This is about my journey as a Swift developer and some of the points discussed here could be useful to anyone who want to re-invent themselves as a software developer or if they want start a career as a Software developer.
I have been working in Software industry for years in wide range of technologies. Like many I felt the need for a change and wanted to switch over to the latest technologies. I was interested in iOS app development though I started with Objective-C within a year switched to Swift.
Be an early adopter
Choosing the technology matters and if you are one of the early adopter then you get new opportunities quickly. Being one of the early adapter of Swift helped me a lot to get noticed quickly. Also if the technology has the backing of some big corporates then you will grow with the technology.
Blog a learning tool
I started writing simple tutorials in Swift and shared this with the wider audience through my blog. This helped me to articulate the concepts well and also get valuable feedback from readers. In the later stage I got many opportunities/leads through my blog. Check out Ash Furrow and Kristina Thai talks on the benefiting of writing a blog.
After picking up iOS/Swift, I got distracted time and again with Android and other hybrid platforms. But remember the process of learning any technology is the same and you are not going to achieve your goal by focussing on different platforms at the same time. Stay focussed to reach your goal quickly.
Build a portfolio
Another way of building confidence is to publish apps under your name. You can start with simple apps and increase the features as you gain more and more experience. I sometimes felt embarrased with the choice of initial apps that I made and the code that I wrote. It is quite natural to feel that way as long you keep learning continuously
Eat Swift, Sleep Swift, Breathe Swift
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I was working as a Objective-C developer but quit the job to focus only on Swift. There were not many gigs available during the first year hence become an iOS mentor. The best way to keep learning is by teaching others. This allowed me to spend all my time in learning and practising Swift.
Networking and team events
Join local meet-ups learn from other like minded people. If possible attend conferences where you get a chance to meet some international speakers as well. Participate in Hackathons and test your ability in new technologies by conceptualising the app idea in to MVP in the short period of time.
Take up new opportunities
I got a lead through my blog for reviewing a Swift book and also to co-author a Udemy course. Don’t hesitate to take up new opportunities as long as it aligns with your technology. This can alway add up to your portfolio and online presence.
Hard work, dedication!
After many unsuccessful bidding finally I got a small prototype work in Swift. The client again awarded me a full fledged project which later become a full-time work. Even if it is a small gig, hard work and dedication definitely pays off.
I want to end with one quote this is especially for the people in their 30s & 40s. You can become or re-invent yourself as software developer at any age. “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind”. Don’t compare yourself with other developers know your strength and work around your limitations. Happy Coding!!