Hi! I’m Benjamien and I’m currently a Consultant for Codit Belgium. Graduating with an IT degree can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially when it comes to choosing a career path. As someone who initially started their career in mainframe development, I was unsure of how to transition to the latest innovations, including cloud services and modern front-end frameworks. Fortunately, Codit took a chance on me and provided me with the necessary tools and support to embark on an exciting Azure adventure. This blog post will explore my path to becoming an Azure developer at Codit, highlighting the challenges, opportunities, and rewards that came with this career switch.
When I completed my degree, I was unsure of which path to pursue. A public speaker at a school event had fervently advocated for mainframe technology, citing its role as the backbone of enterprise computing for decades and its potential to last for many more years. As a result, I gravitated towards mainframe technologies, believing that big companies offered a stable work environment. Following a successful internship, I landed a job at AG Insurance.
Working on the mainframe
As a Cobol programmer in my first job, I immersed myself in the intricacies of mainframe development and honed my skills. Working in the IBM machine world provided ample opportunities to learn and grow, such as creating batches through JCL files, writing DB2 database queries, and navigating various release environments. I spent roughly seven years here, refining my expertise.
However, one notable drawback of mainframe work is the technology’s limited evolution. Although new tools make development more accessible, the underlying console terminal remains outdated. Despite this, I felt confident in my knowledge of all things mainframe and could have comfortably continued my career in this field.
The switch to Azure
When I decided to explore new job opportunities, I was struck by how much the IT landscape had changed. Mainframes were being replaced by standard servers, and newer front-end frameworks like React and Angular were taking over from their predecessors. APIs were gaining popularity and custom middleware solutions were becoming a thing of the past. However, the most significant change was the widespread adoption of cloud services.
As a consumer, cloud services had become an indispensable part of my daily life, just like the internet and electricity. They had been seamlessly integrated into our digital routines, making our lives more convenient without us even realizing it.
As a developer, I initially hesitated to embrace cloud technology as I had primarily worked with mainframes throughout my career. However, as I explored job opportunities, I quickly realized how outdated my skills had become compared to the latest innovations. Although I wasn’t old in age, I felt like a machine running on coal in a world powered by solar panels – outdated and in need of an upgrade. It was time to switch engines.
As a programmer in the midst of the Covid pandemic, finding new job opportunities was as simple as updating my LinkedIn status. Within moments, my inbox was inundated with messages from recruiters and “bounty hunters” eager to connect me with their IT company clients. With employee turnover at an all-time high, there was no shortage of potential work ventures to consider. However, it quickly became apparent that one company stood out from the rest: Codit.
What set Codit apart was their direct outreach to me, rather than relying on recruiters. I was immediately drawn to the familial atmosphere, modern office, generous training budget, and their specific focus on Azure Cloud. Although I lacked experience with APIs, .Net, and Azure, I was confident in my job experience, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn. Fortunately, Codit took a chance on me, and I was able to embark on my Azure adventure – but this was not without its challenges.
My first weeks at Codit
When I started at Codit, I was excited to jump in and learn as much as I could. While the academy training was still being developed, I found the basic trainings to be very useful for someone new to the field like me.
As I began working on my first project, I quickly realized that the learning curve was steep. I had to ask my colleagues many questions, but they were patient and supportive throughout the process. With their guidance, I was able to navigate through the Azure jargon, YAML pipelines, and the many tools involved, including Kubernetes.
Of course, it wasn’t just the technology that I had to learn – I also had to understand the project and the customer. At times, it felt like a challenge that was too big to overcome, but with the support of my team, I persevered. Over time, I gained valuable practical experience and was able to become a valuable member of the team. Looking back, I realize that it was a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience. I learned that with the right support and determination, I could take on anything that came my way.
In conclusion, I have no regrets about my career path switch. It’s important to find the right fit for oneself, and for those working in IT, keeping up with the latest knowledge and innovations is crucial. With the IT world constantly evolving, having a job that allows you to work with cutting-edge technology is invaluable. Codit has been the perfect choice for me, offering opportunities for growth through additional training and certifications. While my journey from Cobol to Azure may have come to an end, I know it’s just the first step in a bigger journey in the exciting world of Azure!