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Building a Career in Software Development

An interview with Software Developer, Giulia Teggi

Welcome to the second instalment of our career kick-off blog, where we will be interviewing NearFormers across our business functions to learn more about what their role entails, how they progressed into their current roles, and to showcase the diverse career progression stories that our team have.

This week, we are travelling to the UK to interview Giulia, a Software Developer based in London who recently joined Nearform in February 2022.

What does your role entail?

At the moment I am learning more about the many Open Source projects that NearForm supports and develops, such as Fastify and Mercurius . Once I am settled in, I will be joining a project team where I’ll be developing web applications for one of our customers.

What do you like most about your role?

What I like the most about my role is the opportunity it gives me to be creative and solve interesting problems. Additionally, I get great satisfaction from seeing a project I worked on come to life and be used.

Let’s have a look at how you landed on this role. What did you want to be when growing up, and how did this translate into the desire to become a Software Developer?

Growing up, I dreamt of becoming everything from a rockstar to a more modest librarian.

I was always drawn to the web, but I am a quite curious person with many different interests, so it took me some time to figure out what I really wanted to do for a living.

As a teenager, I used to have lots of fun customising my Myspace and creating simple web pages using Microsoft FrontPage. However, at the time, I was completely unaware of what software engineering was, and thought I would have to excel in math to work in a technical field.

Years later, this passion was re-ignited when I found myself managing a small eCommerce site for the charity I was working for. I started spending my evenings reading tech blogs and following software development courses. Eventually, I realised that I enjoyed programming more than anything else, so I applied for a full-time Javascript bootcamp and devoted myself to becoming a web developer. Fast forward to today, and this is now my full-time job!

Tell us a bit about your university experience and what it contributed to your career?

I studied Philosophy at university, specialising in social and political theory, which is still a great interest of mine.  While this course enabled me to refine my communication and critical thinking skills, which are important in my current role, if I could go back in time I would probably choose a technical path.

Work with Giulia!

NearForm is currently hiring. Find out more about life at NearForm and check out our open listings.

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What was your first-ever job?

My first-ever job was writing funding proposals and managing donor relationships for a charity based in Surrey. I had just moved back to the UK after my master’s degree and at the time I had applied to a range of very different roles.

Could you tell us a bit about your work history?

My career so far can be divided into two parts: before and after I discovered software engineering.

I spent the first few years of my career working for various nonprofits, from national charities to international development organisations.

After becoming a developer, I found my first job at a digital consultancy, Red River Software, where I developed web applications for a variety of clients, from travel companies to logistics and recycling businesses.

I then moved to London and joined Dow Jones, where I worked with international teams on user-facing and internal tools behind news websites such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial News London and Barron’s.  I was in a small multifunctional team with lots of ownership and independence, so I had the chance to be involved with everything from developing features for users and subscribers and deploying them to production, to fixing publishing issues for editors to liaising with advertising and analytics teams. This role helped me grow a lot as a developer and introduced me to technologies such as Next.js and AWS.

I think my previous experiences have helped me become a better developer by introducing me to different fields, projects and ways of working. However, what made the biggest difference is that I have always been lucky to be surrounded by extremely smart and knowledgeable people, who have inspired me to challenge myself and never stop learning.

What advice would you give to somebody looking to start their career in your field of work, or looking to transition to your field of work?

My advice would be to certainly study the fundamentals well - such as studying one programming language in-depth - and to practice by doing personal projects. With that being said, it is also very important to acknowledge that the complexity and scope of web development are continuously growing, so there is room for many interests and specialisms.  If transitioning into tech from another career, getting to know people working in the sector as well as other aspiring engineers, whether through meetups or online communities is also a great idea. Knowing I wasn’t the only one approaching software from a non-technical background encouraged me a lot.

Do you have any learning resource recommendations for your field of work?

There are lots of resources available online, many even for free, to learn about software development. Some which I found useful when I was starting out are freeCodeCamp , Codecademy  and Udemy .

Recently, I’ve been using Frontend Masters , egghead  and A Cloud Guru .

Youtube is also a good place for finding recordings of recent talks and conferences, whereas Smashing Magazine , CSS Tricks and  from Google have in-depth articles covering every aspect of web development.

Finally, what led you to apply to NearForm?

I was looking for a role that would allow me to work remotely both from the UK, where I live now, and from Italy, where I’d like to return sometime soon to be closer to my family. What impressed me about NearForm is its commitment to open source and the prospect of working with very experienced professionals using the latest technologies. Right now, I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

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