How to change your career, become a frontend developer at the age of 30 and work at your pleasure

    In the photo - a freelancer’s mobile workstation. This is a ferry that runs between Malta and Gozo. Leaving your car on the lower level of the ferry, you can go upstairs and have a cup of coffee, open the laptop and work

    today publish student history GeekBrains Alexander Zhukovsky ( Alex_zhukovski ), who changed his profession for 30 years and became a front-end developer, participating in the realization of quite large projects . So far, he is at the beginning of the journey, but is determined to pursue a career in IT.

    In this article I would like to share my personal experience in obtaining additional education in the field of IT and talk about how new knowledge and experience helped me start a new page in my life. Yes, my name is Alexander, I'm 30 years old. I’ll say right away that I’m developing websites, a frontend. This topic has always been interesting to me, and from time to time I was engaged in relatively simple web page development projects, knowing only HTML and partially CSS.

    Knowing about this hobby, I was approached by friends, friends, friends of friends. Someone asked for free help, and someone paid for the work, although not much. Actually, I didn’t take much, because there was almost no knowledge and experience.

    Why do I need web development

    Orders such as "help make a simple page" came regularly. After a while, customers began to turn to me with serious projects that required already deeper knowledge in web development. They offered a good reward, but the problem was that I could not fulfill the order, since there was no specialized education. He sent customers to other acquaintances who implemented these projects. At one point, I decided to change everything in my life and start developing professionally.

    In general, I had a choice - I wanted to become either a programmer (I had previously graduated as a software engineer), or do web design. Since the education is quite “IT”, I think that I could handle both of them without any problems. But the soul lies more with web development.

    One of the motives for changing a profession is freedom. Many IT specialties allow you to work from anywhere in the world, would have a laptop and network connectivity. In terms of working outside the office, there are also two options - full freelance, and the rate, but "free."

    How it all began

    About to change my career, I thought about a year ago. The decision did not ripen right away - for some time I discussed various opportunities with my friend, who also wanted to get an IT education. Several times we saw online advertising for GeekBrains courses (as well as courses of other companies) and decided to give it a try. I don’t even know why they chose this company, perhaps because the advertisement was well designed.

    Together with a friend, they enrolled in courses and took up the granite of a new science. By the way, the friend's motivation was somewhat different. The fact is that it was originally far from IT. But, as an inquisitive person, he was constantly interested in issues in the field of web development. He constantly did not want to ask more and more new questions to his friends who were in the subject, and decided to eliminate the problem once and for all.

    Both went to the Frontend Developer course . The course description says that the developers will master JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and, in general, everything is as it is, we got the necessary skills and knowledge.

    The training format turned out to be quite comfortable, so in a short time I was able to get almost everything that was needed for the implementation of serious projects, about which I spoke above.

    What changed?

    In short, a lot. Indeed, I stopped going with the flow, now you can choose what I like. Well, I like the fact that those projects that I previously gave to others, now I can carry out myself, without outside help. Over time, I take on the increasingly complex work that I do, I think, not bad.

    Another plus is that there is an additional income. I have not quit my main job, as freelance brings less. But additional income is gradually growing, now it is about a third of the basic salary. Perhaps if right now you give up the main workplace and do freelance work or work at a rate, but remotely, then the income will be higher. But I do not risk yet, perhaps I will become a 100% freelancer in a few months.

    An additional nuance: the speed and, most importantly, the quality of my work has increased significantly. Gradually, I gain new experience, which helps to work this way. Well, I see the result immediately, as soon as the site that I am doing is posted on the hosting. The satisfaction is complete, it is also pleasing that my customers are completely satisfied.

    Work in Malta

    I have a major job, for several years now I am the head of technical support in a technology company. Three years ago, I was offered a job offer (although the main one, not frontend), and I moved on a work visa to Malta. I note that the work is interesting, there are few negative aspects. But I want more freedom, if I may say so.

    I have several people subordinate, and together we serve facilities with company equipment. Our task (like the task of any technical support team) is to make the equipment work as it should, if necessary, repair it and carry out preventive maintenance.

    Since freelancers often move to warmer countries, where they work, I will talk a little about Malta as a possible point of immigration.

    Malta at night

    The advantages of this place are that it is warm, the sea, delicious food and beautiful girls. Cons - difficulties with registration. So, getting the right to stay if there is no work here is difficult - basically, this option is available when buying real estate, there is also the option to officially obtain citizenship for 650,000 euros. For obvious reasons, I did not consider both options. But a work visa is quite an opportunity. Working officially for a Maltese employer, you can stay by confirming that you have a contract every year.

    Paperwork, if there is a proposal for a contract, is not particularly complicated, another thing is that the opportunity to receive such an offer is issued infrequently. Due to the fact that every year you have to renew your visa by submitting documents to extend the contract, as well as engage in other bureaucratic operations that affect the employer, many local companies do not want to get in touch with those who have come to visit them.

    By the way, the plus here is also the fact (as in any other European country) that you can order gadgets without taxes, a lot at once. I ordered a bunch of everything, which is very happy. It is, first of all, about tax fees when buying gadgets in online stores in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other CIS countries. The loyalty of local customs laws allows you to order goods from foreign stores (starting from Amazon and ending with Aliexpress) without paying a customs duty, although some goods still have it.

    Hobbies - repair of a yacht, responsible for electronics, engine

    Current frontend projects

    Since the completion of training at the GeekBrains courses, there have been many orders, I would not call them particularly complex. But there were two major projects worth mentioning.

    The first is an online store of household appliances. I wrote it from scratch, because the store that the customer already had is hopelessly outdated (its CMS is Cotonti ). One of the wishes is the ability to integrate with 1C version 7.7. After nine weeks of work, I completed this order, and now it works fine, without causing any complaints, which I am glad about.

    The second major project is the development of a corporate portal of a fairly well-known company. Now I am in charge of this project. Its core is WP. During development, we use PHP, Java, jQuery AJAX, HTML5, CSS. Everything is used, plus asynchronous, GZIP, Lazy Load, a number of frameworks. To the extent possible, the channel and memory allocation for each connection are loaded resources from other sources, such as CDN. The resource identifies the user's device and loads only those elements that are currently on the display.

    The final product, website, will enable employees of the company to work, being anywhere in the world. They will be able to access accounting and legal documents. Unfortunately, I can’t say more. As for the implementation of the project, I manage a team of developers, each of which carries out its part of the work. I also perform several tasks as a developer. I already had to manage large projects, albeit not as large-scale ones, but now I am part of it - not only a manager, but also a developer. I can proudly say: “Look, I did part of this project!”

    Tips for those who are afraid to go to IT

    Actually, I will be one of those who urges not to be afraid of anything. And this is true, because when you get an education (it doesn’t matter, on your own or in courses) you study, self-educate. In the future, all the knowledge and experience gained can be very useful. Even if nothing happens, well, you will remain at the starting point without losing anything. But the plus is that usually everything works out - if you strive for your goal, then you can achieve it by making some efforts. Someone needs to make more efforts, someone less, but the result will still be.

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