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December 22, 20238 min read

How Alise Went from Project Management to iOS Development.

Alise is a freelance iOS developer. She shares her experience going from project management to landing her first client 10 months into her journey.

Hey Alise, glad to have you here, could you please introduce yourself?

Hey Joel, thank you for the opportunity to tell my story! I'm Alise, a self-taught Swift developer. Right now, I juggle between freelance programming and project management. However, my greatest passion lies in the mobile app I'm currently developing – it brings me immense joy!

Why did you choose to get into coding from project management?

You know, transitioning from project management to coding was a thrilling pivot for me. It all started when, after merely six months in the IT industry, I stumbled upon this newfound passion for programming. The sheer excitement of crafting something from scratch was incredibly exhilarating.

Within 10 months of dedicated learning, I managed to secure a freelance role alongside my project management duties. In all honesty, I see programming as an art form in its own right. It's not solely about logic and math, as some might assume. To me, a great developer thinks beyond the norms and explores uncharted tgerritories. It's this innovative thinking that truly sets the stage for remarkable creations and problem-solving. Making this leap from project management to coding has allowed me to embrace this creative side and challenge myself in exciting, unconventional ways.

How did you learn to code and what resources stood out for you?

When I first began learning to code, I explored various resources to aid my learning process. I spent a lot of time on Hacking with Swift, watched a lot of YouTube tutorials (I highly recommend Sean Allen and tundsdev), read books and blogs by fantastic developers like Swift by Sundell and SwiftLee. Additionally, I thoroughly explored the official Apple documentation.

What challenges did you face while learning programming?

At the start of my programming journey, the main challenge I faced was not knowing where to begin. I felt lost, unsure of where to start amidst a mountain of work and an overwhelming amount of information to absorb. Hacking with Swift by Paul Hudson helped me a LOT. The best way to learn is to practice. Instead of drowning in notes, I delved into code.

Moreover, it was frustrating to face bugs and spend significant time trying to understand why certain code didn't work as expected. Overcoming this challenge required patience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. I discovered that debugging is an integral part of the learning process.

What does a day in the life look like for you and what do you love about coding?

I wake up around 6:10 am and kick off my day with my morning rituals: skincare, Pilates (and a mandatory shot of espresso), which energize me for the day ahead. After checking my email and Telegram, I eat breakfast and prep meals in advance, setting the tone for a productive day. Balancing both project management and development roles, I always have my task list set from the night before. To be honest, I typically spend about 4 hours coding each day, dedicating the rest of my time to meetings, breaks, cat cuddles, and chats 😅. During early mornings or late evenings, I dedicate time to working on my mobile app and crafting content for Instagram. Post-work, if the weather's nice, I head to the sea; otherwise, I indulge in movies or video games.

The thing I love about coding is being able to see ideas turn into apps people love. And the sheer satisfaction of fixing bugs? Can't beat that! Every day, I'm in that Kaizen mindset – taking small steps toward big achievements. Programming enables working remotely, freeing me from being tied to an office - it is very important for me right now. I love collaborating with developers, tackling complex problems, and learning new things every day.

How do you handle imposter syndrome, if it ever affects you?

Imposter syndrome really hits me hard at times. There are moments when I doubt if I'll ever reach the knowledge level I'm striving for. I question myself, asking why I started learning Swift so late. Yet, I remind myself that this journey is uniquely mine; everyone charts their own path in life. I make a conscious effort to prioritize continuous learning. Even taking small steps gets me closer to my goal. However, I've learned that complaining accomplishes nothing - unless it's about enjoying an extra scoop of coconut ice cream!

What keeps you motivated?

What keeps me motivated is Japanese culture and philosophy. Specifically, concepts like Ikigai, which harmonize strengths, passions, and career needs, deeply inspire me. It's about discovering the essence of existence and finding life's true purpose. Knowing that I am solely responsible for shaping who I want to become drives me forward. I strongly believe in moving only ahead in pursuit of my goals.

Moreover, I've found staying focused and motivated involves a few key practices. Starting my day with morning rituals, including skincare, good music, and a good breakfast, fills me with energy. Dealing with post-coding session insomnia, I rely on yoga to help me unwind and find rest. Additionally, muting my phone for at least four hours significantly boosts my efficiency, allowing me to concentrate better on tasks at hand.

What piece of advice do you have for people learning to code and trying to get their foot in the door?

My advice for those diving into coding is this: find the language that speaks to you. It's crucial to discover a language you genuinely enjoy working with. And here's the thing, don't let the struggle deter you. Learning to code can be tough at times, but it's those moments that truly mold you into a proficient developer. Embrace the challenges, keep pushing forward, and remember, every hurdle you conquer takes you a step closer to mastering the craft. Stay persistent and passionate; you've got this!

How has learning to code and getting into tech changed your life?

Learning to code and diving into the tech world has been a game-changer for me. It's not just about writing lines of code; it's about transforming my whole outlook on life. Becoming a Swift developer has given me a newfound confidence - I started dreaming bigger and exploring countless ideas for personal projects. Suddenly, my world became this captivating place where I understand how things work behind the scenes. Tech has also been a sanctuary for my introverted self. Surrounded by like-minded colleagues, I found my peace. It's a space where I'm free to express my ideas, collaborate, and grow without feeling out of place. In short, learning to code opened doors to a more fascinating, enriching life where my ideas flourish, and I've found a community where I truly belong.

Lastly, could you share what the future holds for you and your career?

Looking ahead, my eyes are set on an exciting horizon. I envision myself moving to places like the Netherlands, Canada, or the US – seeking new opportunities and a fresh start. My aim is to land a role in a great company, where I can immerse myself, gain invaluable experience, and climb the career ladder. It's all about embracing new challenges, learning from seasoned professionals, and evolving in this dynamic tech landscape. Additionally, my journey won't stop at work; I'm enthusiastic about continuing to craft innovative mobile apps. Creating something from scratch that resonates with users - that's where my passion truly lies. So, the future holds a mix of professional growth, exploration, and the exhilaration of building new ideas into tangible, impactful applications.


Huge thanks to Alise for making the time to chat with us. If you would like to share your story as well feel free to reach out and request an interview.. If you enjoyed this article then you'll surely enjoy our newsletter. If you haven't already, consider dropping your email so you don't miss out when we drop a new article. Lastly, checkout our jobs page if you're looking for a new developer job. Till next time, keep debugging!

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