Progress, Not Perfection

Changing career in my late thirties presented a number of speed bumps on my journey to become a software developer.

Many of these have been self-imposed.

I enlisted in college again to gain the necessary skills that could open doors in the corporate world.

Juggling back-to-back diplomas with a regular 9-5, meant that time was limited. I didn't make it easy on myself either. Aiming for the top grades that were available would surely help me stand out from my peers. (Hint: It didn't. Employers didn't care.)

What was more important in their eyes that I was grinding forward. It didn't matter whether I was rapidly advancing toward my goals or taking measured, careful steps.

Ultimately what mattered was that I was learning. Moving in the right direction.

Career shifters and new starters in an industry are keen to hoover up as much knowledge as possible to overcome their perceived lack of knowledge/ability. Oftentimes they are competing against candidates with decades of experience.

Experience can't be faked, or bought, or traded. It comes at a price. Often, the accumulation of that experience is painful and not always linear.

Experience is not always what it appears to be.

It can be your greatest gift disguised as your worst nightmare.

I've learnt to be kinder to myself on my own software development journey. Not everyone's journey is the same. When you know you're on the right path, there is no need to sprint to the finish. That only leads to burnout, imposter syndrome and a never-ending sense of 'not being good enough'.

Enjoy the journey.

Step by step.

Progress. Not perfection.