Ex-seafarer, JavaScript Messiah, and Junior Developer

Ex-seafarer, JavaScript Messiah, and Junior Developer

What happened in 2021?

Sergii Kirianov's photo
Sergii Kirianov
·Dec 29, 2021·

7 min read

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January

I'm spending my whole free time trying to get out of tutorial hell and do some cool projects. I'm lost and have no idea what I'm doing and is it worth the time? I want to become a developer, but can I do it? I'm not sure. I'm watching infinite videos on Youtube about what language to learn, what developers should be, and what are common developers' mistakes. Looking at the local job market is not giving any hope. "Wow, you can actually live for that money?" were my thoughts all the time. Geez, it will be hard to drop to such low pay. Is it worth it?

What is wrong with me? Should I try? Should I work my ass off to step into vain without any guarantees?

I didn't know the answer to that, but I was strong (or pretend to be) and was going towards the goal. I had a plan, I thought I had a plan.

I've got married. That's awesome, but also added a huge weight of responsibility on my shoulders. Though I will never regret that decision of mine and "yes" of her.

February

It's getting better. I am getting some concepts I have never thought I will understand. Everything seems way easier and cleaner. Everything is a box. This is what helped me to understand HTML and CSS.

Box in a box in a box in a box in many other boxes. Yeah, that definitely helped me.

I do understand JavaScript better too. I can see how functions work. I can see "invisible" blocks of JavaScript functions. I can draw it in my head. It's still a box by the way, but with many arrows up and down spreading all over the code.

Harvard University - CS50: Introduction to Computer Scienc is a game-changer. It gave me structure and basics that I lack while attempting to learn JavaScript.

I did some Python too. It was fun making my Wife's tiny robot swear and sing songs.

March

Well...no smell, no taste - you name it. Yeah, 2 weeks of daily hospital visits and very little to no code. That's basically the whole of March in a nutshell. Instead of coding - I was reading. A LOT.

By the end of March, it was time to get ready to go to sea. Next 4 months I was planning to continue my learning on a ship. The plan was awesome. Perfect. Reality? Hmmm...

April

Back on the ship. I hated it. Every single day waking up on the ship. I hated it. It's not being talked about much but COVID has changed the life of seafarers drastically. No shore leaves, no timely crew changes, no visitors on board. It's just work, work, work. Non-stop. I've tried learning. No luck. After 10 hours of work a day with a broken sleep schedule, it's quite hard to make yourself learn.

April - no code.

May

I've got some unexpected motivation to code again. I wanted to create something special and not a typical landing page. I was researching some new ways to play with my brain and make it work. I found Matter.js. "That looks cool! I need to build something with it!" and so I did. Not super fancy, but certainly it was cool that I could make it. At least I thought so.

Misunderstanding. Not supporting. Neglecting.

I thought nobody cares about my skills and what I've done. I was not getting feedback from my family or wife. At least not the feedback I wanted. I was a fool. I didn't realize that they are not "not supporting", they just don't understand. I can't blame them and now I feel that there was a lot of support, which I was too obsessed with feedback that I didn't notice it.

Self-doubt. A LOT of self-doubt. "I'm not made for it". "I'm not good enough". "I'm just a lunatic who thinks he can achieve something". "I should just quit everything and stay where I am, even though it's painful".

June - July

Months of self-doubt and criticism. I was isolated in my own dream world where I can become an amazing programmer. I was alone. No community, no friends, or at least acquaintances in this field who could evaluate my skills. It was just me and code. I needed that evaluation, that feedback.

I was spending night Watches printing CodeWars challenges on paper and trying to solve them on paper. Then run inside the Chart Room and implement in Chrome DevTools console to see if it works. Back and forth between Chart Room and Navigating Bridge for countless days and nights. I was printing blog articles to understand the concepts lying behind JavaScript. Why it works this way and not the other? I was obsessed.

I've read somewhere that Twitter is a cool place to post your coding journey. "Why not? Nobody will see my posts anyway. But if they do, maybe I'll get some friends". This is where the Tech Twitter journey began.

First tweets. No response. More tweets. Still nothing.

August

More Twitter. Made my first blog posts. Was handwriting them during the watch and then later typing in VS Code. Hi to ultra-slow ship internet. Sometimes had to type directly on the phone and make headers on the phone, cause the internet on the laptop was even worse.

My wife registered just to like my tweets. I have found a job opportunity in the company I liked and felt that it would be awesome to work for. I tweeted about it. Wow. 300. 400. 1000. 1200 likes? WTF?! Am I dreaming? So many people wished me luck! I've literally spent 4-5 hours to like and reply to each and every comment. I was blown away!

I continued my Twitter journey, met awesome guys, fell in love with the community, even though it has its drawbacks.

September

Code and Twitter, code and Twitter. I saw that there are so many "Evangelists", that I have decided "heck I wanna be Messiah then" and that's how I have become JavaScript Messiah.

The whole Tech Twitter thing has given me a huge boost of motivation. "Wow, people actually like the stuff I write!". "People give me tips and advice!". "People actually give me feedback I always wanted!". The feeling of presence in the community for the first time in my life - undescribable.

I kept on reading and learning, but I will be honest, Twitter was taking too much time but I couldn't stop. I continue blogging, and can you imagine people liked that too!

Tech Twitter friends have actually given me the motivation to continue. I've made my decision. The resignation letter, long wait till I finally got home! I will become the developer even if the whole world will be against me. That's it. Period.

October

Finally home. No time to code. Really. First few weeks I have been all around and was trying to code for just a bit. Luckily my wife is a saint person and she didn't hit me with a shovel, even though she had all the rights to do that. I wanted a job. And I wanted it yesterday.

Getting followers on Twitter. More. And more, and more! WTF?! But that's awesome!

November - Job in my hands

I had a plan. From 1st November I'm taking job search seriously and making it my full-time job. Every day I woke up at 9 AM and go to my so-called "office". Cover letter, resume, grind-grind-grind! A lot of rejections. Hell lot of rejections. Not stopping me! Of course, I had thoughts that I won't be able to get the job but fuck it, I've put too much and I must get it.

HOLY MOLLY! I've got an interview. I've got a test task! Another interview! Closing interview! I'm hired!

I've been happier than ever! I did it! I proved to myself and everyone around that I can. I had to go for some sacrifices but that could be handled. I was saving money for this exact reason and was ready to spend it if I needed to.

December - Here I am

The first month as Junior Developer, finally got my last pay from "sea money", got 5K followers on Twitter, and a lot of good and supportive people around me. I've come from a seafarer who had almost 10 years of sailing experience to a developer with 1 month of experience. Worth it? Definitely!

See you around

I have a lot of plans for 2022. Some of them are realistic, some are just experiments but I will try them all. This is the time when I finally do what I like, live the life I like, and can express myself as I like.

Wish you all a Happy New Year and that all your wishes and beginning will be successful! Thanks a lot!

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