I was encouraged to share my story with you here so here it is.
My name is Tomas, I live in Prague, Czech Republic and this year I turned 30. My biggest passion has always been aviation - after high school, I went on to serve in Czech Air Force and became an air traffic controller. After leaving the military, I worked several different jobs in aviation, the last one being a Technical Writer for a large corporation.
During my time with this company, I started to realize that I am enjoying my job less and less. I was still deeply in love with my field, I was even taking flight lessons to get my pilot license, but I felt trapped. The atmosphere within the team was not great, the relationship with the client was even worse, and the project management was forcing us to do stuff that didn’t make any sense and didn’t exactly result in a high quality product.
When I figured out that I was slowly going insane in my then current job, I decided to try and look for some positions in IT, but I was primarily thinking of technical writing positions - I didn’t think that I was ready to go for a coding job. A few interviews later, however, when I realized that nobody would be able to pay me the money I was earning in my current role, I mustered all my courage, rewrote my CV, applied for a couple of front-end developer positions and braced for a wave of rejections coming my way.
But there was no wave. To my surprise, I got an invitation to an interview from the very first company I applied to. I went, we talked…and I got the job on the spot. Not because I am especially talented (far from it), but because I got impossibly lucky - the company had a huge project, some key people left and they needed to hire new people extremely quickly.
I realize that getting hired is just the first step and that there’s still a lot of work to be done before I am able to fully contribute (which is something I was fully open about during the interview - I made sure that they knew exactly what my skills were and what challenges I was facing in my education). But despite all this, I made that first step and now I’m learning new stuff and improving my skills every day, quicker than I expected. I feel empowered - like I can do whatever I decide to do.
I can’t stress enough how extreme was the role of luck in this story, I’m fully aware of that. But if you really want to get a coding job, to make that career change, to empower yourself and change your life - if you want all that, it’s gonna happen. Maybe it will happen on your 100th try, but what if it happens on your first? You never know. Just give it all you’ve got and hope for the best. Sooner or later, it will materialize.