Where to Start When You Want to Change Your Career

I gave this some thought yesterday as I found myself answering, once again, a question that I’ve answered many, manymany, times:

I want to become a software engineer… where do I start?

What’s nice is that my canonical answer can be applied to any career change… so, here it is:

You start with people. Get folks around you who can provide the necessary relational data that you lack. They will give you better context for your decision making so that you can make those decisions with more wisdom and with more intelligence.

I address a very specific question that I get all the time:

What software language should I learn first?

Well, again, start with building relationships first because they will inform you about which ones to start looking into and you’ll want to hear their story and learn from them. Also, as I mentioned, if you find great affinity towards one particular group… well… then you should start there! But the particular software language is not as important as the relationships around that language that you actually have.

And, that relational network will come in handy especially when you start looking for jobs. There is no better foundation!

I hope that helps.