Here’s Why You Need Personal Projects to Make a Successful Transition Into Tech
I moved to tech from academia, and I know all the unknowns of this path when you’re about to leave your familiar domain and jump into something new.
Let’s walk through some common confusions along this path and introduce solutions to them.
I don’t know which courses or tutorials or books to follow
There are tons of materials available online and they’re all good. You don’t need to know them all or worry about which ones to choose.
You can set yourself free from having to worry about which resources to follow by spending the majority of your time learning by doing.
Write down a clear problem statement and define a personal project for solving that problem. You might not know everything at this point. But you will learn them by working on your project.
Of course, if you’re not familiar with the basic concepts, just pick one introductory content (book, course, or blog post) and complete it before starting your project.
I don’t have any relevant work experience to put on my resume or talk about in interviews
The solution is again to work on personal projects. Projects will give you unique stories to talk about in your interviews.
Hiring managers want to know about the problems you’ve solved. When you work on personal projects, you showcase this by talking about:
- The challenges have you faced in the project
- Your approach to solving those challenges and the outcome
- The decisions/assumptions you had to make along the way and your reasons for making those decisions/assumptions
You can complete all the courses and books on a certain topic, but that doesn’t give you any stories to talk about.
Building a portfolio of personal projects is an important component of your transition into tech that allows you to fill the gaps at multiple stages of this process.