How I got started in software development

The year was 2016. As the sun rises on a typical American work day, I started preparing myself mentally for another dull, uninteresting day. I had been working in IT as a technician for sometime. I also worked in biology and chemistry research labs at the local community college as a research assistant. My goal at the time was to work in the field of biological research as a possible career option. I worked as hard as I could to reach my goals but there was something missing. There was a serious lack of creativity in my life, not due to my personality but due to the opportunities that were available to me at the time. I enjoyed the field of science to an extent. The essence of science is to understand the nebulous laws of nature. It is a branch of knowledge that contains facts acquired through observation and experimentation. Curiously the more we discover the more ignorant we become to the machinations of the universe. These facets of life are immutable as are the laws of nature. A good scientist understands these laws and facts imposed by nature and is able to operate within those boundaries. What I concluded from my experience, is that this is a matter of opinion. With that understanding, I constantly looked for ways to be creative and unique in a restricted work environment.

And so it begins…

My story in the software development world began when my boss in my IT job approached me with an idea to build a new website for our computer center. Our website at the time (if one can even call it that) was extremely outdated. I started learning basic HTML and CSS to build a basic web page. Within weeks, I was able to build a much better website than what we previously had. From the moment I started designing and building our website, I became immediately hooked. I created a solution for a problem. A tool that can be used on a daily basis. It was in that very same moment that I realized the potential of software development. Like science, development is a field in which you can experiment to find solutions for problems. However, unlike science, you are not so much restricted by the laws of nature but by your own skills of creativity. From this point forward, I began delving deeper into web development. I looked for problems to solve using programming.

One day, I decided to build an inventory application to replace our inventory “system” (which were a couple of excel sheets) on which items were entered and modified. I learned PHP and mySQL with phpMyadmin. I approached my boss with this idea and I got the go ahead to proceed with the development of this application. During the course of development, an old friend of mine (Zach Voltz, CTO of Voltz Software and Bento Systems) contacted me about a possible job opportunity for a company owned by his brother (Ricky Voltz, CEO of Voltz Software and Bento Systems). This offer could not have come at a better time. An interview was set in which I presented my application (which was still in the beginning stages of development at the time). Though I was not able to impress them with an extensive knowledge of programming (as I was still an amateur), I was able to display an ability of self learning and dedication to the concept of software development. A few months after the interview, I was offered a position as a JavaScript developer at the company. And so began my adventure as a software developer.

Fast forward to current day…

I am very fortunate to call myself a software developer. My job presents a wide variety of problems which I strive to solve using my programming skills on a daily basis. I am a part of a wonderful team of individuals with a vision and the ambition to bring that vision to life. The components I helped design and build are solutions to problems that many people encounter in their daily lives. The difficulty of these problems allowed me to become a better developer and problem solver overall. Though I have advanced as a developer, there is a long road of learning ahead. Like science, the more you discover, the more you become aware of your ignorance. I look forward to expanding my skills and unlocking the true potential of software programming as time goes on.

How I got started in software development was originally published in Bento Systems on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.