My Path to Becoming a Web Developer

I am going to be completely honest. My path to becoming a web developer has taken a lot longer than I anticipated. I still deal with a lot of imposter syndrome. But I’m not quitting because I love creating websites and apps! There is so much beauty in doing it. The challenge of making something functional and pleasant to the eye is a constant struggle worth fighting for.

I was first exposed to web development by working at a small web development company in Irvine around 2014.

As IT support.

It was my first real IT job. I have done a bit of IT work with my dad, but this is my first real job in IT. Before that I worked in a jail as a cashier. (That’s a story for another time) and before that I worked at Chick-fil-A. But at this job it was my responsibility to keep the developers happy by installing their programs and restarting their Buffalo NAS that was in their attic whenever that conked out and they couldn’t access their internal shared files. I also took care of purchasing and setting up domain names for websites.

My boss was really dope there, too! He was ahead of the developers and of IT. So he gave me a lot of opportunities to learn the job and chase my passions, but he also expose me to the backend of web development. At the time I was so fixated on doing IT that I didn’t recognize the beauty and opportunity I had at that company. And so after just one year of working there I quit and started my own LLC doing freelance IT work. It was a scary big leap but I survived! I didn’t end up freelancing on my own for too long though. Pretty early on I realize read some significant gaps in my knowledge so I decided to work for another company to fill those gaps.

I didn’t realize that under the surface there was something that was really trying to get my attention and that was web development. By this time I had already started creating websites. I started with WordPress since the web development company had worked at before was a WordPress shop. I learned WordPress on my own with setting up a WAMP stack. The first real website I created was for my wife’s blog. I had a lot of fun optimizing it so that it would load in less than a second. This is 2015 and blogs were still huge! And she end up getting a pretty decent size following and lots of clothing website that help support economically challenged women.

After that I moved temporarily to Ruby on rails and then we had a baby in 2017. I decided to stick with the IT company I was with since my boss was great and I loved the environment and plus they gave me the 20% raise that I asked for. That kept the stable with good health insurance as well. From there I was developing website your friends and friends of family members also started to learn JavaScript and ReactJS.

At one point I even developed a React Native app for both Android and iOS for a large church in LA. (You can read more about that story here)

Right now I’m at a place where I can easily create a blog this website e-commerce website are also in my wheelhouse too. I’ve done a few weather applications and I want to make more! I’m looking forward to what the future holds I still have a lot of doubt but I am not afraid to call myself a web developer anymore. I AM a web developer and I have been for a while.