So I get a lot of questions from people who ask me, Tari, where did you study Computer science? I always shrug and laugh at this question, because I have not or at least not yet done studies in Computer studies. This doesn’t mean I won’t register and do this at some point but this has not stopped me from dabbling in tech.
My background is in HR with a focus on Data Engineering but I’ve always been fascinated by the tech field. As I built up my curiosity in tech, I drafted five steps to get you started in tech, specially crafted for non-tech people.
Be highly interested
Interest is very crucial when it comes to dipping your feet into the tech world, all things granted, tech is a wide enough space for everyone to play. So, if you don’t read and research how else will you know what could possibly interest you? Half the time people bump into their careers attributed to curiosity and the ability to have inquisitive minds. An example is tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg who created a Harvard dorm room dating application that evolved into Facebook generating billions per year in revenue.
This step is all about getting your hands dirty, and actually committing time to learn be it from or online. Resource finding and shadowing. It’s making the commitment to start building a skill from scratch and learning. One author said, learning a new skill is one of the hardest things to do because you are starting from zero, and for the first time in a while, you don’t know anything.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Like anything new, you will fail and at times take longer than you would expect to grasp concepts or work your way around systems and applications. This is the point where most people give up and claim the famous “… it’s late for me …” saying. Learning tech for non-tech people might feel like learning to ride a bicycle, in order to ride the bicycle, you have to get up and ride the bike no matter how much you fall.
This step is all about translating your hours of work into portfolios, don’t worry about the level of expertise or scale of projects, when you look back years from now, you will be grateful to have started building your work. If you have opportunities to get on tech-related stretch projects, if not then build your own work to demonstrate what you can do with your skill.
Own your domain knowledge
Coming from a non-tech field, when coupled with tech skills, is a strength that most people overlook. Whenever tech-related projects are done, subject matter experts are required to guide and add value to tech-related initiatives. Strengthen your non-tech areas and complement this with a tech skill such as coding or software testing and you have better chances of landing a job tech related.
This guest post was authored by Tariro Msindo, a Data Analyst with a background in HR, based in the UK