The Tech Industry has given many gifts in my life. It has been an exciting journey so far. So today I decide to pen down my story as a self-taught Software Engineer and share it with the world.
The story of my journey to WordPress really begins about two years ago.
At the time, I was working a comfortable, well-paying job as a Team Lead at Tech Mahindra, one of the largest tech consultancy MNC’s in India. Through the 10 years that I worked at Tech M, I wore different hats — client representative, mentor, certified trainer — and collected several performance awards including mobile phones, televisions, a digital camera, microwave oven, a PlayStation and best of all, all-expense paid trip to London 😎
I thought that programming will give me an ability to express my creative skills through code. The idea of how my work and my knowledge can benefit others is thrilling and something that I love.
And the hero of my story is my very own brother, Sayed Taqui. Sayed is an experienced WordPress Developer and a core contributor, who gave me insights into this different world I had no idea about.
A new direction
This did not happen overnight. This was a big risk to change track and move from my job to this new world of WordPress and it actually took me two years to make up my mind.
My brother Sayed was always around to help me and guided me with some great inputs:
- learn the basics instead of specific frameworks (vanilla JS before jQuery)
- Hack away at the WordPress Core as a way to understand it deeply. He also suggested building a CMS in PHP to mimic WordPress, with CRUD functions, posts, pages and taxonomies, inspired by the WP Core.
It all pays off!
After 7 months of rigorous self-training, I applied for a job in a startup called Myrl Tech. Myrl Tech was like a hardcore wrestling ground for me (देसी अखाड़ा), where I learnt to build and deploy applications from scratch.
After years’ worth of experience writing code, learning & applying new technology, giving & receiving training and even being involved with hiring, I got the opportunity to apply to rtCamp, where I currently work.
rtCamp is a dream job for me. While the perks are great, what I identify most with is their importance on ethics, a friendly culture, and open-source community.
During my learning journey, I realized a lot of topics can only be understood by digging into the WP Core. And while many learning resources are available online and on WordPress.org, there are not enough tutorials or blogs available for beginners.
So I made a promise to myself that no matter how busy I get in future I will never forget my origin as a beginner and do what I can to help others. Knowledge is power and I feel it’s my responsibility to share what I know.
So I’ve started a YouTube channel, written tons of blog posts and put together several tutorials through my own open source learning platform. I am proud to have been a speaker at over 6 WordCamps across India. I am also a co-organizer of the local WP meetup group, and have organized 8 meetups last year.
I feel that there are many developers who have amazing knowledge but need a little push since they have never spoken in public. So while all of the above have been high points of my past couple of years, I also enjoy motivating new speakers to share what they know.
Consistency is what got me here
Switching career paths has been very fulfilling. Having a supportive brother from the technical field was a blessing, and the skills I gained from the previous role like effective communication, public speaking etc, really helped. However, I’ve had to be patient, consistent and put in the work to make it happen. The advice I’d give to anyone pondering a similar switch is to focus on being consistent.
I also feel that the best way to learn is to teach. Small positive steps ( teaching, helping others etc ) that we take today can make a big difference in a long run, not just in our life, but also the ones that directly or indirectly get influenced by our work.
I encourage you to contribute to open-source, not just code but any way possible. Many of us have the potential to do better than what we are doing already. What’s important is we start and be consistent.