Barista to Developer.

May 06, 2015

No, no I can’t code a matrix style system….yet.

Year one.

It’s well and truly over.

…ok, so I am a bit past my due date for this article. I started properly thinking about code I would say, roughly January 2017. This is a loose guess, based on my initial starting point with Code Academy. Most developers have had their run in with this learning experience, it holds you hand and guides you through the baby steps (HTML, CSS) and eases you in. Low and behold, you discover

“Wow! I wrote code, this is amazing, I did it all on my own!”


Not to burst your bubble previous you, but, you didn’t do this on your own. You had a lot of help from the learning system and it was the taster you needed. Wasted time? NO, not at all, it is the push out the door you need to decide if this long path is the one you should start treading.

Right, I’d had a taste, it was where I wanted to go. I had had enough of coffee and bar work, they are great professions but the charm had begun to wear and I needed to find my craft/weapon/love/passion. I wanted a challenge. Luckily for me, I have gifted, smart and driven/proactive friends. Whilst chatting (cough moaning cough) to my friends one person mentioned General Assembly. Now I am sure if you are reading this you are either looking for something new, have decided to explore code as a journey you want to embark on or you are already at C (is that too much of a stretch? C = Sea??? Coder jk. I’m in no way sorry.).

So, a PROPER course, a really really REAL course. Am I deciding to do this? to invest in myself and my future? Is plodding along no good anymore? So many questions and so many fears all flood into you, but, that drive to change keeps on hitting the accelerator.

Right, I’ve considered all the points, financial, prospects, do I really want to do this path?… and of course QUITTING MY JOB!

I quit.

I do the pre-course work.

I start.

Bleughhhh, so much information, so much to process. Coffee. No sleep. I don’t understand this. I can’t grasp that! Why am i still enjoying this?

Oh, cus…


At no point have I felt on top of this, felt like I really understood. This drove me to read more (I have never read books, ADD makes you slightly less than capable (in my experience) of reading fast/well/to the end of a book.)

I read, I read more, I WATCH VIDEOS(this was a massive breakthrough, finding the way I, me, as an individual, learnt.)

I’m learning and understanding… most of it

I think I’m not cut out for this, I have so many doubts, I write awful code, terrible projects. I feel like I should sack it all in, people are writing superior this and superior that.

Then, I get it.

I, right now, am not the best coder there ever was. I will not code the new facebook. What do I have?

The drive.

Vroom, vroom.Vroom, vroom.

The drive to do what I want, to code because I LIKE IT. (There is a bazillion jobs out there for developers, you will be fine. Seriously, google it.)

I persevere, write some terrible projects, but hey, it’s my first go at this, so really? They’re amazing.

Job hunt time? True. Social presence setup? True. CV, LinkedIn, Personal website done? True.

Now, we wait. Kinda like fishing. ( Let’s say WII fishing as I don’t like hurting fishies. Do people still use WII’s?)

Weirdly? I start to get interviews, phone calls etc. It start as as a trickle but then i start using my network. I talk to people, I apply to everything.

Just go for it, the worst they can do is say no, Right?

Ok this bit was a bit of a loop. Not much to report.

My advice here: Keep Going!

Then I land my job. I start. The change from Barista to Coder? Huge. Office environment, different hours, different etiquette. I had spent so long in the bar/coffee world I wasn’t sure how to act, how to be, what to talk about. Then you slowly realise, they are people. They have the same interests, same hobbies and you will like some people and others not. Vice versa for your team members to.

…Did I mention I was the first dev hire for the company? Oh? No? Well yeah, I was.

…Oh and i had to learn a new language to do it, straight out of boot camp, with my super-brain( I’m joking, I’m not that arrogant or in possession of a* “super-brain”)*

Yeah that was tough, but, it was always going to be tough might as well be in a company I like. Right?

So there you have it, My journey from A to B. From one side of the bar to the other.

My advice overall?

Keep pushing.

Keep learning.

Find the path for you.

Ignore all the ‘do it this way, do it that way’ Do your journey your way. In the end, you are the one that walks the path. Learn how it works for you. Everyone is capable. Everyone can learn. Everyone can make that change that makes their life better.

And trust me, my life is pretty sweet now and only getting better. The best bit is knowing I deserve it and I earned it.

Until next time.

Peace out fellow life travellers ;)