9 Years Ago, I Was Dreaming of Becoming a Software Developer

Nine years ago, while working on a 9–5 corporate job, I was 24 years old.

Ann Adaya
5 min readJun 13, 2024
Programming, Senior Developer, Self-taught developer, javascript, developer, dev, programmer, ann adaya,

“It’s only delusional until it works”

And now, I’m Ann Adaya, a software engineer.

Software engineer after my name sounds surreal, but I made it.

I haven’t published any articles in the past year, so allow me to reintroduce myself.

How is it having a Software Engineer after my name? How did it happen without going to a university and studying computer science?

I didn’t spend money on bootcamps; I can’t say it was a good move, but I’m saying it’s possible.

Looking back, it was all about asking the right questions, giving your all, keeping your eyes on the target, and adjusting along the way.

Some people dismiss our achievements as if we were just given everything, while others claim it was all luck.

“You probably had someone who helped you.”

“Someone must have recommended you,”

“You probably spent a huge amount of money,” and the list goes on.

Dude, I worked my arse off. I worked a 9–5 corporate job while studying web development before and after my shift. I didn’t have a laptop then, so I bought a secondhand one, just enough to have something to use in coding.

I went to the coffee shop before and after my shift to get internet access. I watched many free course videos, read free articles and blogs, and learned everything independently until I got my first job.

Believe it or not, I got my first job after six months. It was my ticket to a whole different world.

It’s as hard as fvck

Whoever says programming is easy, fight me.

Kidding aside, before starting this journey, you should manage your expectations and know that the journey will be more challenging than you think.

I spent 10–14 hours a day working and learning; it was tough.

Getting your first developer job is only the beginning. It was unbelievable.

After getting that first developer job, I thought, This is it; finally, I have achieved something great, only to discover that I must double-time my learning to cope with my colleagues.

Working with computer science and computer engineering grads was wild; the worst part was my senior developer. He doesn’t teach; he doesn’t care.

The truth is, after a couple of years working for that company, I was so down and depressed that I almost quit.

My colleagues were way younger than me. They were fresh graduates.

Looking back, I know it was all part of the grand plan.

If you want to learn something, surround yourself with the best. I was the weakest one, and it forced me to push myself and become just like them.

The developer journey will humble you.

Having a beginner’s mindset is significant at this age and time. Either you move, or the world and AI will drag you.

I never thought I could be that noob until I started learning programming. It felt like I was learning ABC all over again.

We must learn to set aside our pride and ego and accept that there will always be someone way more intelligent than us.

So what are you going to do about it? If you can’t compete, join and learn from them. That’s how you will succeed in this journey.

Pro tip: Your colleagues, your senior developers, will be your best teachers. They will not just teach you the technical part but also save you time, I swear. So be kind to your colleagues. They will help you grow.

You have to love every bit of it.

Steve Jobs was right: if you want something, if you want to become someone, if you’re going to build something, you must love it enough to stick with it no matter how many times you will fail and how deep you will get buried.

That’s just how it is; that is the price you must pay.

So, make sure you love what you do and love it enough to do the things you hate along the way to achieve your goals.

For example, I hate writing documentation, but I have to, and it has saved my life several times.

I didn’t like it when my boss wanted to change features that would significantly impact several functions and designs, but it’s part of our job.

Working as a software developer gave me more opportunities, benefits, and freedom than I imagined.

Our toxic culture taught us to work hard every day, spend years of our lives at work, and enjoy retirement benefits.

After nine years of working in this industry, I’d say that with the help of technology, working as a software engineer, we will rewrite history, create our destiny, design our own lives, and not have to wait 30–40 years. We will work, and we will live.

It’s all about balance—the secret to a happy life.

I work on my own time, and as long as I get the job done, my boss doesn’t care if Mondays are for beaches and Fridays are for mountains.

Just get the job done; I’m free with how I live.

After just five years of deep work, no sleep, and sacrifices, my dream job finally came.

I wish you the same, my dear friend. Don’t settle; keep looking for that dream job or dream life. You deserve the best in the world.

And when things get hard sometimes, get out and walk, breathe, rest, and sleep. Then tomorrow, no matter how hard and frustrating, show up; it will get better, as I promised you.

Thank you for reading!

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Ann Adaya

Software Developer, Founder/Owner: For Self-Taught Developers + Developer's Cheatsheet: https://www.developercs.com/