Man! So much has changed since the last time I wrote here. In my last post I told that I’d signed up to a Campus Code. What I didn’t know was that this training was going to turn my life upside down, for good.

This will be a follow up post of my coding journey, so you can know what worked and what didn’t work too much for me.

As I told in some of my previous posts, I always enjoyed technology, but I thought that to work with it one must be very good at math and other exact sciences. When it was the time for me to chose a profession to get a bachelor’s degree, I chosed to graduate in Marketing, as my father had worked with it my entire life, so it was an area that I already knew.

As much as I liked working with marketing, in almost 6 years of professional experience I had never felt really fulfilled by it. As part of my journey to discover something that would make me professionally happy, I have studied a lot of topics, from digital marketing, psychology, statistics and programming. Coding, specially, has been a constant learning in my life since about 2012.

I have tried many free sites and tutorials covering a lot of languages. I have studied via Coursera, Codecademy, Khan Academy, The Odin Projec, and so on, doing courses to learn Python, Ruby, Javascript and R. Despite all this sites having great resources, in none of them I felt that I was really learning. When I tried to do anything on my on, I would almost always fail miserably. The one resource that changed this was freeCodeCamp.

In fCC I felt that I was really learning to do something useful, probably because their exercises and challenges really make you think on what you’re doing. And so, in 5 months I got the Front End Certificate.

But after the front end part, I felt somewhat lost trying to learn back end. I began to look for somewhere that I could have more resources to learn, and that’s when I fount about Campus Code. I believed that this was the training that I needed to take my development career to the next level, so I got my savings and paid for it.

As you can see in my GitHub history, I had the most productive time when I was doing the Web Immersion training at Campus Code. This is because their training was fully focused on practicing your developer’s skills. There I learned a lot about Ruby, Rails, TDD using Rspec and Capybara, and so much more.

By the end of the training I had created, solo or in groups, 3 projects from scratch. My group’s last project was called The Walking Dog, and you can see it here.

But the most important part of this training was to show me that I could do it. I could quit the job that I disliked, quit my Marketing career and live like a developer. I realized that being a dev requires only practice and dedication.

This was in the middle of October. I started searching for jobs, but I had a problem: I had just married, my wife was also quitting a job that damaging her and the junior positions that I was finding would not pay enough for both of us. I was facing a dilemma: I knew that I could be a good developer, but I had to find someone that thought the same way.

By the end of November I was participating in a process to be a junior dev at Locaweb. This process would pay 14 devs to make the same training that I had already made, but required the participants to be almost 2 months available, without working. I was selected to this last phase of the process, but I couldn’t afford this time without payment, so I declined.

That was when Campus Code’s owners saw that I was really wanting to be a developer, so they offered me a job position there, to be part of their new ‘incubation’ projects. I would work in a project for Locaweb, the same company that I wanted to be hired at. I would still not earn enough money to sustain our house with the same standard, but my wife supported me and we had some savings, so I said yes!

I started there on February. Initially I developed some feature for Campus Code’s website, but soon I started working on Locaweb’s projects. I developed a new SKU for a product that the company was launching and fixed a lot of bugs. I had never worked with legacy code before, and this project was a great introduction to it.

As soon as I changed my LinkedIn profile to ‘Ruby on Rails Web Developer’ I started receiving job proposals. It didn’t matter to the companies that I had little working experience, the things that I had done until then seemed to be enough. Also, I was told that my previous experience with marketing and product management could be much valuable to companies, specially startups.

And so, five months have passed. I was receiving a lot of good job offerings with good salaries, but none of the companies seemed right for me. I was looking for a place where I could develop and increase my skills. I told my bosses about it, and they managed to arrange me some pair programming tests at Locaweb with teams that they thought I would fit. At the time I was working close to a team at the company, and already had access to the place. It seemed like the right place for me to work.

After two pair programming sessions, I was offered a mid-level developer job! I was skipping a step, would be part of a nice team and would have many challenges and opportunities to learn.

So, now I’m here, the first week of my new job. I have to thank everyone that believed (and still believe) my potential, including my wife, the guys at Campus Code and freeCodeCamp. Without them I believe that I would not have managed to make this career change.

I intend to write again about my journey here, or at my Medium profile. Keep tuned!