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Do I Have a Chance?

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Do I Have a Chance?

John Sonmez tackles the transition of moving into software development from another career, and why it's totally possible to succeed.

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In this episode, I talk about the chance to be a software developer.


Full transcript:

John: Hey, John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com. I got a question here from Kyle and this is kind of an interesting question I thought because occasionally I get emails from young people that are trying to figure out things in life. We’ve all been there, or at least most of us have been. That’s kind of the cool thing about YouTube as well is just that—so many people that probably wouldn’t have found my site are able to stumble upon a video of mine on YouTube.

This email Kyle says, “Hey John, my name is Kyle. I’m 25 years old from Southern California. I’ve seen one of your videos on YouTube and I’ve been looking into becoming a software developer. It seems like something I would love. I like computers and I’m interested in how these programs run. The only problem is I don’t have a bachelor degree and I’ve been doing air conditioning for my dad’s company for almost 6 years but recently my life has made a huge turnaround and I’ve struggled with drugs and alcohol real bad after I graduated high school and I’ve been sober since June 23rd, 2014. I’m starting to realize that air conditioning is just not for me even though I’m really grateful my father has taught me a good trade but my dream would be software developer and travelling the world. Thanks. I’m sorry this email was so long but I’ve seen your video and you seem like a straight up guy. I just thought I’d give it a shot, thanks for your time.”

So Kyle, actually your email is about the perfect length. It wasn’t too long. Some people send me like whole diatribes but I think you’ve condensed your point pretty well here so congrats on that. Also congrats on being sober, on making the choice to turn your life around. That’s awesome. Glad that you did that. I can totally understand that you don’t feel like the air conditioning world is for you. I don’t know if that’s—maybe running an air conditioning business might be a good career but being an air conditioning mechanic for the long term might be kind of a taxing thing. Maybe not something you want to do for 20 or 30 years, not knocking any air conditioner repairmen that happen to be watching the video, but—and probably kind of a difficult career choice.

It’s good that you want to be a software developer but I hear this a lot from people who say, “Oh I’d love to—you know, my dream would be to be a software developer.” It doesn’t even have to be that. It would be, “Oh, my dream would be to do this. I’d love to do this.” I hear this all the time from people is, “Oh, what I’d really like to do is this.” I see him a year later and they’re saying the same thing. I ask them, “What did you do to progress towards this thing that you want to do?” They say, “I looked into it online” or whatever. They have a million excuses. They don’t actually do anything.

That’s what I’m going to challenge you too Kyle is to do something. You can—it’s a question of do you have a chance, can you do this? Yes, 100% you can be a software developer if you want to be but here’s the thing that’s going to determine it. It’s not going to be your age. It’s not going to be what your previous skill sets are, whether you have a bachelor’s degree. It’s going to be whether you take action and do something. So many people they—I’m not one of those people that says, “Oh, just follow your heart and follow your dream.” So many people never actually do what they want to do in life because they never actually take the steps, take the action to do it.

I’ve talked about this a few other times, but I’m a big believer in trusting the process. What that means is that you come up with what you’re going to do, you chart your course and you execute on that and then you don’t worry about the results. That’s exactly what you need to do. If you want to be a software developer you need to figure out what steps you need to take to get you there and start doing those things. Don’t keep on wishing it. Don’t keep on saying, “How great it would be.” Instead, keep your current job but in the evenings when you get home from work, are you studying a book, are you figuring out or learning programming language, are you learning the things that you need to learn in order to actually make this new career choice?

If you’re not going to spend the time to do those things then what are we talking about? You’re just like one of those other people that says, “Oh, I wish I could do this. I wish I could be a ballerina someday.” Well, you’ve got to get a tutu and you’ve got to start doing twirls and pliés or whatever it is, you got to start doing that.

That’s what you got to do Kyle, really. For anyone out there that’s listening. You want to do something, you got to execute. Come up with a plan and start doing it and you’re going to get there. It’s almost impossible not to get there. The thing that stops people is not lack of ability, it’s not lack of intelligence, it’s not lack of education, it’s not their environment, what stops them is lack of action. You make a plan, you start taking actions and take actions every single day to move your forward. If you just move a baby step forward every single day in a year you’re going to go a huge distance. You put that one brink in your wall every single day and pretty soon you have this huge wall that’s built.

Anyway, Kyle, I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you do find your way to be a software developer. If you do definitely check out my blog at simpleprogrammer.com, I’ve got some more tips for you out there that will help you. There’s a lot of beginning articles and of course you can find more videos on this YouTube channel or in this podcast. If you’ve got a question for me definitely email me at [email protected] and I would love to answer your video here. Take care and I’ll talk to you next time.

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Topics:
agile ,career

Published at DZone with permission of John Sonmez, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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