"I like that i am employed and supported by Wiley Edge and work at one of the top investment banks"
I am Stephanie, I am mechanical engineer graduate from The Lebanese University. The first two years of university was a general engineering program including computer science courses. I fell in love with Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering at the same time, so it was the perfect choice to combine them both.
However, at University, I noticed that we do not learn practical skills what will allow us to be ready for the real-world problems and complex situations.
I also noticed that mechanical engineering doesn’t lead to the career path that I wanted, so I decided to focalise my time and energy on Computer Science, which opened so many doors to me.
The first option was to drop out of the mechanical engineering degree and start a new computer science degree, however, there are strict rules at university that don’t allow you to easily proceed this way, so I simply completed my degree in mechanical engineering.
I started by planning my self-learning journey. Technology is a fast-paced environment and needs continuous learning process. I am an engineer with logical and analytical skills, I am able to learn everything by myself and I have my engineer degree, I know how things works and I can pick up quickly on anything, this is my spirit.
To be honest, I felt like I could do better in these five years at university if I could control what I learned. Thus, I simply started to take courses by myself, and these were courses that I chose.
I planned everything for myself: what I want to learn. This is how started my journey.
Step number one, go to LinkedIn. Make sure to go through different job descriptions for multiple roles related to Software Development, I went through them all, Junior and Software roles. I understood the requirements and made sure to become eligible. You are not eligible? No problem, add certifications, have training by yourself, learn what you need to learn in order to get the job.
That way, I had the perfect idea of what I should focus my time on. Very simple: data structures, OOP principles, algorithms, basic understanding of programming of different software languages. I started to go a little more in deep into Java and object-oriented programming.
I invested my time, between two years through university, but for me that was the best way to develop all necessary skills. I am a fast learner! I am not sure if I really need five years to learn basics. So, I took this personal challenge and started to learn everything I needed, by myself.
While self-studying, there was some time where I got demotivated and thought for a while that it might be too difficult to continue; but I always had my husband tracking my progress, encouraging me and reminding me that I can do it very well. He had a big impact mentoring and explaining how can choices can determine my results.
I started with machine learning as I saw a lot of demand in it, in the workplace. I simply wanted to discover everything and have a good idea of everything, which helped me to know where I want to pursue in the long term.
I needed to understand how it works, I don’t like to use a programming language if I don’t understand in depth how to use it. Which means I decided to learn a bit of everything in depth, before moving forward with a career related to it. Finally, I understood that Java is what I liked the most and decided that I wanted to learn Java and Angular too.
This spirit, this mentality and this way of thinking, is what hiring managers, interviewers and senior developers are looking for. First, they want to know if you can code, if you were able to give yourself projects in order to develop your skills, and if you are capable to pick-up quickly on other languages. If you have self-learning and motivation, everything is possible.