Hopefully, this is not yet too late since I started with my online journey and joined an Online based startup company last 2014. This site will cover any issues I’ve personally encountered and how I’ve solved each of them.
Here’s a not-so short overview about how I started and gained the knowledge I have right now.
Studies and Training
I studied Industrial Electronics Technology at Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE) and graduated in 2008. In my OJT days or what the school called Dual Training System (DTS), I didn’t really find the tasks in the department where I was deployed totally challenging, though I was doing very well at it. Why? Well, it’s because the Job isn’t really in-lined with the course I took up. I worked there for 1.5 years–4 days a week–for compliance and of course to earn money–75% of the minimum wage, tax-free that time–for an additional allowance.
The company where I was deployed only allowed Internet access to their regular employees. But our batch mates who were deployed in the IT department are the ones monitoring and setting up the Group Policies restricting us from accessing the Internet. That’s the time I started learning how to hack though I’m not a bad guy. I only wanted to know simple hacking tricks and counter what the real bad guys do. I then proclaimed my self a “White Hat Hacker” and am the only one who knew. hihi
Internet was not cheap then. Fortunately, one of my classmate and a close friend was assigned as an IT support in a different plant which is a sister company of where I was deployed. He told me how to use the proxy server to access the Internet without restrictions. Again, we are not bad guys, we did that for a good purpose – to learn more.
Learning’s out of curiosity
While I was working at the company, my knowledge is only limited to the routines I was doing everyday. I know that there are a lot of things I could learn outside that’s not related to my course and work. That is only through the use of Internet. When I get access to Internet–which I kept it a secret–Google became a friend. With Google I was able to search additional information about the topics of our lessons. One of the subject that gave me headache then was Computer Programming using COBOL language.
I was curious what the out of school world has to offer and started Googling other programming languages which I can possibly learn — not from school.
There are lot of other languages but I started first with what I can possibly learn to help improve my work. Because we used a lot of data in excel and have to repeatedly input data manually, I started to study how to automate data gathering and visualizations with the help of VBA macros. I even printed the entire VBA tutorial of Microsoft Excel version 2003. I don’t have to worry about ink and papers because the company I worked was a global manufacturer of laser printers and imaging products.
That’s when my coding/programming journey begins and learned the basics of not just one programming language. I kept reading and reading and reading while my co-OJTs and classmates–but not all–are playing.
When I submitted a resume to my first employer, I already have additional skills learned by my own using all the resources I obtained from one source–Internet. My learning journey didn’t end even when I get my first Job as a Technician in a Manufacturing firm. After my working hours in the company, I spend 1-2 hours in an Internet Cafe to research and study more programming tutorials.
My First Investment, Recession plus no work equals no Income, Opportunities
I resigned from my first full-time work during the recession of semiconductor industry in 2009. The resignation was also driven by my desire for continuous learning. For me, staying in that company with the nature of work will make my growth stagnant. Because of my strong will to learn something new, I assembled my first computer using the last money I got as last pay.
Assembling the PC costed me more than $500 and considering the specs in 2009 it was not really cheap.
I considered my first computer as an Investment, an investment to help me keep learning and make those learning into real life applications. That time my programming knowledge is not yet enough to build something unique so I have to look for another source of income.
My life has never been easier. I’ve gone through all the hardships like anybody else applying for a decent and well-paying job. Luckily–after months of job hunting–I’ve landed an apprenticeship job in a leading company that supplies Automated Test Equipment (ATE) to test semiconductors, wireless products, data storage and complex electronics systems. As an apprentice I only get an allowance of 75% of the minimum wage salary.
That’s awful to hear, right? Well, not really. I took that opportunity because that was a good stepping stone for me to build enough experience and learn. After 6 months of the apprenticeship program, I applied for the position of Repair Technician and luckily got hired. The sacrifices I had for several months became fruitful as I already earned more than the people earning a minimum wage.
Since then I started developing applications to help ease the processes in our area such as Trackers, KPI dashboard and other scripts to automate data processing. Worked with other technicians and engineers to build cost-reduction projects. And yes, we’ve made a huge savings for the company and it’s great feeling for making a such difference.
After 3 years of working with a great colleagues and environment I learned a lot of things and grown professionally, I decided to leave the company to grab other job opportunities away from my family and homeland.
Online Journey starts, a loooonng journey
In 2013, I started part-time Freelancing and created my first profile–specializing in web development, programming and scripting–in Elance which has merged with UpWork in that same year. The market and competition is huge so I have to be knowledgeable and skilled enough to confidently bid on projects. I always stayed up late at night doing research and keeping my ideas up to the latest. I got some projects in Elance and UpWork which have also help me sustain my unstable finances because of the health issues of my son for almost a year due to Pnuemonia.
In 2014, the feeling of being home-sicked struck me. I decided to come back home and joined as a Lead Developer of an Online based startup company owned by a friend who’s also an alumnus of our school in college. The company specialized in digital advertising, Ad Revenue Optimizations for Publishers and other web and mobile services.
I am also the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the other online ventures we have.
How I work
One thing I can be sure that we can work well together is that I am a very technical person. Show me any online frameworks, platform, technology, other tools and I can learn and build something from it in a few days as long as there’s an enough resources to use.
I’m a fast-learner who always believe in the slogan of our school in college which says–We can do ordinary things extra-ordinarily well.