When you just start out in the tech industry, things can become quite overwhelming, in this post I will guide you through my journey of decision making and self-studying 💭.
Table of contentsHow it all startedChoosing a pathInternshipsHardware serviceIT help desk supportWeb developmentThe beginning of my careerTL;DRFinal thoughts
When I was a kid I used to spend a lot of time online chatting with other people and playing games, all of this happened without putting many thoughts into it. I never expected to see what is inside of the devices I was using or how the websites I browsed came to life.
As I grew up, technology became more and more popular but tech was not always humans biggest friend. My mom would often ask me to help with her PC as to her it seemed like I had a lot of knowledge about them since I used them often which was not the case, I used to look up a lot of problems online.
Around the age of 12 I got to attend high school, now I was without a doubt not a great learner, I preferred creating things which was visible in my test results. The advice I got was to follow the VMBO school track which I agreed with.
I had to pick a specific career path to prepare myself, I was aware I could always change the path if I wanted but it was a bit overwhelming so I asked my friends and family for advice since I had no clue what I wanted to do at the time. Naturally people recommended me to do something with IT and so I figured I might as well give it a try.
I chose to study general IT, this involved learning about operating systems, hardware, servers and a little bit of web development all with customers in mind. I learned to build a PC and how they operate and I learned how to build websites with HTML and CSS.
Internships are a great way to figure out if a certain field suits you!
Once we were prepared to get a feel of what it's like to work in a professional environment we had to start our first internship, I was very excited at the time, I applied at a hardware service store where I got to repair PC's and provide customers with purchase advice. Now I have to admit some days I did not enjoy as much as others, I found myself checking if it was time to go home already from time to time, I did not enjoy that feeling but surely it's normal, right?
At this point in school we started focussing on what specific path we wanted to take in order to specialise ourselves because this was the year we would graduate and either apply for a job or continue studying. During this period we also had to finish our final internship to graduate, I started at a place where I learned about managing Windows servers and help people with their hard- and software issues. Just like my previous internship I had some days I did not enjoy as much as others and I would often look at the time.
Every week we'd have 4 days of work at our internship and 1 day of school to work on projects, this was when I found out I really enjoyed creating websites, every project I'd spend extra time outside of school to make each site looks pretty using CSS frameworks, this is when I figured I wanted to specialise in software development.
Prior to my software development study I graduated as IT specialist. We started off playing around with Blockly.
While this was a fun exercise, it did not allow us to create something visually pleasing to users so quickly after, we were introduced to the fundamentals of programming using PHP! I was struggling because HTML and CSS did not have the concepts of a programming language but I tried my best and I learned a lot along the way.
As we gained more knowledge of web development using a programming language, we took our first internship as part of our study, I got to create websites and manage existing ones using PHP and a custom in-house CMS.
- Got into IT because I used to spend a lot of time on PC's
- Figured I preferred software over hardware through internships
- Figured I preferred making websites over everything else
- Got hired, and stayed for a junior position
I highly encourage anyone to explore what's out there the moment you are in school, don't limit yourself to what school offers, try things and spend time improving yourself, if you really want to achieve something, you can do it 💪🏽.
How did you get your first job? Leave your thoughts and comments below!