Choosing Your Path

How to Start as a Full-Stack Developer


4 min read

Choosing Your Path

Welcome to my first blog post!

I'm An Van, a seasoned full-stack developer with over 15 years of experience navigating the ever-changing software development landscape.

I've decided to plunge into blogging to share my insights, experiences, and advice with those embarking on their journey into the vast and exciting world of full-stack development.

In this blog, I'll be your guide, helping you navigate the complexities and dilemmas of choosing the right career path in the tech industry. I'll share with you the lessons I've learned, the mistakes I've made, and the strategies I've found most compelling.

So, this blog is for you whether you're a recent tech graduate, someone considering a career switch, or a curious soul eager to dive into the world of full-stack development. Let's embark on this journey together!

The Crossroads: A Friend's Career Dilemma

Picture this: You're wrapping up your IT education or school, and bam! You're hit with a choice between system administration, software development, and DevOps roles.

That's the pickle my buddy found himself in recently. He came to me, knowing I've navigated the tumultuous seas of full-stack development for over 15 years.

The Dilemma: Administration, Development, or DevOps?

He's a creative guy, probably immersed in programming beats for his next Techno mix as we speak. His training was in system administration, and while he didn't mind the work, he'd had his fill of ungrateful users (because who hasn't?) in his past job.

Software development and DevOps were uncharted territories, but he was itching to give them a shot. He liked the company and was ready to dive headfirst into the unknown.

The Decision Diagram: Aligning Skill, Interest, and Value

To help him unravel this tangled web, I whipped out a graphic that's been my trusty career compass.

Career Compass: Intersection between interest, skill and value

Forget about Ikigai; it's widely misunderstood anyway. This graphic is a no-BS, simple way to find the sweet spot where your skills, interests, and value to a company intersect. For my friend, the DevOps role was a bullseye.

He already had some skills in system administration and was interested in the software development aspect of DevOps, and the company was practically begging for more DevOps personnel.

The X-Factor: The Importance of Mentors and Colleagues

But hold your horses. Career decisions aren't that straightforward. There's more to the story. We're talking about mentors and colleagues here. When I landed my first gig, I struck gold with a mentor who showed me the ropes and pointed me to suitable literature and websites.

Throughout my career, I've learned a crap-ton from my colleagues. This one time, a colleague and I spent a caffeine-fueled afternoon brainstorming a complex module for an online skill assessment. Alone, I would have been banging my head against a wall for a couple of days.

That's why I told my buddy to take a good, hard look at the people in each role before making his decision.

The Journey: Your Path to Becoming a Full-Stack Developer

Here's the kicker: becoming a full-stack developer isn't a sprint - it's a freaking marathon.

It doesn't matter where you start. What's crucial is your willingness to learn and grow. Choose a role where you feel you belong and can learn the most. This will set you on the path to being the badass full-stack developer you're meant to be.

Remember, your journey to becoming a full-stack developer can start anywhere. Just like my friend, all you need is to roll up your sleeves and write that first line of code.

So, what are you waiting for? Go for it!

Need more guidance?

Remember, everyone's journey is unique and there's no one-size-fits-all approach.

If you have deeper questions, need further advice, or simply want to discuss your specific situation, I'm here to help. I offer one-on-one consultations where we can dive deeper into your career aspirations and potential challenges.

Feel free to book a 30-minute call with me. I look forward to helping you navigate your full-stack developer journey.

Keep learning, keep growing, and see you soon!