Success Stories: "My journey into development began by accident"

15 May 2019

Each of us has our own unique professional history. We learn, we get our kicks, and finally we achieve results - serious and not so serious. In the "Success Story" series of articles you'll find stories from developers about how they came into the profession, the ups, downs, and growth. It will help those who are new to the profession to get inspired and those who are old to learn from the experience of their colleagues.

Today in our column is Nikita, Full-stack developer, main language PHP.

My path to development began by accident.

At school I studied computer science in depth. I even participated in programming contests, but I did not pay much attention to it, becauseI studied in linguistic gymnasium and was going to tie my life with linguistics and economics.

For fun in grade 9 together with a friend even made his own server in the MMORPG game WOW. I somehow managed to set it up and run it on my home computer with instructions from the Internet.

At the age of 17 I left to go to Europe, more precisely to the Czech Republic, to the Higher School of Economics in Prague. I lived there for a year, learning the language. I was confident in my abilities and I applied for only one specialty (unrelated to IT). And, as expected, I didn't get in. I was in a panic, and began to frantically think whether I could apply immediately somewhere else. I found that in the same university is an enrollment in the Faculty of Informatics in the specialty "Applied Computer Science. And I applied for it. Well passed the entrance exams and passed.

When I was forced to decide that I will study the IT specialty, I began to explore my prospects for the future profession more deeply. I realized that I was interested in the Internet technology, even began to dream about working at Google, as well as to study everything connected with IT. Over the summer I managed to master the typesetting on my own. I tried to make several landings for practice, and then I began to learn the basics of PHP.

Then, my skills were not enough to get a job. So I worked as a bartender during the day, and at night I studied development and made freelance projects or just my own projects. I studied a lot on my own and read an incredible amount of literature and articles. Habrhabr became the main resource where I spent my free time. Meanwhile, at university, we were studying general subjects that were of no practical use.

Looking at the curriculum, I realized that it wouldn't get any better. And there will be a huge number of completely uninteresting to me subjects that I do not want to learn. And only a small fraction of what I am interested in. Then I made the decision that I didn't want to waste any more time memorizing useless material - and I left my second year of university.

In the summer of 2016 I returned to Russia, but not to my native Chelyabinsk, but to St. Petersburg, a city completely unfamiliar to me, where I saw more opportunities for development. At first I worked as a bartender, moonlighted in a sushi delivery service and continued to study development on my own. In my spare time I freelanced. After a few months in St. Petersburg I got an internship at a large consulting company for ridiculous money. At the end of it I got an offer and worked there for about a year, learned a lot and came out as a more or less confident developer with a good salary. I left this job in search of a better life, but I still fondly remember my first job. I learned and learned more in that year than I had in my entire life.

Then I worked for some time as a developer at an international outsourcing company, which I left for my own startup. My friends and I decided to launch a project related to the automation of the restaurant business. We worked on this project for almost a year, tried to get investments and promote it, which turned out to be very difficult. At the end of the project began to collapse, there were great difficulties with money (I even had to sell my car), we all fell out with each other and closed it.

After that I freelanced and worked remotely for a few more months. Sometimes I went for interviews, I took my time and looked for a job and a company that would suit me. At that point I already understood that I did not want to work in outsourcing. I wanted to work in a product company that makes B2C products. And for me it was important to have a young and progressive team, and the company itself was small and with a "startup spirit .

So I got into the cashback service "Megabonus" - the values of the company and what it was doing were clear and close to me. Soon it will be a year since I work here. During this year I was able to get up to speed in related development areas, learn more about DevOps and architecture. Here I have more freedom in choosing technologies and ways of implementation. Not once yet have I regretted my time here.