I have had a very unusual career journey, to say the least. Transitioning from accounting, to Logistics Manager, to Android Developer. It has been challenging, however it’s also been extremely rewarding.
I am from Tajikistan, a small mountainous country in Central Asia. Growing up I was always interested in economics and finances, so I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. During that time I worked as a journalist in the biggest social-political newspaper in the country, and I loved every bit of it. It was a time of investigating and challenging the local Government, as well as aspiration and self-growth.
Logistics and International Transportation
After receiving my BS in Accounting, Analysis, and Audit, I took some time out to travel through France, Denmark, Spain, and Russia. I worked as a Logistic Manager and studied new languages and cultures.
Working in logistics and international transportation was a very interesting and rewarding time. It gave me a chance to experience professional working environments in different countries, including their culture, customs and law. I also met lots of new people from France, Norway, Chile, Denmark, Turkey and Russia. I also continued to expand my financial knowledge, languages, and leadership skills.
Crossroads in my Career Journey
In 2013 life brought me to Iowa in the United States, where I was accepted into Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). At the time I wanted to continue doing what I loved – logistics and international transportation – so I started in the Business Administration program.
After two semesters I became confused about my future career. I was no longer being challenged by the work, and was not excited to go to school each day. My career journey was like a cloudy sky, and I was not looking forward to graduating.
Looking for something more exciting I took a few introductory programming classes. And, I loved it!
To be honest, it wasn’t easy. Going from being a humanitarian with 4 years of journalism experience, and a focus on finance and logistics, where everything is structured and defined, to needing to think outside the box was extremely challenging.
I had to change the way I think, in the way I perceived a problem, and the way I looked for a solution. Being a programmer wasn’t about what I feel or think anymore, it was about facts, logic, and science.
Every other week I was ready to give up. I did very well in school, receiving mostly A’s but after every new class I felt I knew less than before, which was devastating.
During my last year in school, I became a tutor and tried to help students who needed additional encouragement, or extra hours to solve a problem, or help with new subjects. It was a very rewarding feeling to help someone who was suffering, as I once did. Plus, it was great practice for me to solidify my own knowledge.
Becoming a Java Developer
That same year, I accepted an internship at Shazam, a financial services provider, and debit and credit processing company. I was working as a Java Developer and it was intense. I had an opportunity to leverage my financial knowledge, as well as learn about the US corporate environment, and experience waterfall software development methodology. It was very exciting but equally hard!
I worked 20 hours a week, and studied full time. I slept no more than 5 hours a day, trying to balance work, school, tutoring, health and relationships. This was the first time I ever experienced burnout, and I learned a good lesson of what not to do in the future.
I managed to survive, and through a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I graduated from DMACC with a Business Information Systems Degree, majoring in Website Programming, in May 2016.
Next step in my career journey was an internship at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. This gave me the opportunity to learn something new, experience agile software development methodology, and learn valuable tech skills that I could apply during the next phase of my career.
And next was more school! I decided to get a Masters in Computer Science. Saying it was hard is an understatement.
I did not complete any formal Computer Science classes during my Bachelors education, so I had to work extra hard to combine the knowledge from my online classes (which I took to supplement my regular classes at DMACC) and use it during my Masters program. That’s a story for another post, as it was quite empowering.
I received my Masters Degree in December 2018, and it was a blast. I did better than I dreamed – excellent grades, successful projects and amazing connections.
Software Engineer and Android Developer
I now work at fuboTV, the world’s only sports-focused live TV streaming service. I started as a software engineer, doing automation for iOS and Android, and Fire TV and Android TV apps.
However I recently switched teams to become a Front-end Android Developer. I am learning a new platform, programming language, and architecture and I feel like I am back in school. Every single day there is something new, something I don’t know. When I learn something new, I realise there is still a whole sea of unknowns that I have to tackle.
I love every part of my career journey. Technology is not natural to me, and I have to work a little harder than others, but I would not have it any other way. Every single challenge I’ve had has been worth it.