How Kyle Became a Developer and Found His First Dev Job in Just Four Months

Kyle Tan (00:00):
My first two weeks really was just getting acquainted with the repo. My first pull request was actually just as simple as changing the color of a specific border. You got to start somewhere. So, these days, I'm now more involved in actually the backend side of it.

Alex Booker (00:17):
Hello, and welcome to the Scrimba Podcast. On this weekly show, I speak with successful devs about their advice on learning to code and getting your first junior dev job. I'm your host, Alex Booker, and today I'm joined by Kyle Tan, a recently hired junior developer. Kyle developed an efficient learning strategy based on Scrimba, which he used to learn to code and land a job in just six months. He joins us here today to share his proven approach to learning to code in two to three focused hours per day. After working on the business side of tech companies, Kyle is now a developer at a data consultancy, ringing data to life with frontend code.

He found the job on a job board like everybody else had access to, but managed to tap into his internal network to reveal some insights about the interview process and land the role. This is how he did it.

Kyle Tan (01:14):
Actually, I graduated with a degree in business. And throughout the whole college journey, I was a big fan of tech. Since graduating with a business degree, I found myself gravitated towards hackathons, joining hackathons, but always being sidelined as part of just the business side. And so, I was always very interested, but by the time I graduated, I went to a business role in the crypto exchange. And during that time while working, I suddenly had this realization that if I ever wanted to go into tech, I might as well do it now and figure out whether I really want to.

Two years into my job, I left and I really decided to go all in in learning how to code and just going from there. And that's when I started with Scrimba and actually learning how to do frontend web development, and eventually just transitioning to my first job in tech through that journey, through that same year.

Alex Booker (02:13):
Oh, no way. I'm so excited to learn more about how you got the job and how things are going, but did I hear that right? You pretty much started with Scrimba?

Kyle Tan (02:21):
Yes. It was actually a funny story because I was introduced to Scrimba by a friend of mine, a good friend of mine that I still see today. Actually, he runs a coding school here in the Philippines.

Alex Booker (02:34):

Kyle Tan (02:35):
Yeah, yeah. He himself runs a coding school, but he told me about Scrimba. And so, when I found about Scrimba, it just clicked within me how the whole format went, and was never really a fan of the way current tutorials are with, oh, we had to set up our own machines and had to follow each step. It was clearly night and day from other solutions and courses.

Alex Booker (02:59):
I guess because you'd been working in a technology business and you'd been attending hackathons, you probably had a sense of the options in tech. Some people focus on mobile developments, others do backend, but you chose frontend. Was there a strategic reason behind that?

Kyle Tan (03:17):
I chose frontend because it was something that I could actually see and manipulate, whereas backend would be a bit more abstracted away. Frontend, to me, made more sense to learn as a starting point.

Alex Booker (03:29):
Would you say you are more of a visual learner?

Kyle Tan (03:32):
Yes, definitely. I'm a visual learner.

Alex Booker (03:34):
I totally get it. It is one of the big draws of frontend. It's quite accessible, right? You could say mobile is also visual in a way, but then you need to have an emulator and a fairly beefy computer. If you have a Windows or a Linux computer, you can't exactly build iOS apps. And it's just a bit more involved than, say, JavaScript where you can literally open your browser, do inspect element, go to the console and start writing JavaScript. And, of course, that's quite limiting, but then you just go to That's a nice little tip by the way. You can go to your browser bar, type, and that will take you to a blank scrim on Scrimba where you can start writing and seeing the effects of what you're working on right away.

Kyle Tan (04:18):
Oh, no way. is... Oh, okay. I learned something new today. Thanks, Alex. But I do think I remember seeing that before in the Discord community, but I definitely agree with your points and how building for the web is really more accessible, and it's also one of the reasons why I was very drawn to frontend web development in the first place.

Alex Booker (04:39):
How did you find the experience learning to code? Was it easy?

Kyle Tan (04:43):
I had some experience or some failed experience rather learning. I remember taking a Ruby on Rails course before. It was by Michael Hartl if I remember. I remember finishing the course. I spent time every day through the study and follow the instructions. By the end of that course, I couldn't really understand what I had studied. It was too difficult for me to understand, so I really appreciated the Scrimba way, which was I open up the Scrimba website, I load up the video that I want to learn. And within that same browser, I'm able to manipulate, change things, and really see the things that I'm really learning come into life.

Because that instantaneous feedback from just changing some little part immediately and seeing that in the browser that Scrimba provides really helpful for me. I learned better via video, and even until now, actually, I learned better via video.

Alex Booker (05:38):
Okay, I see. So, the answer to the question, was learning to code easy, is that yes, Scrimba makes it easy. I love that. I'm really glad you had a good experience on the platform. I wish, Kyle, we could put that on the homepage and say Scrimba makes learning to code easy. Hopefully, it removes some of the frustration, but honestly, I've never met someone who hasn't had some challenges.

Kyle Tan (06:03):
I definitely have my fair share of challenges as well coming into it, and how I resolved it really was also just asking around in the community. I was pretty appreciative of how helpful the people in the Scrimba Discord were. If I had a question at the end of the day, I would expect to get an answer pretty quickly actually. And through Scrimba also, I was able to make a friend even beyond, and I still contact every now and then on Twitter. I just contact her, or we keep each other posted on updates regularly, so that's something I also appreciate.

Alex Booker (06:38):
How did you connect?

Kyle Tan (06:39):
I started in the Discord community, then just DMed her. And from there, we had similar interests from before, like past background, very interested in crypto as well, but now through Twitter. She's now building her own projects. She's doing very cool things. And we recently joined like a program also a couple of weeks ago, and she was also there building her own things, so that was very cool to witness.

Alex Booker (07:04):
How did you approach your studies? Did you do it full-time and make your own study schedule, or did you have to navigate this alongside your other responsibilities?

Kyle Tan (07:14):
Yeah. I took some time off and went full-time on learning how to code. And after I left the company, I was employed just last year. I set a study schedule every day, studied around two to three hours every day in the morning and just attack the day with Scrimba lessons. And in the afternoon, I would do other things to fill the day and also help with other matters. So, every day, two to three hours, and I was able to finish it in around four months, I think, three to four months.

Alex Booker (07:48):
That's really good going, to be honest. Two to three hours a day, I think that's a very healthy amount of time to spend learning to code. I feel like there's this temptation, especially if you're doing it full-time that you should wake up at 9:00, sign off at 9:00, and really just spend as much time as possible on the computer learning to code. Do you think something like that could have worked for you?

Kyle Tan (08:09):
I think it may have, but it's also valuable to get that time outside. If, for example, I would have some problems or there would be some blocker, I'd be walking outside and I realize something would click for me. I think we all need those moments of recovery for us to just have things brew, so to speak. So, it definitely works for some people. I think for me, the moments of rest and recovery allowed me to really synthesize the lessons that I was really learning. If I learned things too fast, then I wouldn't be able to really understand it deeply.

Alex Booker (08:43):
I always struggle with this one because in a sense, slow and steady wins the race. There's no point burning out. If you think about your brain like a sponge, if you overflow it, it's not going to be retained. And so, having a bit of time to absorb the information put some space between you and the problem and come back to it. I think overall, that's more productive. It comes down to this idea of two modes of learning, which are active, which is when you're literally coding or watching scrims, reading, et cetera. And then, diffused states where you're allowing the dust to settle, so to speak.

Did you do your studies in the morning and then come back to some coding later in the day, or was it literally two to three hours every day very consistently?

Kyle Tan (09:26):
There would be two to three hours in the morning, and then I guess in the late afternoon, I'd go back just to confirm any lessons or blockers I may have if I have for the day. I'd come back very briefly just to review and see what I didn't get right or what I got right so that for the next day I'm able to focus more on that, and just to prepare myself for the next day.

Alex Booker (09:47):
One challenge Scimba students sometimes face is even though Scrimba's pedagogy aka the method of teaching is very hands-on and practical, it does all happen in the web browser. Even though it's very realistic, it's quite a controlled environment compared to, say, having a local Git repository and using VS Code. And there is still an element of maybe you want to build your own projects to demonstrate your unique skills and create a conversation starter during a job interview. Did you have to navigate that transition from learning on Scrimba to working more independently in your own desktop environment, and how did that go?

Kyle Tan (10:29):
That was definitely a hurdle that I got to experience when I started looking for a job. Because I wanted to showcase my projects more, I started with my portfolio and started also putting independent projects up via Vercel. I was able to navigate through it by watching YouTube videos, as well as how to publish my repos and have it actually be deployed. I'm also grateful for solutions like Vercel that make it very easy for you to deploy your repos seamlessly, like frontend things. And I guess I was able to really go through that, I guess trial of fire just by really going through it and just winning through the power of Googling my way through, so to speak.

Alex Booker (11:21):
That's the way to do I think, just inching forward, but you got there in the end. I'm looking at your portfolio and you've got some truly custom projects, I think. They don't come from Scrimba necessarily. You've got your gas price Manila.

Kyle Tan (11:34):
Manila is the capital city of the Philippines, so I was wondering one day how to get an overview of gas prices around all the different cities in Manila. Metro Manila is our region, and it's where all the major cities are. So, I was wondering if there was a way to get the most updated prices, although that was a very simple application as well, but it helped me think of user interfaces and how to actually pull the data. Actually, that data is not live, but rather it was just a simple spreadsheet I had collected one day but it gave me ideas for how to pull data from existing websites in the Philippines.

Our government in the Philippines also has a website that releases gas prices, so I was thinking of a way to pull the data source.

Alex Booker (12:21):
So, it doesn't have an API, but it does have a website. So, I guess the next step would be to download the HTML of that website and extract the values aka scraping.

Kyle Tan (12:34):

Alex Booker (12:34):
Which is a bloody annoying problem to deal with because, I don't know if you've entertained this at all, but you can build some custom code to extract the values from the HTML elements, essentially, from between the tags or sometimes it's an attributes, and then, lo and behold, the website releases new updates and the structure changes or the theme changes and all your code breaks. It's really fragile compared to using an API, so I don't blame you for not going down that path. Were there any other projects you worked on that you are proud of?

Kyle Tan (13:06):
I guess it's really those simple projects that I was able to at least recreate, like sleep calculator, basically just calculating what time you should sleep now to get optimal sleep in the near future. But I believe that imitation is also a good way to really practice because it really is just focusing on the user interface and how to focus on design.

Alex Booker (13:27):
Speaking of imitation, kind of, not really. I noticed your portfolio in the bottom, it says core theme by Lee Robinson, who incidentally, I can tell you're a fan of Vercel. And I know you know this. He's the VP of developer experience at Vercel. Really great person to follow and learn from. I just wanted to say I think it's cool that you took the open-source code and adapted it for your own portfolio. That was probably a lot quicker than starting from scratch, and you still customized it a little bit with your featured projects, table, avatar, and with content itself.

Kyle Tan (14:03):
Yeah, definitely. I just added my own little modifications. And I think my realization there was also there are people out there with great designs. And I guess as long as I attribute them properly and add my own little flair or different edits, it should be at least fine as well.

Jan Arsenovic (14:23):
Coming up, how Kyle landed a developer job only four months after he started learning on Scrimba.

Kyle Tan (14:29):
Imagine speaking to three software engineers who have been doing this for a couple of years already. I really had imposter syndrome coming into that interview.

Alex Booker (14:38):
I'll be right back with Tan in just a moment. But first, Jan the producer and I want to read some of your comments about the pod from social media.

Jan Arsenovic (14:47):
We have a new review on Apple Podcasts formerly known as iTunes. It was left a month ago by somebody from Australia who said, "Scrimba rocks. As someone who started recently learning in Scrimba, I got to say what a great platform complemented by this amazing podcast and awesome energy from Alex. Great shows for developers from all levels. Keep up that great work." Thank you. And by the way, dear listener, if you want to hear your review of the show on the show, you can leave it in your podcast app of choice. So far we had reviews from Apple Podcasts, Castbox, and Podchaser, but whatever app you may be using, if it has a review option, we'll probably see it. Thank you in advance.

Social proof is the number one way you can make sure that this podcast keeps going. And speaking of social proof, let's take a look at Twitter. Scott @swright_dev says, "Discovered the Scrimba Podcast last weekend. Really interesting listen for early career devs. The episodes alternate between interviewing junior devs who've landed their first role, as well as seasoned seniors giving insights and advice. Recommended." Thank you, Scott, and welcome.

Roxana @roxLearnsCodes says, "I've been in a bit of a JavaScript rut, but Jess's interview on the Scrimba Podcast was so motivating and helpful. Jess, thank you for all the new resources. You have a new Instagram follower." And Babafemi@frontendninja10 share his weekly roundup. "I spent the past week diving deep into JavaScript concepts, building and deploying basic projects on Netlify. Also, I successfully reconstructed an example app from the React Router documentation. Moving on, I gained valuable insights from the incredible Scrimba Podcast with Randall Kanna where I picked up some game-changing tips to elevate my developer game. Wrapped up by summarizing an insightful article by Kent C. Dodds on Stop Being a Junior, and sharing my takeaways in a tweet. This sounds like a very eventful week. Keep up the great work."

And if you're learning to code right now, and our podcast is a part of your routine, we would love to hear about it. Join the conversation on Twitter or on LinkedIn, and you might get a shout-out on the show. And now we're going back to the interview with Kyle.

Alex Booker (17:07):
So, Kyle, was there a point where you decided you were ready to start applying for jobs, or did your opportunity come more organically?

Kyle Tan (17:14):
Actually, as soon as I finished this Scrimba course, I was able to find that job listing from my current company. I had only started to look for jobs as soon as I finished the Scrimba frontend path. And I would say that if I had to do it all over again, I'd be looking much sooner. I guess that would be one of my things to tell myself if I ever went through it again.

Alex Booker (17:39):
Honestly, I generally agree with that advice, but it only took you four months it sounds like. I know you did some Ruby beforehand and that might have been an advantage. But just to check, it took you about four months, I think you said, to start and finish the career path and get a job.

Kyle Tan (17:54):
Yeah, no, you got it right. Maybe around February, I started Scrimba. And then, around June or July, I finished. And then, after around August, I found that company that I currently work in.

Alex Booker (18:06):
Yeah, man, that's rapid.

Kyle Tan (18:08):
I guess more of like as I was working, maybe it could have been an internship or a part-time thing in something else just to even learn faster, but I do recognize that it's pretty soon as well. And I'm pretty grateful that the company also took leap of faith with me. Just to introduce my company a bit, I work in a data science consultancy here in the Philippines. And we deal with customers that have a bunch of data, but they need to organize it in a beautiful manner. So, we do the job of really fixing their data and presenting it in a nice way.

Alex Booker (18:44):
So, when you say data, I start thinking about data science, but then as you describe it, actually, what you're working on is presenting that data in a beautiful way, which is quite frontend orientated, I imagine.

Kyle Tan (18:55):
Yeah. It's also backend oriented in the way that we also deal with platforms that also deal with the data collection. To give an example, the project I'm working on now is for a corporate client that has a bunch of data and wants an internal platform for their employees to learn more actionable insights. The project I'm assigned to is in charge of helping build that platform so that these employees can manage and learn more about whatever they need to do.

Alex Booker (19:28):
By the way, how did you find a job? You mentioned for a job listing essentially.

Kyle Tan (19:33):
I found it on LinkedIn. I was just browsing through LinkedIn one day, and I found that the company was having a listing for a junior software engineer. And I was pretty amazed because I did recall looking at this company before but for a different position. It wasn't in tech, it was for a business position for this company. And so, when I looked at it, I immediately applied and I went through their process. Now their process is a rigorous, I would say they're rigorous because there was a bunch of rounds. There were three rounds of interviews, and it's also a technical interview.

They had given us an assignment of creating a web app, and I remember feeling very nervous because we had 48 or 72 hours to complete the web app. And I had learned from a friend that there was going to be backend development involved.

Alex Booker (20:22):
How did your friend know what to expect?

Kyle Tan (20:24):
From someone that was working there actually. I had asked around and I had some mutual connections there. So, I'd asked around and learned that there was going to be a backend development in the interview. And it was a funny experience. I had to crash course, learn how to implement a database using MongoDB and connecting it to the frontend. But again, mentioning earlier that I learned best via video, so I actually YouTubed it and was able to find an exact tutorial of someone using JavaScript React and MongoDB and connecting it, creating a full stack application.

And I had maybe a week just to prepare for that before creating that web app in like 72 hours. So, I guess that was one of the most challenging and exciting parts of that job interview process of creating something from nothing.

Alex Booker (21:14):
Did you stick to the two to three hour a day schedule during that 72-hour window, or did you crank it up a notch maybe?

Kyle Tan (21:25):
I had already finished the Scrimba path then, so I only had that on my plate. I was learning how to build a MongoDB database and connecting it to my frontend. That was my only focus for the week. And other than that, to just be looking at other job listings.

Alex Booker (21:37):
What happened next?

Kyle Tan (21:38):
The moment they gave me the prompt of what to build, that was a blurry 72 hours because I wrote down what I needed to do. I then spent the next few hours just designing how it would look like and really seeing, oh, how can I do each part? And I guess one of the tips that my friend that is a software engineer told me was to just really break things down. Don't be overwhelmed by the ultimate thing. By breaking it down, I'm able to really just get to each task. Once I'm done with this task, bringing it down to the next task, I am able to have more confidence.

I actually remember submitting it around 4:00, 5:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m. That was like the 70th hour before the deadline because I had spent that night really just finalizing the backend of it. The frontend was okay, and then I had to spend some time on the backend.

Alex Booker (22:31):
Did you have to send over a link to the code or present it or something?

Kyle Tan (22:35):
Yeah, so I had to deploy it.

Alex Booker (22:37):
Using Vercel?

Kyle Tan (22:38):
No, no, no. Actually, I used Heroku, and that was the same week that Heroku announced that they would be removing their free plan already.

Alex Booker (22:46):
Oh, wild.

Kyle Tan (22:47):
But at least I was lucky enough to at least reach the free plan during that interview process. I remember presenting the code base and my thought process in that interview to a panel of three, I believe. And I remember feeling heavy imposter syndrome because imagine speaking to three software engineers who have been doing this for couple of years already and me who's just very fresh. I really had deep imposter syndrome coming into that interview. But as soon as I was able to at least articulate how I understood it and have them validate that, okay, yeah, it makes sense. I realized that "Oh, it's okay then." I guess it's valid what I've been learning so far until then, it's valid, and that gave me a sigh of relief in the end of that interview.

Alex Booker (23:33):
Do you have any tips on presenting your code and project during an interview like that that maybe you learned during the process?

Kyle Tan (23:40):
Yeah, I have much to learn, but I would say, be able to break things down as simple as possible. I know that they are capable of understanding things since you may be talking to a panel of technical people, but it helps to also explain to them in a simple manner. Because sometimes we may not always be talking to technical people as well, so it's helpful to explain things in a simple manner as well.

Alex Booker (24:08):
Well, yeah, because, of course, they're judging the code, but your presentation is actually part of the assessment in a way as you might be presenting on subjects once you get the job. So, breaking things down I think is a key first step to effectively communicating technical concepts. It's great you could demonstrate that. And I'm sure they must have been receptive to it since they, of course, hired you. You mentioned it was quite an arduous process, and I guess you're really just describing the first round. What came after that in terms of the interview rounds?

Kyle Tan (24:39):
After the first round, I was able to focus less on code. The two other rounds were now more of a culture fit and an interview with the senior management of team. So, once they were able to assess and fit at least that I was at least reaching this level of competency, they moved me, passed me for the culture fit, and also just making sure with senior management that they really do want to get me or not.

Alex Booker (25:04):
What do you think they were looking for from you during those culture fit type interviews? What values and attributes did they seem to be interested in from your perspective?

Kyle Tan (25:15):
One of our values in the company is really having a growth mindset, and by having a growth mindset, that means that everyone is always eager to learn something new and not afraid to make mistakes when trying to learn something new because we all will inevitably look like a beginner at first. And we shouldn't be afraid of looking stupid even if we're just starting out. And so, they were looking for people who always accepted a challenge of learning and not being content with just being the same. So, it really is pushing ourselves to be better every day.

They themselves actually exemplified this because they themselves are open to at least entertaining an applicant like me who doesn't have a formal college degree background in computer science or something. And so, I'm appreciative of them for that.

Alex Booker (26:08):
Of course, as a junior developer, the whole point is that you should grow and continue to grow into the role. So, I think no matter where you're interviewing and what their particular values are, demonstrating that any way you can during the interview process is a great tip, Kyle. How did the job offer arrive to you? When you do the interview, you have a sense of how things have gone. You might be feeling confident or you might think you've bombed it. I'm curious to hear how you were feeling at the time and how the news arrived.

Kyle Tan (26:37):
The whole interview process took maybe around one and a half months to two months, and I do recall them sending me an email of my acceptance right around my birthday actually. So, it is a good birthday gift that time.

Alex Booker (26:53):
Yay, happy birthday.

Kyle Tan (26:55):
It definitely gave me a relief, a sense of relief, and also a sense of confidence that it really is possible to do what you intend to do. I mean, really is belief that you can make it happen and it actually happens. There were definitely rough patches I got into throughout the year that made me almost give up. And I only got through that because of the support I had, the internal support I had from friends and family and also the communities I'm part of. Through the help of an internal support system, I was really able to push through and continue along my journey of wanting to become a software engineer.

Alex Booker (27:34):
I'm so happy for you, man. Congratulations again.

Kyle Tan (27:37):
Thank you.

Alex Booker (27:37):
Before we get back to the interview, how about we do a round of quick-fire questions to break things up?

Kyle Tan (27:44):
Sure. Let's do it.

Alex Booker (27:47):
All right, man. So, I think I maybe probably know the answer to this one based on our conversation so far, but let me ask you anyway, what is the one learning resource that has been the most impactful on your journey learning to code?

Kyle Tan (28:02):
You know my answer, Alex. It's Scrimba. It really was Scrimba.

Alex Booker (28:06):
I feel like it's all shell now, but nice to hear. Very glad Scrimba could have an impact. So, what's your favorite technology to use at the moment? I guess you're straddling the frontend and the backend, aren't you?

Kyle Tan (28:17):
Yes, I am, and I'm also involved with DevOps currently. I'm learning how to do Google Cloud things, Google Cloud tools, like BigQuery and also automations like Airflow, dealing with bunch of backend stuff with our Django stack.

Alex Booker (28:32):
That's wicked cool. By the way, what music do you like to code to?

Kyle Tan (28:36):
There was a time I listened to hardcore EDM music for a time. I would blast EDM music and just really get into the zone, but these days I'm a bit more mellow now. I play some lo-fi music and chill and work and code.

Alex Booker (28:49):
Maybe there's a middle ground there. You can listen to some house music somewhere in between.

Kyle Tan (28:54):
Yeah, and also actually K-pop music. K-pop helps me code

Alex Booker (28:58):
Nice. Do you look up to or follow anyone in the tech community we should know about? Maybe we can check them out on Twitter, for example, or YouTube, or something.

Kyle Tan (29:06):
I do follow Swyx.

Alex Booker (29:08):
Shawn Wang. Yeah. He's been on the pod many months ago.

Kyle Tan (29:11):
Yes, I do remember. Big fan. I like his story because he also was from a business or finance background, and he learned how to code.

Alex Booker (29:20):
Finance, yeah.

Kyle Tan (29:21):
It was super inspiring, and I actually got his book and read parts of it of the developer path. And it was really helpful. And it's still is helpful currently as I enter through my junior phase and really moving up and progressing through my current phase right now.

Alex Booker (29:36):
Nice. Thank you, Kyle. We can link the episode of Shawn in the description and his book. Yeah, I remember. Been a while now but I remember flicking through it myself. I think it's called The Coding Career Handbook.

Kyle Tan (29:46):

Alex Booker (29:47):
Yeah, some really good advice in there, and we spoke a little bit about it. It's not exclusively for juniors. It's for junior to senior devs, but there's a lot of wisdom in there. And actually, we cover a lot of it in our podcast interview, so maybe people can check that out. So, Kyle, we're almost out of time, but there were a couple of questions that I wanted to circle back to before we wrap up here. I just remember at the beginning you described that you might as well do it now, and obviously now, not too much later, you're working as a developer. I'm just wondering, what was the catalyst for you to decide to leave your business stuff behind and pursue coding. Why then specifically, and looking back, was it the right decision?

Kyle Tan (30:30):
That's a great question. I really wanted to learn how to code because I do want to build a full stack application that really solves a problem or need here in my country in the Philippines. And I guess I may be looking back and leaving business, but it'll always be a part of me. And my purpose, my current focus for the moment is really learning what it's like in my current company, learning what it's like to build an enterprise-level application that is used by a lot of people and learning how to maintain and grow it so that in the near future, I am able to start a company or solving a problem here in the Philippines. So, that is my current focus.

Alex Booker (31:13):
That's really cool. And it speaks to the power of coding. I think a lot of people have ideas for solutions or products or businesses, but without some ability to develop an app, you might have to go and find help. And developers aren't cheap as you may be able to deduce from their high salaries. And so, being able to develop apps yourself I think can be a hugely empowering ability, and combined with your business know-how, I think that's a very powerful combination. I was also wondering, by the way, did your experience with business and your previous work experience help you land a job so quickly?

Kyle Tan (31:49):
Yes. I feel like it may also be there because as much as we like to think, being a software engineer is very technical. There are really soft skills that anyone can learn and master, and that I've learned from my previous experience as to how we communicate with other people and teammates. So, I feel that being very open and very communicative with the interviewers back then, and up until now every day and during work, that's a valuable skill of how to really relay messages and ideas to your colleagues.

Alex Booker (32:21):
How long have you been on the job for now, by the way? How long ago did you join and get the offer?

Kyle Tan (32:25):
I joined late October, so it's around seven months. Yeah.

Alex Booker (32:30):
Yeah. You've been there for a while now. I'm sure communication skills are proving handy. Maybe you can tell us a bit more about your experience. What's it like being a brand new developer on an existing team?

Kyle Tan (32:40):
Actually, it's super exciting how... my first two weeks really was just getting acquainted with the repo, getting acquainted, and learning more. And my first PR, my first pull request was actually just as simple as changing the color of a specific border. I consider that very much of a win at first because I was able to create a PR and actually push that into our production code base. And as soon as that happened, I felt a bit more validated and told myself that, "Oh, you actually contributed now," even though it was very small at that time of changing just the color.

Alex Booker (33:19):
You got to start somewhere.

Kyle Tan (33:20):
You got to start somewhere, definitely. So, these, days I'm now more involved in actually the backend side of it and also contributing to actual features and not just fixing bugs. I deal with frontend and backend and learning all those DevOps stuff. And I still am learning every day. It's a challenge, but it's something I welcome every day and I'm enjoying the grind of just learning those new skills.

Alex Booker (33:43):
That's fantastic to hear. And, Kyle, thank you so much for taking some time to tell us all about your story. Super-inspiring, super-insightful. Glad you're really cracking on in the new role. And yeah, lots of new things and exciting things to learn. Thanks again.

Kyle Tan (33:56):
Thanks, Alex. Thanks for inviting me over. Super-appreciative, and I wish everyone who's listening to this, going through their own journey to keep on pushing through. And you got this.

Alex Booker (34:06):
Kyle, thank you so much.

Jan Arsenovic (34:08):
That was the Scrimba Podcast episode 122. Thanks for listening. Make sure to check out the show notes for all the resources mentioned in this episode, as well as all the ways you can connect with Kyle. In the show notes, you'll also find Alex's Twitter handle if you want to tweet at him directly. But as I like to say, as long as you tweet about the podcast and your tweet contains the words Scrimba Podcast, we will find it anyway. If you're just discovering the Scrimba Podcast, there's 121 episodes we've already made that you can listen to right away or you can subscribe, so don't miss the upcoming ones. We release a new show every Tuesday. I'm Jan, I'm the producer, and we will see you again next week.

How Kyle Became a Developer and Found His First Dev Job in Just Four Months
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