From the outside, the world of tech can seem like an intimidating and confusing place. With an endless number of acronyms and multiple languages to learn and understand. It can feel like it’s exclusively for people who have lived and breathed tech since birth. First impressions can put many people off wanting to get involved, but since I started at Razor I’ve been told many times: “writing code is easy, anyone can do it”. Which I now realise is completely true.
Whilst studying Genetics at university, I realised how important software development was becoming, not only in my field of study but in many aspects of life. Programming was helping to transform our understanding of life at a rapid rate. I began to learn as much as I could online both out of interest as well as out of fear of falling behind.
I started to learn Python, which is one of the most popular programming languages.. Many people in the tech world identify as self-taught programmers who have gained most of their skills without actually being shown how by anyone. It really is possible to learn this way or at the very least, it’s a great place to start.
Learning From the Experts
You can learn almost everything you’d want to know without having to interact with another person, and there are so many courses out there to help you do so. I decided to get some support to push myself to the next level and apply for an advanced course in Python run by Code First: Girls. From this, I got my first taste of working with ‘real-life’ software developers. These were people working in tech companies in and around Sheffield giving up their time to share their knowledge. There were also beginner level courses available which were free to join and again run by real developers. This is just an example of one of the many courses out there to learn from.
All of this led to me joining Razor as a Software Tester, which is where the real learning started. My eyes were opened to how much there is still to learn. When I started, in order to accelerate my learning, I was enrolled in the Razor University. The Razor University programme is a structured training plan with an emphasis on “doing”, and not just learning theory and best practice. It has involved a variety of projects which have given me experience in developing and testing a range of technologies. My particular favourites have been learning about website security and how to use a wide range of Microsoft Azure technologies.
Being surrounded by experienced developers who are happy to help with any issues has made for the perfect learning environment. Although I value my early experiences in learning to code, I have learnt more in 3 months at Razor than I ever did over the years of learning alone. Any help you can get from experts can give you a massive push in the right direction. One day you will need to go into the wild world of development, without relying on that helping hand, so Razor will give you a push but it’s up to you to fly.
Working Smarter > Working Harder
There are many tools available to use to help you code. However, as a beginner it’s difficult to know which to choose, particularly as many of them are expensive. This is another reason why it’s helpful to be surrounded by an experienced development team: they can help to find the tools that suit you.
Something that I think is awesome, is that Razor provides ReSharper licenses to all of our development team to help them code more efficiently. It shows that these aren’t just tools for beginners, these are tools which even the most experienced developers still use every single day. When you know how to use them properly, they can enhance the code you write, increasing the quality - all you need to do is provide the thinking and problem solving behind it.
There’s a vast amount of resources out there to learn and lots of developers out there happy to help you get going. Another great thing about working at Razor is that the people here are always exploring new tools and technology. There is always something new to learn and plenty of people that are excited to share their knowledge.
Although I have learnt so much more working at Razor with the support of expert developers, by starting to learn yourself the hard way the rewards will be well worth the struggles. With the right development environment to help you while you’re going anyone can learn and of course if you get really stuck there’s always Google.
If you enjoy problem solving and have an interest in tech but limited experience then you could be part of our next intake in the near future. Getting into tech with Razor has been a great experience so please do get in touch.