A few years ago, I would not have believed that instead of working as a site engineer upon completion of my Civil Engineering degree, I would be coding full-time with fellow developers around the world and that too from the comfort of my home. Even though I felt drawn to programming from time to time during college, I certainly never thought this would become my professional life.
But now, I can’t imagine myself doing something else. The amazing dopamine boost you get when your code runs without errors and the ability to design beautiful UIs is something that you can’t get enough of. And all of this became possible for me after joining Microverse, the remote institute where I’m currently pursuing a Full-Stack degree.
I would like to share how my previous work experience is helping me with my ongoing studies. Microverse implements a unique way of learning, called pair-programming where you collaborate with other students to develop projects. For newbies, this might be a little uncomfortable at first if you are camera shy like me and have to be in a zoom call for 6–7 hours daily.
However, before joining Microverse, I had worked as a Manual Test Engineer for 1.5 years and I had to work closely with the developers of our project via Slack and Skype. This was the time when I considered becoming a developer and solve the bugs instead of just reporting them. I had to leave my job due to health issues in Feb 2019 and return home.
I then got a job as a Search Engine Evaluator at Appen. This was my first remote job. It helped me to become more disciplined and professional while working from home. A few months later, I had saved enough to update my work station and convert my study room into a mini-office.
During my remote job, I was in constant touch with my team via Slack, and even though it was a flexible job, we had to meet weekly deadlines. To successfully meet my deadlines, I followed a schedule daily and used a timer app to track my work hours. This is something we do in Microverse as well. We follow a schedule regularly and keep track of time spent on various curriculums via Clockify.
Before joining Microverse, I used to practice coding in HackerRank and FreeCodeCamp. I completed the HTML and CSS modules in FreeCodeCamp and this really helped me a lot in the first four weeks of Microverse. During the selection process, you have to solve a few HackerRank challenges. Clearing this round would be a lot easier if you have already solved a few HackerRank challenges and have a basic understanding of Data Structures.
At Microverse, you have to communicate with people living in different timezones and from various cultural backgrounds. I had attended soft skills seminars in my previous job and that helped me a lot during my collaboration sessions at Microverse. Make sure to check out a couple of videos on Youtube regarding soft skills and this will certainly help you during collaboration in the selection stage.
And always remember that it is okay to ask for help when you get stuck. At Microverse, we help each other out whenever we encounter errors that we can’t figure out. That being said, you should keep working on your research skills as well. Working as a Search Engine Evaluator has enhanced my internet research skills and increased my patience to search for answers for a longer duration.
To sum it up, a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and Data Structures, as well as communication skills, is all that you need to thrive at Microverse in the initial stages. Microverse helps you in further enhancing these skills and much more in a structured way to make a professional developer out of you. These soft skills will play a vital role in developing a strong work ethic and in your work life.
Enjoy your coding life!