers to share their journey so far. After posting many tweets if there were any Junior Developers struggling with their learning, the response was incredible. I know Tech Twitter is a very positive place, which is amazing, but if we don't talk about some of the things that are tough in our learnings, we won't be able to find the guidance we need to reach our goals, while taking care of the items we're struggling with.

Career Switch

It was interesting to hear which career each person switched from. One of the speakers was a Health and Wellness Coach pursuing her Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling. The second speaker was a successful Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, and the last one came from a Business Analyst / Financial Analyst background, looking to get a Masters in Psychology. My co-host Andrew and I had a meet and greet with the speakers before the Space. We knew that they would all be amazing speakers, not just with their background, but the way they were able to seamlessly articulate their answers. Prior to the event, the speakers expressed how extremely nervous they were and two categorized themselves as introverts. Well, on the contrary developers, that ship has sailed. Y'all are way more extroverted than you think. :)

We Fail So We Learn to Succeed

We hear about the success people have everyday, but we rarely hear about the struggles and issues with life and coding. One of the speakers shared how she was laser focused when she's learning anything. She had a tunnel vision for learning development, therefore, her spouse felt neglected. Although he was a part of her support system, he still felt like he was being left out. I know exactly how this feels. When I was freelancing for 2 1/2 years, I worked 14 to 16 hours some days. My wife soon felt like she was invisible. We had to sit down and she had to tell me she was feeling abandoned. I did not realize I made her feel that way and so I was disappointed in myself. At the time, I had this goal of bringing in the finances to provide for us, but I completely forgot to show love towards my wife at the same time. Finding the balance to code and being present with my family was extremely difficult. We are coders, we always want to be building and learning. However, we often forget that we need to live life as well.

Health is Wealth

Oh my goodness, I basically was tearing up when our other speaker spoke about how she moved to a new state by herself and is currently almost 3000 miles away from her family. She was on food stamps and working various jobs to pay for her bills. All the while, going through a coding bootcamp. My heart broke for her, but I had to bring comfort and let her know that we were by her side. Her trust to be vulnerable in the first Space she's ever participated in was truly amazing to hear. Andrew was able to share his story of resilience: he once lived in Colorado and loved it so much he just wanted to find a way to stay there. He went days without any money. Knowing where he is today, a Senior Frontend Engineer, is truly amazing. I know that these ladies can find success too. Life is filled with ups and downs. Right now, you're at the bottom of the wheel, but you will soon find success and be at the top!

Coding bootcamps is like drinking water out of a firehose!

We Are One Community, One Family, We Are Tech Twitter

Wherever you are in life right now, know that there are many people on Tech Twitter willing to guide you. I really wasn't sure what to expect when I came onto Twitter. There's a lot of click bait tweets, but there's also many people who provide some great helpful content. I've come to the realization that I have so much knowledge in my head that I want to share with whoever wants to learn what I know. I want to continue to be an honest voice to the Tech Twitter world. Whether it's providing constructive criticism on portfolios, giving you an honest answer to your questions, or doing Spaces like this last one to talk about real life situations. I will be here for you.

Thanks for reading! Let's connect!

I want to personally thank you for reading this blog and I also want to thank Andrew, Allyse, Lyn, and Mia for being part of this Twitter Space. If you want to connect or see more of my content, please feel free to connect with me via Twitter.