So this is how my story, of how I became a Web Developer, and got my first job without a degree…
Started studying Civil Engineering
I was 18 years old, was getting time to get into the University, and I didn’t knew exactly what kind of field I should choose.
I guess this is a very common situation with most people, because when we are 18, we are still so young and its almost like we are making a decision that will affect the rest of our lives.
So basically I was good with maths and physics, and most of my friends were going into civil engineering, so I decided to do the same…
At the time in 2005 Civil Engineering was very respectful job, and with a really good salary, so for me was a very good idea in that moment… there was not anything else going through my mind to be honest. And one thing I did knew exactly, I had to get a degree if I wanted to get a better quality of life in the future.
I got into the University, first time I was living away from my parents, was a great experience overall. The degree was 5 years in total to finish the “Masters”. Around year 2 or 3 I started to notice that I didn’t really enjoy this… but since my parents they were helping me financially, I felt almost like obligated to just finish it, and not disappoint them.
I had several friends, including my roommate that were on a Computer Science degree, I could see their projects and I was actually very interested and curious on them.
Fast forward 7 years, yes It took me an extra 2 years to finish the damn degree… I had my Masters Degree, and was time to go on a Job Hunt, but unfortunately Portugal (where I’m originally from) was in a huge financial crisis, and was really hard to get a job, and the ones who could get one, would get a really low salary, like 600 euros I think at that time… bare in mind that when I got into Uni people who were finishing their degrees, would get jobs almost instantly and with salaries around 1500 euros at the start, it was something I was really looking for.
Looking for a Job
I even tried doing some internships for FREE to try to get some experience, yes you heard me well, for FREE, but the problem was, no one was accepting this, since I had to pay by myself some kind of expensive insurance, to cover any accident that I could have at work… Well I don’t know about you, but if I’m working for someone completely for free, and I still have to pay from pocket to work for them, that’s a no thank you…
OK, it was time to take some action and do something about this. Many of my friends and colleagues in the same situation as me, were just unemployed, living with their parents. At this time I was around 25 or 26 years old. There was nothing holding me back, so I decided that instead of just complaining like the everyone else, it was time to move somewhere in the world…
Many people say, ohh I love my country, I can’t stay away from my family and friends, so stay where you are… but stop complaining about your life.
I quickly asked my parents if they had some friends or family around the world, in places where I could potentially get a job as a Civil Engineer. As you might imagine moving to another, without any job it can be quite expensive. And nothing guarantees you that you can find a job, in a week, or a month, or 2… so you could just run out of money and then what… don’t get me wrong many people can do it, but it’s really risky and it’s not for everyone.
Moved to London
So in the end I had a few options coming up, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, UK. So I choose London, some family friends lived there, and I was quite excited to move to London to be honest. Never been there and the whole idea looked great.
Started to work in a coffee shop to pay the bills, as you can imagine London is a very expensive city, and in my spare time I would try to send some CVs and applications for some civil engineering jobs. But I didn’t had too much luck, now looking back I know I made a lot of mistakes. So I was starting to get demotivated after 1 year, waking up everyday at 3am to start the coffee shop job at 5am, where I was making sandwiches. I
Soon I realised that I couldn’t get a job as civil engineer, because I had zero practical experience, so I started to research online of jobs that were paying well, and didn’t required any degree, because the last thing I wanted was to go back to university as you can imagine…
Thats when I found out about a website called Team Treehouse, and I started to learn html and css, and how to build a website completely from scratch. I was really enjoying it, so I kept learning and later I built a portfolio website, with my projects and later I started to apply for some jobs, and I was surprised that now for the first time since I moved to the UK, I was actually being called to go for interviews.
And that’s how I became a web developer, I will create some more posts about my projects, how long it took me to get a job, and how was the interview process 🙂
Here is a video about it that I released shortly after I got my job, hope you guys like it