“I met a lot of people and I saw that I can learn anything because the way Microverse is structured, you have to learn without somebody teaching you. It literally prepares you to become a developer.”- Cristian Ceamatu
Microverse students work incredibly hard to become professional software developers and we’re so proud of all our students and the work they put in. From making sacrifices to be able to support themselves throughout the program, to spending thousands of hours learning, they’re committed to improving their lives. Our alumni have landed jobs around the world, earning more than what they made before — without paying Microverse anything until they’re employed.
We are delighted to highlight another alumni, who used his time during the pandemic to fulfill his desire in becoming a software developer. Cristian Ceamatu is currently working as a software engineer for Assist, a Romanian company specializing in outsourcing software development projects. We asked Cristian about his journey from building a career from his passion.
Changing Plans Due to the Pandemic
Cristian initially didn’t have plans to be a software developer. In college, he graduated with a degree in Economical Science and went on to work as an economist.
However, an economist’s salary in Romania wasn’t enough so Cristian decided to work on cruise liners instead. He and his wife began traveling to different cities for his work. While working in the UK, he began to learn programming as a hobby. This sparked the desire within Cristian to become a developer.
Cristian was the CEO of his own recruiting agency together with his wife. With a stable business, he didn’t entertain his dream of becoming a developer. But when the pandemic happened, his business came to a stop and this gave Cristian the opportunity to fulfill his dream.
“I wanted to be a developer, but I didn’t see how I could make that career switch. I realized this was possible when COVID started.”
Getting a Push to Start Coding
In the early days of the pandemic, Cristian self-studied using online resources but ultimately struggled without a mentor. His wife was very supportive and helped him apply for jobs and encouraged him to continue to work on his projects.
“This is the bad part when you are a self-taught developer, you are alone and you change your mind very often,” Cristian admitted. He didn’t have linear progress but he still finished projects and learned quickly. “I realized I can build anything if I just put the time and passion in it.”
Cristian began to look for an option where he could study software development remotely so he could stay at home with his family. When he first found Microverse, he thought that there were no European schedules. So, he decided to take a job at Amazon as a client service operator for a few months instead.
After a few months, he decided that he could be using his time during the pandemic in a better way, so Cristian applied for Microverse. He joined Microverse in July 2020 and completed the program within 7 months.
Imposter Syndrome and Pushing Through
When Cristian was first starting out in studying software development, he doubted that he would actually become a developer. Despite his fears, Cristian managed to break free from the impostor syndrome.
Cristian shares his insight, “When we cannot control everything and we are obsessed with controlling, these feelings create the impression that you cannot do it.” He noted that he doesn’t believe that he needs to control everything anymore. This belief got him through his struggles in Microverse.
“We all make mistakes. We all fail every day and we’ve got to make it. We just have to put passion and try to learn something from our mistakes."
There were times when working with coding partners was a struggle. Cristian didn’t complain but instead learned to handle things with patience and compassion. This was another lesson in developing soft skills. Understanding your fellow colleagues is something that can only be taught through experience.
Using Soft Skills to Further Himself
Cristian is currently working at Assist, a software development company based in Romania. They usually work with US clients, so Cristian often works across cultures. Fortunately, communicating cross-culturally isn’t new for Cristian.
When he worked on cruise liners he regularly conversed with customers in English. This gave him an advantage in developing his crucial soft skills. Interacting with people from different cultures is a valuable skill as a developer, no matter where you are based.
Other than communication, Cristian also developed his work ethic. Being proactive was another way to improve himself and grow beyond his work. “I’ve always tried to go the extra mile and do more than I’m asked for.” Passion fuels his initiative to come up with solutions for his clients.
At work, Cristian encounters challenging projects every once in a while. When he has a problem, he is honest with his colleagues about it and asks for help. “You need to show to your colleagues that you are trying and they will help you.”
Lessons Gained from Microverse
For Cristian, the most important lesson he learned from Microverse was discovering his own potential.
“This is the best thing that Microverse does. They help put the pressure on you to get better, to get your dream job.”
Without the pressure and support from the program, he said it might have led to failure because of distractions. The organization is another of Cristian’s favorite aspects from Microverse. “I loved the presentation, how they presented all the things in the course and modules.” He noted that it made him feel like he was in a real workplace.
When you have a job, there’s no one to teach you step-by-step in accomplishing your task. This taught Cristian to work independently and establish rules for himself.
During coding challenges, Cristian follows an established process. “I try it for 30 minutes maximum. If I don’t find the solution, I check the response. And after one week, I try to do the same coding challenge without seeing the response.” He accepts defeat and tries again instead of getting too frustrated over the problems.
Advice for Microverse Students and Aspiring Web Developers
‘Microverse is one chance in a lifetime’, Cristian says. To those who are interested in joining but feel they lack experience or knowledge, Cristian assures that basic knowledge and hard work is enough to get through Microverse.
For Microverse students with no professional experience, Cristian advised finding local companies and building some projects on your own to showcase to future recruiters. They don’t have to be large long-term projects - think about small projects that you can build to showcase your skills.
“It’s important for you to understand what is happening in the language or framework in that project, “ Cristian emphasizes. This basic understanding serves as the framework for other projects. That way, you don’t need to restudy every time you start a new project.
Finally, don’t be discouraged when a company rejects you. “You just need one company to offer you a job,” Cristian reminds. Every rejection is a step closer to your dream job.
Through a lot of hard work, focus and dedication, Cristian was able to fulfill his dream of becoming a software developer by giving time to study at Microverse. To date, Microverse has enrolled full-time students from 100+ countries in its full-time online program and helped students from around the world land life-changing jobs. If you’re ready to change your life by becoming a remote software developer, get started below!