How I became a self-taught web developer in 6 months

How I became a self-taught web developer in 6 months

In 2018 I started my self taught journey and decided to learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

I'm Dylan, a self-taught software engineer from South Africa.

I'm Dylan, a self-taught software engineer from South Africa. My love for programming started in high school with my IT classes, where we learned a pre-.net programming language for windows applications. After school, I went into the fitness industry for 3 years as a personal trainer and coding were not really what I wanted to do, yet. After struggling as a PT, My wife and I had overdue bills, she was pregnant and not working, so things didn't look great. Just as we thought we hit rock bottom, I made a new friend, and he introduced me to graphic design, told me to study it and said I should work for him in the meanwhile.

I worked for my new friend for 4 months before he told me that I need to start looking for a job. Not because he doesn't want me to pay me anymore, instead he knew I needed that pressure to grow and I was getting comfortable.

I landed the job at Sportpro South Africa as a junior designer!

Forward 1 year later, I have expanded my skillset and took on more responsibilities. I was now in charge of all digital activities for my company, web design, graphic design and social media.

From all my responsibilities, I enjoyed web design the most, although I disliked WordPress, working with themes and plugins. I needed more control, and if I want to add extra features I needed to do so without buying or using clunky plugins!

I decided I want to learn web development

In 2018 I started my self taught journey and decided to learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript, I would study the early hours of the morning and late at night after work.

During this period, I did multiple online courses on Udemy, freeCodeCamp and read blogs and watched YouTube videos from top software engineers in the industry.

After studying the basics, I knew I needed to start putting what I learnt into practice. I started building, small projects with JavaScript and react as well as my favorite backend language NodeJS.

At my current job, I saw an opportunity to test my skills when the company needed a new eCommerce website. I jumped and took on this opportunity and told them I would do it. After four months of grinding and frustration, I finished my most complex project to date. With only me and no other developers around, I had to figure it all out on my own. It was worth it, and I learnt a lot.

I am a person who loves to solve problems and always learn something new.

I am a hard-working, super curious, passionate, committed, and also a fast learner! My next goal is to find my first job, I would love to work at a startup, as a developer and learn from more experienced developers.

My current tech stack consist of the following:

  • JavaScript
  • React
  • NodeJS
  • MongoDB
  • Express
  • NextJS
  • Gatsby
  • GraphQL
  • REST
  • tailwindcss
  • Bootstrap
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