Quite a large number of people around me described their road to Front-End Development quite straightforwardly and it makes me feel a lot of times inadequate. Mostly because I’ve been all over the place before I chose to commit to Front-End.
IP telephony? One of my mother’s friends tried to drag me into it when I was in high school just because I was the only unemployed Linux user he knew. It was interesting at first but after the novelty wore off and no plans were in place what to do this venture didn’t work out.
Did I mention that I started using Linux when I was 12? I wasn’t happy with Windows and wanted to try something else and after OS/2 became irrelevant in the late 90s Linux was only affordable alternative. I even tried to code in C but without suitable mentors and non-existent ability to speak English I was stuck with DHTML1 and unable to go any further. Just before that I gave up on trying to learn Visual Basic 6.0 and Delphi because there was no one suitable to teach me the basics. (Evening classes were hard to stay focused after swimming practice.)
Around that time I started to dislike desktop development because with Linux I have lost a lot of apps which I liked but also discovered couple new ones. My first distro was RedHat 7.2 which had Internet Communication Suite Mozilla before version 1.0, you know the thing which is now known as Firefox.
Another high school job that failed was related to me being only unemployed Linux user around. A classmate got me a job as server admin but lack of plans and my priorities, finishing high school was more important than the job, I chose to quit. It was the final year and on Mondays I had three hours long labs during which I couldn’t just drop everything and deal with crisis elsewhere. When crap hit the fan I had to choose between the two.
At college I was a humongous mess because I am neurodivergent and transition to live alone in a different city a lot of people like me don’t handle well. Some even stop functioning properly. The support network that I thought I had crumbled before I dropped out of graduate school.
Luckily for me my choice of undergrad program was probably the best decision since I was 13, at that age I chose to live with my father abroad away from my abusive/neglectful mother. The teachers taught us there to create things from basic electronics to VHDL to C and Java to basic web technology. At one point I had entry level certification for LabView, looking backwards I’d rather attend my grandmother’s funeral but my mother insisted to go to take the exam instead.
During my master’s program I began gender transition and I was also burning out because I couldn’t handle living on campus due to my neurodivergent brain. The thing is when you can’t handle living on campus after first semester it’ll take the toll on you sooner or later, not to mention that every semester you’ll get new schedule which prevents you to have necessary routines for proper self-care.
Next two years I worked on keeping up with web, recovering from what I can best describe as autistic burnout despite not having an official diagnosis and trying to be standalone. Without that time I don’t know who or what I would be. Right now I know what I want to achieve and do on the web and definitely don’t want to become statistics and leave tech anytime soon.
I am a late bloomer as a Front-End Developer.
- Dynamic HTML ↩