Transitioning careers requires courage, and when passion calls, we must answer.

It takes courage, and my journey from teaching to software development has been nothing short of transformative. As someone who transitioned from teaching to web administration — and hopefully, soon into software development — I’m excited to share my journey of how I’m overcoming some of the greatest challenges of transitioning careers.

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Challenge #1: Transforming Transferable Skills into Triumphs

As a former math teacher, I honed problem-solving and analytical skills, fueling my curiosity for technology.

Now that I’m currently working as a web administrator and have worked as a lead instructor for a coding boot camp, I’m more confident with …

  • UI/UX
  • JavaScript
  • Web accessibility
  • The command line
  • Agile methodologies
  • Responsive web design, and
  • Working with a diverse team

… which are all skills that are laying a strong foundation for my career transition to software development.

Challenge #2: Bridging the Gap to a Professional Coding Career

To bridge the gap to becoming a programming professional, I decided at the beginning of 2023 to attend a part-time coding boot camp.

Currently, I’m seeking even more professional development through:

  • Online courses
  • Personal projects, and
  • Freelancing as a web developer

Since I began freelancing five years ago, I’m refining my skills, gaining valuable experience, and demonstrating my capabilities to potential employers.

Challenge #3: Crafting a Striking Portfolio as a Career Changer

Career changers realize that crafting an impressive portfolio is crucial to the journey to software development.

Through freelancing projects, not only do I get to collaborate with clients, but I have an opportunity to use what I’ve learned this year with …

  • PHP
  • React
  • Next.js
  • Bootstrap

… with WordPress to translate my clients’ visions into user-friendly and functional websites.

These projects are becoming valuable assets that showcase my ability to create responsive designs and implement complex functionalities — and it’s a lot of fun too!

Challenge #4: Unlocking Opportunities by Cultivating a Strong Professional Network

Stepping out of my comfort zone to network within the development community has continued to prove to be instrumental as well.

Attending virtual coffee chats, engaging on LinkedIn, and (even more recently) launching an online coding workshop for career changers, has opened doors to valuable connections, mentorship, and job prospects.

Without a doubt, active networking is positioning me as a passionate software developer ready to contribute to the industry.

Final Thoughts

Transitioning from teaching to software development has been a remarkable journey of growth and exploration so far.

Leveraging transferable skills, pursuing self-improvement, and embracing freelancing opportunities are what I’m banking on for my continued success. And I encourage others with diverse backgrounds to embrace their unique skills, pursue freelancing opportunities, and actively network within the software development community.

With determination and an open mind, you too can embark on an exciting journey into software development.