From issuing loans to the backend: how to change your career at 28 and move to St. Petersburg without changing your employer
Today we publish an article student GeekBrains Sergei Solovyov ( SergeySolovyov ), in which he shares the experience of a radical career change - from loan officer to the back-end developer. An interesting point in this story is that Sergey changed his specialty, but not his organization - his career began and continues at Home Credit and Finance Bank.
How it all began
Prior to joining IT, I worked as a loan specialist. I note that this is my first job, I got there, you can say almost by accident. I graduated with a degree in Finance and Credit, after which I served in the army, returned, found a suitable profession on one of the job sites and started working.
I note that the working conditions are excellent: in the first year, literally liked everything. This is a flexible schedule, a young team, income level. Over time, work began to bring less pleasure, so I wanted a change.
Introducing myself after 10 years, I realized that I would not want to be either a loan officer or a leader in this area. But what to do? He began to sort out his hobbies and singled out two. The first is chess, the second is technology. If the first can hardly be done as your main occupation (I'm still not a grandmaster), then the second is quite.
Time for change, learning PHP
Realizing that I want to become an IT specialist, I began to select the appropriate specialties. I wanted to understand programming, and since Internet technologies today are developing extremely rapidly, I decided to become a web developer.
One evening at work, I was looking for sites that teach web development. I came across an advertisement for GeekBrains courses, I decided to try the initial free courses. Then I decided to try to go deeper and bought the first course - “PHP Programmer”. I began to take it in December 2016, and I doubted whether it was worth paying, since I had a car on credit, and an additional payment would be burdensome.
I mentioned this moment in a telephone conversation with my mother and she said that I should not doubt: if this is interesting, then it is worth doing. In general, she was to blame for the fact that I eventually became a web developer.
After the courses were completed, I realized that it was mine and I would like to develop in that direction. At a certain stage of training, I decided to make a working cashback service. We developed it with a colleague (I still worked as a loan specialist, changing my specialty a bit later), and it turned out pretty well, the first users appeared.
New Stage: Mastering Python and Asynchronous Programming
Another year passed, and in the summer of 2017, as a bank employee, I received a notification that the bank was opening a service for the sale of goods by installments. The sender of the letter was the director of digital business, to whom I decided to send a letter in which I spoke about my desire to work in his team. Surprisingly, I received an answer, though not with an offer, but with advice to learn Python and asynchronous programming.
I followed the advice because I was determined to change my future. And here again GeekBrains courses came in handy. The cost of the courses was very impressive, but I decided not to abandon my goal, there was even an idea to sell the car, pay off the loan for it and pay for the courses.
And so the developers spend leisure time
Probably, I would have done so, but I was lucky - the bank helped, with the filing of the chairman of the board, whom I managed to contact during the direct line with the employees. This event is held once a year, employees ask the management any questions, and they answer them. I asked if there is a practice of co-financing training, having received the answer that no, but in my case the bank will help. And so it happened, as an aid, I received an increase in salary to pay for courses. Now, additional motivation has appeared: after all, once they believed and help me, laziness or giving up their intentions will not work.
By the way, it was very difficult at times, since the brain has already lost the habit of such significant loads since university, but I liked it, I made learning a part of my life. Studied at home for a year, and at work, one might say, rested, changing activities helped. I without any problems refused part of the entertainment, deciding to spend my time studying. By the way, if you feel that you are not in time, you can re-write to another stream and go through a difficult moment for yourself again.
Moving to St. Petersburg: I am becoming a developer officially
After I began to feel confident as a developer, I gave a request for a business trip to St. Petersburg to the development department. It was possible to agree on two test days as a developer. And so it happened, and at the end of the second day I was already offered an offer with a trial period. As a result, everything turned out, and I was left in St. Petersburg.
As for the current work, our team is developing a platform for selling goods by installments. My area of responsibility is the backend. Part of the team works from Moscow, part from St. Petersburg. We use an extensive stack of technologies, including Python, asyncio, Django, PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch, Docker.
An interesting point: I moved, having completed about 60% of the course, when the main Python program ended. Now I continue to study in the process of work.
At the moment, my sources of knowledge are not only courses, but also technical documentation, forums, and colleagues. Books are also an excellent source of additional information, but unfortunately, there is not enough time for them yet.
A little about income and working conditions
As for the working conditions, it is difficult to say how much everything has become better. It is only clear that the conditions have changed, and greatly. The journey by subway takes about an hour a day, the car takes longer due to traffic jams, so I sold the car almost immediately after moving. At the last job, the road took only 5 minutes.
At the same time, I can now work from home - we have a relatively free schedule. And I like the work so much that sometimes I write code for a working draft in the evenings. Colleagues are even sometimes surprised that I am making merge requests on the weekend.
As for the workflow, everything is completely different here. If you came to work earlier and are working, now decompositions, retrospectives, stand-ups and everything else have appeared in the work flow. During development, our team together is looking for the most effective ways to solve problems, we listen to each other, we can say that we have complete democracy and almost complete harmony.
The team on vacation
. Income has increased, now it is more than 2-3 times. At the previous job, the income level was floating, so the salary in one month could be several times higher than the previous period. But on average, yes, the increase is very significant.
St. Petersburg is very popular as a place of life. I didn’t care where to move, but now I’m very pleased that I managed to get here. Now I’m thinking about taking an apartment on a mortgage.
First of all, I like it because before and after work you can admire the beautiful architecture, go to a jazz bar on Friday, or at a meeting of programmers, regularly hosts meetings with pizza and beer.
As for my career, at this stage I like the process of writing code and learning new technologies, so I hope to grow to a senior developer in a couple of years. IT provides great opportunities - if you want, you can easily move to another country and start life from scratch there without any problems. So here everyone will find what he likes.
Despite the fact that the opinion “everyone can become a programmer” is very common, I would not say that. IT, like any other area, is not for everyone. Success here can only be achieved if you like it.
If that is so, then you can start with Habr - select "All streams", that is, the categories of materials, view materials that are close to you in spirit, and supplement the information received with YouTube videos.
In the event that you decide to become a developer, you need to spend some time choosing a direction - and it is better to spend more time immediately, from the very beginning, than later to regret the wrong choice. It will not be superfluous to look at HH to understand the level of salaries of different specialists.
Well, as for the training, you can take it yourself, but I would recommend courses, because they provide a systematic approach, practice, and teachers' answers to your questions. In the case of training on your own, you can spend much more time to achieve the same result. Of course, it all depends on the person.
After this, it is worthwhile to draw up a study plan, gradually moving towards the intended goal in the form of good work, new life and new tasks.