The journey of a Web Developer

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Web Developers are becoming more in demand than ever before as companies and brands realise the importance of the internet during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, but how do you get started? 

We spoke with Isabel Calabig (@IZAYE_visuals) a Web Developer and Content Creator, who found her passion in HTML through her work in Marketing. This inspired her to learn more and dive deeper into different coding languages. Here’s what she had to say. 

What has your career journey been like so far?

My journey begins as a Marketing Assistant, in which I used HTML to improve on some of the things I did daily such as email marketing. Learning the basics of HTML sparked an interest in me to pursue coding and I took this as an opportunity to learn more. My father is also a retired Software Engineer so an interest has always been there from a young age, I’ve just never been confident enough to explore it further until now. I started my journey learning independently on CodeCademy but I quickly got lost in the technical side.

My Marketing Manager at the time suggested that I try out online resources and I found Leon Nowell’s 100Devs Bootcamp. At the beginning I was quite skeptical as I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out to be a great learning method. It really helped to fuel my interest in coding further and as I got more comfortable I started learning JavaScript which is what I use for a majority of my projects today.

How would you describe your experience as a Web Developer? 

If I was to define web development in one sentence it would be:

“Web development is a creative process.”

I think it’s because I see it as a mixture of problem-solving and creative thinking in one. I find it fascinating to come up with a solution for a problem and thinking outside the box. It’s also a combination of serious projects that you use in your professional work, but also projects you can do for fun. 

One thing I will say is that my journey has had its ups and downs. At the beginning I was very overwhelmed; my learning style can be quite different to others as I like to process information thoroughly and go into detail to help me understand each process further. It means sometimes I take longer than most to complete tasks but I do prefer it as I like to make sure I understand what’s going on behind the logic and code. 

However, I have quickly learned that it is part of the beauty of coding as I have met many people who after years in the industry are learning at their own pace and in some cases learning new languages from scratch. 

The community online has also been a great help to keep me motivated and help me when I am stuck. I thought the tech community would be full of “gatekeepers” but I can say my experience has been great. Tech Twitter and those participating in #100daysofcode has been a great example of groups of people who uplift and help each other within the coding community. I am definitely glad to be a part of it. 

What’s one project you’re most proud of? 

One of the first projects I created was an alien math game as I tried to take my JavaScript skills further and learn as I go. It was super fun to create and I potentially want to add more complexities to it in the future. At the moment I am focused on redesigning my portfolio as I want to make all my social platforms uniform and branded. 

I am currently working on another JavaScript game called ‘Find The Mushroom’ where the goal is to find a mushroom lost in the middle of a forest, at the moment I am focused on the design element as I want to give it an atmospheric forest look. I’m trying out some of the new JavaScript concepts I have learnt in the project as a way to test my skills.

What are some of the challenges you have faced during your time as a Web Developer?

The biggest challenge I have faced since starting my journey is imposter syndrome. Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong as a Web Developer. My dad and Developer mentor often mentioned it to me before explaining that it never leaves and as I develop my skills I’ll learn how to manage it. One thing they’ve suggested is to celebrate every victory and the small wins. I also think it can be beneficial as it reminds me that it’s okay not to know everything, learning and trying is the most important thing.

What are three things you think are important for new people in the industry to know before they begin? 

The three key things I think people should know are: 

1. Just build

It may sound simple but it is key to becoming better. You can put yourself to the test and try all the new things you learn on the way. Don’t be scared to fail on a project as it is a great practical way to learn and improve. 

2. Work-life balance

It is important to keep a good work-life balance as much as possible. Make sure to manage your mental health, it's common for Web Developers to dive deep into their work and forget to relax. 

3. Community

Find a great community of people online that you can interact with, whether they’re experienced or beginners. Building connections in the coding space is so important, you can find mentors as well as growing into a space where you can receive instant feedback with no negativity. 

These three things have helped me a lot along my journey, and they keep me level headed, motivated, and inspired throughout. I hope they can be useful to everyone and inspire people who have been thinking about starting out as a guide to push you in the right direction at the start of your journey. 

We loved collaborating with Isabel. If you are a Web Developer looking to collaborate, or if you are searching for a new role, make sure you get in touch!

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