I'm curious about who started on a totally different path and found their passion for software?

Lisa Popovici
44 replies
Recently graduated from Med School and I'm currently the co-founder of Relevon.io. I found my passion for software while in Med School, trying to earn my own money by building and running an eCommerce fashion store on Shopify. I finished Med School while co-founding this startup and it was the best decision I ever made! Has anyone here ever pivoted in their career?🙋🏼‍♀️🤓


Aaron O'Leary
👋Although not software, still want to share. Worked mainly as a chef and at times a bread baker, kind of unintentionally pivoted my career by building a community of non-tech makers with @abadesi and went on to build some other stuff, that then lead me to applying for a job with Product Hunt which I ended up getting and well here I am. Still adore the restaurant scene, but liking this pivot
Lisa Popovici
@abadesi @aaronoleary Awesome! My hobby is to cook healthy recipes as well, haha!
Aman Manik
@abadesi @aaronoleary I love baking bread. That's awesome!
David Jones
I think it's quite common that folks with an entrepreneurial spirit either pivot into software that they've designed to help fix a pain point in their day-to-day work lives or follow a passion like you have. I work in advertising and I've got one of those day-to-day pain points that's driving a product my team is building.
Lisa Popovici
@david_jones6 Totally relatable. The idea for the product we are building right now came from an issue we and other stores kept dealing with in email marketing.
Mike Kimel
@david_jones6 I definitely feel that's me - I never had the intent of being a software guy, but since I was in pricing and analytics, over time I needed to get better and better programming skills to meet my own on-the-job needs. Eventually I co-founded a company which builds a price optimization tool (i.e., it finds profit maximizing prices). At the moment I am our entire development team.
Elvis Magagula
@david_jones6 I went from Graphic Designer to dev because I had so may idea's and I use to hate asking for help. Now I love it lol
@david_jones6 @kopahead I relate so much to this. It sucks having to wait and depend on someone else's buy-in to make progress on a project
Malinda Coler
I was on a completely different path 10 years ago - I was a teacher, but all of my friends worked in tech. I visited one of them at the office at the end of a work day, ran around getting excited about all of their projects, was invited in to interview the next day and became a Product Manager. I've moved on to focus more on Client Experience and operations, and haven't looked back since.
Lisa Popovici
@malinda_coler1 Wow, that surely wasn't a coincidence. Did you also have a background in Management or you didn't have to for the job?
Daniel O'Sullivan
@malinda_coler1 Same! I was also teaching when I was exposed to tech. I went a slightly different route in that my first tech role was instructional design for a kids' learn-to-code startup, but have also switched focus to Operations, Partnerships and B2B Sales. As you can attest, there are so many 'teacher skills' that equip you for the world of tech! :)
Malinda Coler
@lisapopovici Hi Lisa, I did not have a background in management, and in that first year on the job, none of the designers or engineers were my direct reports, and management was more from a Product Manager standpoint. That said, so much of what I learned as a teacher carried over, and so much of what I learned that year working with engineers and designers taught me so much about leading and empowering teams.
Malinda Coler
@danielosullivan Yes! So many teacher skills, and I think it would be amazing if more people in management had experience teaching!
i started to work as a Mechanical engineer in Oil and gas field for 8 year abroad before quitting everything and now working to building a crypto start up tradeplan.co in my home country. Oil to Crypto SaaS.:-)
@sbenitezb for oil and gas ? its very expensive but known. Many use Custom made for the plants. Other use SAP and other enterprise software.
Good discussion topic. I started out as a consultant for governments, think tanks and later entrepreneurs. I got frustrated with how difficult it was for people in those organisations to make decisions based on the evidence (data) they asked me to gather. So I learned to code and made a tool that synthesized all the research into a single metric that showed them which direction the data suggested they go. Now instead of working with a single organisation at a time, lots of organisations can benefit from my work by just using the software. I'm never going back to the old way!
Lisa Popovici
@tyclimateguy Wow! That's definitely useful! What's the platform called?
@lisapopovici it's called Evidence Base. If you are trying to make a hard decision and have a lot of data pulling you in different directions, it can probably help. It's on PH but here's a link to the website: http://bit.ly/2B295kF
Aman Manik
I started off as an Electrical Engineer, interned at GE and Cypress Semiconductors. While I enjoyed the "tinkering" and working alone, I felt a big part of who I am was missing -> connecting with others and even more connected with the business. I felt like a cog. My best friend in college, suggested maybe I try a business job and ended up being a cold-caller for Box (www.box.com). First taste of a startup (we were 20 when I joined) and enjoyed working with everyone. I decided to continue exploring that path, went on to be a BD Manager. Then came across another crossroad where I missed some of the technical part of my job and building. Then discovered Product Management and now that's the role I fill today and have been for 10 years. :)
Lisa Popovici
@amanik Same here, felt like something was missing. Are you still the PM at Box?
Aman Manik
@lisapopovici No, I left Box --> went to Symantec as a PM --> started my own company --> acquired by Square --> PM on Caviar Diner, Restaurant Apps and Payment APIs --> now working as a PM for alan.eu in Paris. :)
Tony Chen
I've been on two different, but intertwined, paths. I studied engineering and initially worked in the financial space doing lots of Excel work. I returned to my engineering roots, and now build software in the financial space. (https://aum13f.com). I'm much more passionate about software, because the software reaches more people at a larger scale.
Hãñīf Śhãřīf
I was on a completely different path 3 years ago - I was a teacher, but all of my friends worked in tech. I visited one of them at the office at the end of a work day, ran around getting excited about all of their projects, was invited in to interview the next day and became a Product Manager. I've moved on to focus more on Client Experience and operations, and haven't looked back since.
Anthony Morris
I went to an audio engineering school. I was totally lost with my life but was making music. I decided I didn't want anyone else to mix/master my stuff so I would do it myself. Went to school, did well there, really enjoyed it. After graduation, I got into freelance audio engineering. I didn't love it. It didn't pay all the bills so I was working in IT. I told my boss I didn't like the work we did but I thought we could solve a lot of customer problems with software. He agreed. He mentored me while we develop some (very poor) solutions to various IT problems. Fast forward to today, I'm working at a large company and building my own product. For the first time in my life I can actually build things. I feel like I am just getting to the point where I can contribute positively to the world and I've never felt better.
Lisa Popovici
@amorriscode Being able to build something from scratch and seeing how it can impact people it's the best feeling. In tech there's always something new to learn and to try.
Yari Antonieta
I worked as a Quality Manager for a dimensional measuring laboratory specialized in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry but working on a manufacturing environment wasn't for me so I learn to code web languages on my own to pursue a remote freelance career. Now I am doing front-end web development, remotely, and working on multiple projects but my major client is a startup that is developing software for risk management for the same industry. It definitely helped that one of my first major projects has been working to solve a problem, with software, on an industry that I was totally familiar with. It provided a smoother career change and I think my impostor syndrome time length was shortened because of it. lol. I started to write about my experience and some technical articles for people who do not know ANYTHING about web development to encourage them to learn too! You can check it out at https://ctrly.blog.
Lisa Popovici
@yari_miranda The blog looks so geeky and cool! Love it. That's the best part about tech, being able to learn on your own.
Sebastián Benítez
I started learning to program when I was a child, first with Z80 assembly, then C, Pascal, C++, Common Lisp, Delphi, whatever. I always enjoyed writing tools and starting projects (most of them never finished). For years I worked as an IT tech guy, then SCCM management. One day I got sick of it and started developing FreelanceStation . And then I published it! Now I have started another project which is going to be announced here on PH in about 6 months if everything goes well. For a long time I envisioned developing software on my own. But it took me a long time to finally be able to do it.
Javier Treviño
I started as a graphic designer doing social media posts and even print work and now I am a UI developer working with React, framer and there js. Now because my familiarity with web GL I think I'm gonna transition into 3d , it feels like "who's coming with me"
Oh man, Totally... Started as Dish washer -> Support -> System admin -> Software. Now am the founder of Wasavi, Which I'm enjoying every minute of :-)
Blair Fast
Started in strategy consulting, then became a BA in old waterfall world, then decided I wanted to be an Architect (the building variety, not the tech variety) and then fell in love with XD and the tech world!
Lisa Popovici
@blair_fast Isn't it amazing that with passion and determination you can do anything?
Maksym Astakhov
I graduated from Maritime Academy, and have been working for 5 years at sea as a navigational officer. Made a trip around the world by sea. Now I'm already 5+ years as the product manager in a tech company, starting a new product from scratch. It's all about passion to create and I never regret that pivot point in y life.