My Tech Story: Looking Back on Challenges
Just like my first post, I struggled with finding the right words for this one. I'd never really thought about my journey and the challenges; I was simply going with the flow and trying to learn as much as I could.
Thinking about it now, I realise it's not all been rosy. In this post, I'll be sharing some of those challenges and how I scaled past them.
Making The Decision
I chose to study Computer Engineering because I never really wanted to go into software development. However, I had to search for internships to complete my program and that was how I ventured into frontend development.
After my internships, I struggled with deciding on what I really wanted to do. I loved frontend development but still wanted to be a hardware engineer. It took a while but I decided to focus on using the skills I'd gained to finish school and also get a job afterwards.
For me, 2020 was a year of trying to make the right decisions. Even though I've gained more skills and worked on more projects, I still haven't made a solid decision yet. So currently, I'm just focusing on realistic goals and working towards them.
A lot of people in tech fields experience imposter syndrome, it seems to come with the territory. However, it was always so overwhelming because I also have anxiety issues and an immense fear of public speaking.
School made it worse and that took a toll on me. It has hindered me from contributing in communities; I couldn't properly articulate my opinions without having panic attacks. Of course, it also affected my networking and I only had my close circle of friends who were also in tech.
It took a while but I eventually found ways to manage my anxiety. I practice breathing techniques, remind myself of my abilities and try to think positively.
I also took action by pushing myself out of my comfort zone at every opportunity. Thanks to She Code Africa, I was able to attend the Open Source Festival that took place February last year. I did my best to initiate conversations and got to talk to quite a number of people. One of them was Anisah and we even got to speak to Obinna Ekwuno! It was a good experience for me so, I push myself out there even more.
It still gets tough though. I've faced situations where I was given tasks and the first thought was to quit because I doubted myself so much. However, I've learnt to manage the situations better and realise my capabilities to handle them diligently. The key is to always remind myself to keep calm and think rationally.
Staying True to Oneself
We all know about the gatekeeping culture by some tech folks. It's easy to get discouraged when you're made to feel like you don't know enough or you just don't belong. But the real question is can you ever even know enough🤷♀️?
Part of the community still underrate frontend development and its developers. It can get to a point where you doubt yourself and want to become "fullstack" or try data science, just to prove your capabilities even more.
I've learnt to not let this get to me. Frontend development is not a child's play; no field in tech is. It's always a much better option to focus on what you're interested in and just excel at it. Staying true to oneself and not losing sight of your goals is very important.
It's not sunshine and roses but it's been a good journey so far. It's inevitable to face more challenges but the most important thing is to face them head on and overcome them.
That's exactly what I plan to keep doing.