How I got into Software Engineering

I think I’m going to get into “Coding”, I heard you can make a lot of money doing that.

Before we go further, this is my story of how I went from a clueless college student to my first amazing Software gig. I hope this inspires you, and will be the starting point of my next blog series.

College

Let me show you a picture of me in college:

Not actually me, but I was in a Fraternity

Entrepreneurial bug

It is said that the entrepreneurial bug is infectious and I was indeed bitten. At UCSD if you wanted to go out to bars/clubs there would be these bus companies that would meet up at a parking lot and just haul kids back and forth from the campus to downtown. Mind you, Uber was just launching its pilot program in San Diego at the time, so either you had a designated driver or you hopped on one of these buses.

Mogl

My first job out of college was at a startup called Mogl.com, one of the biggest if not THE biggest startup in San Diego. I was working in the Accounting department. Yeah I know Finance vs essentially I was doing bookkeeping was not all that glamorous. Though it wasn’t the most glamorous, it was here I met a good friend of mine: Seth Sandler a really talented iOS developer. I loved working at Mogl for the people. My bosses really pushed me to be more diligent, and I could see our CEO’s passion to get the product to grow.

  • “Is it hard to learn to code?”
  • “Do I need to go to school and get a computer science degree?”
  • “What do you think about these coding bootcamps?”
  • “What language should I learn?”
  • “Is it hard to learn to code?” — No, it takes time and patience
  • “Do I need to go to school and get a computer science degree?” — No, but it helps if you want to get a good job without much effort
  • “What do you think about these coding bootcamps?” — You don’t need them, but it might help
  • “What language should I learn?” — JavaScript

Agency Lyfe

Web Agencies are the BEST place for a noob to prosper and grow. You get a variety of different projects every week, you have the opportunity to learn new things, and you can write extremely shitty code and no one will know.

  • Wake up at 7am. Head to the gym.
  • Walk on the treadmill for 1 hour watching Programming lectures and talks in JavaScript.
  • Took the train to work, on the train follow as many thought leaders in JavaScript on Twitter and start tweeting questions to them.
  • Get to work at 9am, leave at 5pm. TBH, I smoked some weed when I got home
  • Learn and code from 6pm — 3am
  • Rinse and Repeat

Workpop

Remember those connections I was encouraging you to make? I woke up one day and saw that Seth Sandler was thinking about leaving Mogl to work for some company. He didn’t give me much info, but after our conversation I wished him good luck on his new endeavor. Months later, I found out the company was called Workpop Inc and I was in luck! AngelList said they need a front end engineer, I jumped on it.

  • Head to work at 10:30am
  • Leave work at 10pm
  • Squeeze in a few more hours to learn more.
  • Rinse and Repeat

The Journey / Conclusion

My story is pretty unique, and I got super lucky with the cards I was dealt. But the core of being successful in your career transition would be broken down like this:

  • Find Mentorship in the industry you plan on moving to.
  • Sacrifice your ego and salary until you understand the ins and outs of the industry
  • Root yourself in the culture of that industry
  • Make connections all over with potential friends and thought leaders

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Software Engineer at Workpop, Inc.

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Abhi Aiyer

Abhi Aiyer

Software Engineer at Workpop, Inc.