Dev Retro 2022: From Mechanical Design Engineer to Fullstack Developer: My Journey and Lessons Learned
6 min read
From the Halls of Mechanical Design to the Fields of Full-stack Development
I spent many years in the halls of mechanical design, learning the ins and outs of 3D modeling, 3D printing, and product development. But when I decided to make a career change and become a full-stack developer, I faced a whole new set of challenges and opportunities.
Seeking the One True Coding Bootcamp
I set out on a quest to find the one true coding bootcamp that would guide me on my journey to becoming a full-stack developer. I spent many long hours scouring the land, researching different options and seeking the counsel of wise mentors. Finally, I found the path that seemed right for me and I enrolled in the program, determined to master the skills and technologies I needed to succeed. The road ahead was steep and challenging, but I was resolute in my purpose and I threw myself into the program with all my might. Through hard work and determination, I began to develop the skills I needed to embark on my new career.
Mastering the Technologies of Web Development
But my journey did not end there. I also delved into the deeper mysteries of server-side development, learning about powerful technologies such as Express.js and Node.js. These languages required a deeper understanding of concepts such as databases and APIs, but with the guidance of my instructors and the aid of my fellow travelers, I was able to master them as well.
Along the way, I encountered many useful tools and frameworks that helped me on my journey. One such tool was React.js, a powerful library for building user interfaces. With its help, I was able to create dynamic and interactive web applications that truly impressed my peers.
Overall, I feel that the coding bootcamp was a great adventure that helped me master the technologies and skills needed to be a successful full-stack developer. I am confident that the knowledge and experience I gained will serve me well as I continue my journey through the tech industry.
Project Work in the Coding Bootcamp
During the coding bootcamp, I had the opportunity to undertake a great quest: the creation of a full-stack e-commerce website project, which we called Galactic Pawn. This project was a group capstone, designed to test our skills and simulate a remote team environment. We used the web development and full-stack technologies we had learned in the program to build the website, wielding powerful tools such as React, NodeJS, Express, and PostgreSQL. Later, I successfully deployed the website to Render.com and the database to Bit.io, using the magic of Prisma and JWT.
The website included a login and registration page, as well as a main store page that allowed users to create an account and add items to their cart. One of the challenges of the project was integrating all of the different routes and technologies to create a cohesive and functional website. However, with the help of our wise instructors and by working effectively as a team, we were able to overcome this challenge and complete the project to the satisfaction of all.
If you'd like to see the results of our labors, you can check out the live demo here or view the Git repo here. This group capstone project was a great opportunity for us to apply the skills and knowledge we had gained during the coding bootcamp and work collaboratively with our fellow classmates. I am proud of what we were able to accomplish together and grateful for the experience.
The Search for the Full-Stack Developer Role
Upon graduating from the coding bootcamp, I set out on a quest to find a full-stack developer role. I knew this would be no easy feat, as I was new to the field and would face many challenges along the way.
I began by updating my resume and LinkedIn profile, polishing them like a shining sword for the battles ahead. I also reached out to my connections in the tech industry, seeking any leads or guidance that might aid me on my journey.
I applied for a variety of roles, from entry-level positions to more experienced developer roles. The job search process can be a treacherous path, but I was determined to find the right opportunity.
One thing that helped me stand out to potential employers was my background as a mechanical design engineer. Many companies are seeking developers with a diverse skill set, and my experience in product development and 3D modeling was a unique selling point for me.
I also made sure to highlight the skills I learned at the coding bootcamp, including my proficiency in front-end and server-side technologies, as well as my ability to work effectively in a team. I included specific examples of projects I worked on and problems I solved during the program, which helped to demonstrate my abilities and potential value to a company.
Despite my efforts, I have yet to find a full-stack developer role. But I remain persistent and proactive in my search, continuing to network and build connections in the tech industry. I believe the right opportunity will come to me in due time. I encourage other aspiring full-stack developers to stay the course and make the most of any networking opportunities that come their way. The journey may be long and arduous, but the reward will be worth it.
Sharpening Valuable Soft Skills
As I journeyed from the halls of mechanical design to the fields of full-stack development, I sharpened a number of valuable soft skills that are essential for success in the tech industry. These include effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving abilities. With these skills honed to a fine edge, combined with my expertise in 3D modeling and product development, I am confident that I will be a valuable asset to any team.
Looking back on my journey, I have learned a few key lessons. First, it is important to be proactive and seek out opportunities to learn and grow, like a warrior seeking to hone their skills. Second, networking and building connections are essential, like forging alliances with powerful allies. And finally, it is important to stay positive and persistent, even when the job search is challenging, like a steadfast hero on a quest.
The Road Ahead
As we gaze into the horizon and plan our next journey, it is clear that transitioning from a mechanical design engineer to a full-stack developer is no simple task. However, with the right skills, connections, and knowledge of industry trends, we can conquer this challenge and reap the rewards of a successful career in the tech industry.
Let us embrace the road ahead, stay vigilant and sharp, and never lose sight of our goals. For it is through hard work, determination, and the forging of new connections that we will find our path to victory in this brave new world of full-stack development.