JavaRush/Java Blog/Random EN/The story of JavaRush developer Dmitry Semenenko

The story of JavaRush developer Dmitry Semenenko

Published in the Random EN group
We continue the special series in the “Success Stories” section - in it we talk about developers who studied at JavaRush and now work in this company, developing the product. Our fifth hero is Dima Semenenko. Dima is an engineer by education. Over time, the profession became uninteresting and unprofitable for him, and then he thought about becoming a developer. His training lasted about 5 years. Dima tells how it was in his “success story.”“My training lasted for 5 years”: the story of JavaRush developer Dmitry Semenenko - 1

“I bought myself a JavaRush subscription for the New Year”

I became interested in programming during my student years. At university I studied to become a microelectronics engineer and learned a little Pascal. After studying, he got a job at a company as an engineer. The salary was low, and after a while the work became uninteresting. That's why I started looking towards IT. Many friends went into this industry and told me to give it a try. The choice of programming language happened like this: a friend worked as an IT specialist, I asked her which direction was better to choose, she advised Java. That is, it was not a completely conscious choice. Therefore, I began to study this issue and came across an article on Habré by the founder of JavaRush, where I became acquainted with this resource. I registered for JavaRush in October 2013, and on New Year’s Day I bought myself a subscription for $100. This New Year's gift resulted in work as a developer. I started going through the first levels, little by little solving problems at work and at home. There was no schedule: I studied in my free time. That is, it looked like this: I studied, stopped studying for a few days, and then returned again. There were breaks for 2-3 months. Now I understand that this is not an approach to learning at all. At that time, I realized that I did not have enough knowledge to solve problems. There were times when I copied a ready-made answer just to get dark matter and go to the next level. I had enough knowledge “at the top” to quickly change jobs. Due to a lack of knowledge, I decided to take full-time programming courses, which I quickly became disillusioned with. For example, when I wanted to clarify something with the teacher, he postponed the questions until later, the courses ended late in the evening, everyone was sent home, they promised to sort out the questions in the next lesson. And so it dragged on from time to time. Essentially, I learned there what I already knew.

“Why are you sitting there, go look for some work, you have a family”

When I was laid off at my previous job at the end of 2017, I took up my studies in earnest. I received a “magic” kick and very great motivation. These were the most active six months of my studies. I went to a JavaRush internship where I did a calorie counting project in Spring. In the project I used a database, Hibernate, Spring, and many other technologies. The mentor provided a lot of additional material. It was very interesting, intelligent, chewed right down to the smallest detail. I also read a lot of literature, watched videos, and signed up for Nemchinsky’s “Group Programming” course. Essentially, this internship was like a job, but we weren’t paid, we were. We were writing a CRM system, we had our own mentor. Everything was like at a regular job: tasks, meetings 3 times a week. On this project I felt that I was beginning to develop normally. In addition to internships, I studied on my own. It was not possible to sit at home because of the small child, so I went to the library. There was a table, an outlet, and free wi-fi. Nobody interfered, only pensioners went to read newspapers. Sometimes I also studied at home in the evenings. In general, I went to the library to study all winter because I knew what I needed to do. Although many said: “Why are you sitting there, go look for some work, you have a family, children.” The “stash” helped a lot. During my intensive training, I attended several interviews. One interview was with the IT department of a bank, and another with a coffee machine company. Somewhere they didn’t take me, somewhere I didn’t like it myself.

“If you don’t like the job, then a high salary won’t help”

One day I went to the JavaRush website and came across an advertisement that the company was looking for a Java junior. I sent my resume and was called for an interview. The first stage was with the recruiter, then a technical interview with the manager, and then with the director. I didn’t answer all the questions correctly, I think 80 percent, but that’s not certain. And they hired me. At first there was adaptation, getting to know the project, setting up the software. At first, I was busy correcting already written tasks for quests, then I started writing tasks and games myself. Now I’m already working on the server part. Writing new problems is creative work. It’s not very hard to implement, it’s hard to come up with it. When the first quarantine began (lockdown in the spring of 2020 - ed.), we had a goal of completing 20 tasks for each person. I remember I was sitting at home, walking around the room and couldn’t come up with anything. There were times when I could come up with 6 problems in one day, and 1-2 the second day. In my work I like both back-end development, working with the database, as well as creating new and improving old tasks. Before quarantine, we practiced pair programming in the office. 2-3 people sat at one computer, one wrote the code, the others told him what to write. Then they changed. This is an interesting practice, you learn a lot from your colleagues. For those who are planning to become developers, I want to say that if you don’t like the work, then a high salary will not help. I love my job. I love the feeling after solving a problem that you have been sitting on for a long time. Then my wings just grow. This is why I do development. A little more about motivation. A friend of mine who worked at a factory wanted to become a tester. I told them that I work as a developer and about studying JavaRush. He bought an annual subscription, completed training and now works as a junior. Other friends also tried, but only one made it to the end. He had real motivation, he really wanted to change his job.

Tips for a beginner developer:

  1. It's better to figure it out than to miss it.

    Don't go over the topic superficially. It’s better to spend a little more time and figure it out than to fly by and not understand how something works. There is no magic: everything works the way it should work.

  2. Try not to get distracted.

    If you decide to study, it is better to devote at least 2-3 hours a day to studying. In order not to be distracted, the phone should be turned off - this will help you to immerse yourself normally in a new task or topic.

  3. Read books on Java theory.

    I can recommend several books:

    • “Learning Java (Head First Java)” by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates;
    • “The Philosophy of Java” by Bruce Eckel;
    • “Java. The Complete Guide” by Herbert Schildt;
    • “Java. Library of a Professional” by Kay Horstmann.

  4. Make a pet project.

    During the interview, it is important to show that you have at least some work experience. Even if these are trial projects, even unfinished ones, it is important to show that you have done something.

  5. Learn English.

    It's better to know English than not to know it :) At a minimum, you need it to read technical documentation... I failed one interview due to my low knowledge of English.

  6. Be persistent.

    Ask questions if something is not clear to you. Even if you think the questions are stupid. The main thing is to put everything on the shelves for yourself.

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