How to find your place in Tech

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Alright, you decided to break into Tech. Maybe your friend said that it's a well-paid job. Maybe you are fed up with commuting for three hours a day and want a remote job instead. Maybe you're afraid of being infected by some nasty virus and don't want to come back to your office. Regardless of your motivation, the first step you need to do is to decide what side of Tech is more suitable for you.

Our job eats up the biggest part of our life time and it's better if we enjoy it. It's likely that you will love your job if you have a natural predisposition to the types of activity which a particular job requires. When I start helping a new person with a Tech career, I normally try to learn more about them and ask them to perform a simple exercise…

Sit straight in silence with a piece of paper and a pen. Try to remember what you enjoyed doing in your childhood. Write down everything you remember on a list. If you liked to play with toys, mention which ones you liked most (dolls, Lego, etc). If you liked playing games, which ones you liked most (chess, cards, etc.)? You could also like drawing, singing songs, fishing with your grandpa, playing soccer with neighbours, etc. Whatever you recall.

A child plays with construction toys

Once your list is ready, try to match your favourite children's activities with job duties. I will give you some examples.

  • If you were good at logical games, such as chess, checkers, etc., your mathematical and logical thinking can help at any software development jobs.

  • If Lego and such are on your list, you will probably like software development, because software development is nothing but building programs (buildings) with commands and functions (bricks).

  • If you liked fishing or similar activities which required focus and attention, you're probably a determined and disciplined person. And it's likely you're attentive to details. Those are suitable characteristics for quality assurance (testing) and software development as well.

  • If you were into games which assumed social communication and collaboration, you may try yourself in teamwork and management.

  • If you were spending your time drawing, you definitely should try design in general and interface design in particular.

These are my assumptions but you've got the idea now, right?

Of course, you can consider more criteria when choosing a Tech path, such as: the amount of knowledge you need to have for the start, the number of open job positions of such kind around your location, etc. but pursuing what you love doing is what can make you happy at work.

And one more important thing… Please don't be afraid of following a wrong path. There are no wrong paths. You remember about dots which you can't connect looking forward, right? In the worst case scenario, you will be able to apply your new gained Tech experience to a related field.

Share what you liked doing in your childhood in the comments and I will try to guess what Tech area fits you better.