Hey! Do you want to be a developer. Are you having challenges? Hmmm, I thought as much…You wonder if anyone will take you seriously, you have no experience working in the tech industry so you wonder if you can get work. You’ve taken courses and spent hours on personal coding projects, but the Experience section of your resume is still glaringly irrelevant. I understand, I tell you it’s all under control, nothing has gone wrong, it happened to me! Yes, transitioning into a new field is never simple.

Trust me: don’t let those doubts get in your way. In truth, it’s not that difficult — as long as you make sure you’re adequately prepared before making the leap. These feasible steps will help you make a seamless transition into web development.

· Don’t think of yourself as a programmer. You can’t fire and forget production code on complex back ends the way you can with a web page. Think of yourself as more like the owner of a factory. Your job is to keep the thing working, figure out what needs replacing, and improve it over time.

· Experience is Key. There is no substitute for getting experience, seriously! You can learn more by carrying a pager for an important system for 6 months than you can in 6 years of school or writing code, like Bill Gates said “Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.” It’s not about the lines of code, it’s about making it work. Practice more, ensure that your code is working right.

· Learn to script, ideally on the command line. I tell you, 2 lines of bash can save you weeks of work.

· Learn to measure everything. Good instrumentation makes problems worlds easier to find and manage, believe me! >90% of the problems you will encounter are silly. But it will take days, months, or years to find them. No amount of testing can cover all of the complex interactions in live systems. Expect it to be expensive — spend more hardware / time / energy on instrumentation than seems remotely reasonable. It pays off, particularly if you do it proactively as a discipline instead of waiting for problems.

· Learn to analyze data. A shocking number of engineers try to skip this step, which means they rarely have any idea what they actually accomplished, also analyze your code as you program, code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.”

Always remember this! Don’t get too attached to any one language/technique/ framework, etc. It’s really easy to become a zealot, and often very counterproductive. Find ways to work on projects in a range of different languages/styles/frameworks. They have very different properties in terms of systems they tend to produce. Making good choices about which language to use to solve a problem is important, and you need to see them in practice to be able to make that decision.

So the sweet spot is being able to get backends to grow or shrink on their own. That means understanding a bit about security wrt port management, NAT and DNS.

Welcome to the backend, the engine room to every frontend!

Writer: Anita Ajekuko. Back-end developer at Techspecialist Consulting Limited

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