Baraka M. Mulumia

The Road Less Traveled: My Uncommon Path to Becoming a Developer

The Road Less Traveled: My Uncommon Path to Becoming a Developer

It all started with a simple curiosity.

Becoming a software developer isn't always a straightforward journey, and for many people, the path can be somewhat unconventional. For me, that journey began back in my second year of high school, when I discovered a passion for technology that would shape my future. I found myself constantly drawn to computer studies, and spent countless hours tinkering with computers in the school lab.

As I progressed through high school, my interest in technology continued to grow, and I dreamed of one day building a futuristic city with all sorts of technological advancements. However, when it came time to apply for university, I didn't quite make the cut for the computer science or related courses I had hoped for. Instead, I ended up studying for a Bachelor's degree in education at Maseno University. While it wasn't a bad experience, I felt like I was being pulled away from my dream of becoming a software engineer.

Despite this setback, I refused to give up on my dream. It wasn't until I stumbled upon the Free Code Camp website that I found a structured learning program for becoming a developer. However, constant classes on campus made it difficult to make much progress, and I had to put my development journey on hold until I finished my degree program.

After finishing my graduate program, I began searching for schools or organizations that offered boot camps on software development, which is how I found the Institute of Software Technologies. With the help of their knowledgeable tutors and great development platform, I was able to hone my skills in software development over the course of a year.

With just one month left before finishing my professional course at the Institute of Software Technologies, I was approached by one of the tutors about the possible role of being a technical trainer at the same institute. I was a little nervous because I had never written a CV before, nor had I ever walked into an interview. But I put together my CV and crushed the interview, and was hired. This was my first job and I loved it so much. I will forever be grateful to Mr. Rodgers Odari for believing in me and giving me the job.

During my time at the Institute of Software Technologies, I had the opportunity to meet amazing students and tech newbies who I helped guide to navigating the tech waters. At the same time, I also made a lot of good friends in the tech industry among them Festus Ribiro, Salma Mohammed, Saina Mercy, Willam Muthama, Faith Debora, and many more who not only challenged me but also kept me inspired.

I am someone who loves a challenge, and I have always been one to challenge the status quo of things. While training, I kept up with the latest technologies and kept learning through long nights of reading and attending tech workshops on Front-end Masters. A year later, I decided to take a different approach and venture fully into development to gain some experience in production apps.

As a dedicated developer, this journey led me to Edvora, an ed-tech company based in India. Starting as an intern, I quickly progressed to become a front-end lead due to my strong work ethic and technical skills. During my time at Edvora, working collaboratively with cross-functional teams to ensure high-quality results I was responsible for developing and implementing the front-end components of the company's educational technology solutions which included an AI-powered learning platform that helps students learn at their own pace and provides personalized feedback. I am proud of the work I did at Edvora and excited to bring my skills and experience to new opportunities

The journey has been full of ups and downs, but I kept going and still am. Today, staying committed to my passion, I am now a Full Stack developer (FE-Heavy), with a diverse range of skills and experience in building production-level applications.

Although the road less traveled has been challenging, it has been an incredible journey of growth, learning, and self-discovery. Becoming a developer is a journey that requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to lifelong learning. However, if you are passionate about technology and enjoy problem-solving, it can be a fulfilling and rewarding career. Embrace the challenges and setbacks along the way, as they will ultimately lead to growth and development. Remember to take advantage of opportunities for learning and skill-building, and to seek out mentorship and support from others in the field. With persistence and a positive attitude, you can succeed in the exciting and dynamic world of development.

While I haven't yet reached my destination, I am excited to see where this path will take me next.

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