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My non-traditional and non-linear background
For those who are curious about my educational and professional background, you’re in for a ride as it sure was not a linear nor traditional path!
After high school, I took time off to join a non-profit youth organization that gave me the opportunity to travel and volunteer across Canada. Subsequently, I returned home to study business then embarked on a backpacking trip throughout Asia and Europe. That culminated in a work exchange program in Italy for some time.
I then enrolled in a Fashion Design program after coming back which led me to work briefly as a fashion couturier. At the same time, I started tinkering with design tools and did contract work as a graphic designer. Afterwards, I co-founded a food production company with my family where I created our website and branding. Ultimately, we had to cut our losses and close down.
It was because of this business that I realized software development was a viable path I could take, I decided to go back to school into a 6-month technical program to gain more fundamental skills in my late 20s during my maternity leave.
My first job out of the program was a remote Frontend Engineer where I also did some UI design at a developer tooling and product company. I am now working as software engineer at a cloud enterprise organization where I do full stack using React, GraphQL, Python and AWS. The culture, flexibility in nomading, and learning opportunities are what I love most about my current company.
It was quite a path to get into my fourth career but I would not change a thing. All the experiences helped to converge into what I truly love doing today, which is creating and building something from the ground up. The tools, mediums, industries are just what you leverage to execute ideas and goals. As long as you keep creating, adapting, reinventing, growing, and stay a lifelong student, you will find that that is truly what life is about, absorbing as much as you can and reaping the benefits of your learnings.
Don’t be wavered by the volatility of the market or thinking whether it’s too “late” into tech. There are definitely enough opportunities to go around and no it’s never too late, the time to start is now. Look beyond product companies and big tech to service-based and industry sectors where you will have the opportunities to be exposed more languages, tools, and workflows.
I attribute the generalist skills I gained to the first startup I joined as the 5th engineer on the team where I wore multiple hats and learned what it was truly like to build a startup. I urge you to take your learning into your own hands while job searching to keep building projects, building a presence online, and networking. Happy searching, growing, and building!
I would love to learn about all your stories, please share!