Ryan has kindly shared his story about changing career from being a bored helpdesk employee to finding creative freedom and much better pay as a programmer. Ryan Warner, a Canadian programmer has been successful in web development despite not having a CS degree. Ryan gives lots of tips for self taught software developers including the fact that local networking and meeting other developers can help you find work.
Hey, so can you introduce yourself?
How has your life changed since becoming a professional programmer?
Before I wrote code professionally I was very bored with my work. After working in a ISP helpdesk role for several years I was able to find work supporting network infrastructure, but I didn’t find much satisfaction in it. I love that programming is a creative discipline where my work has a direct impact on people. I have found programming to pay substantially more than the IT support work I was doing and the work to be much more plentiful.
Can you tell us what an average day looks like for you just now as a web developer working at a university?
Since the start of the pandemic we have been working remotely, but in terms of my day to day work that hasn’t changed much. I am a member of a team of five, and our work and skill sets are divided between a variety of projects. My skill set is quite broad, so my day’s work can vary quite a bit.
On any given day I might be working on the CSS for our design framework, a Wordpress theme or plugin, or a system that handles student interaction. Recently I’ve been working to containerize a new application the university will be using to manage exam accessibility accommodations. I am not an especially capable designer, so I am grateful to be able to rely on my teammates skills in those areas.