Name: Andrew Garcia
Location: Manila, Philippines
Topics of Interest: PHP, WordPress, Laravel, Magento, Marketing
Occupation: Web developer
In our series of Tuts+ community stories so far, you’ve met South African graphic artist Catherine Dawes, Brazilian web designer Tassia Pellegrini, and Malaysian front-end developer Ajmal Afif, among others.
Today we’re taking you to the Philippines, to hear how Andrew Garcia transitioned from a customer support role to become the main web developer for both SocialTap and Madhatter Media.
Five years ago, Andrew Garcia was working in a customer support role and aspiring to write code for the web. But it was proving difficult to transition from one to the other.
Computer books can get quite expensive here. And taking special classes wasn’t an option with a full-time job.
So in his spare time, he mined the internet for guides and tutorials about web development. One of the sites he found was the Tuts+ Code section (named Nettuts back then). He used the tutorials and courses to teach himself web development skills (both front-end and back-end). Some of the subjects he learned include CodeIgniter, Laravel, WordPress and PHP.
Nettuts is one of resources I credit for giving me the knowledge and skills to transition from my old job, to a more rewarding career in web development.
He says he still follows new articles and courses to keep his skills current, and to discover new and interesting topics.
Andrew has now fulfilled his ambition of working as a web developer. He works as the main developer for two companies, and has also completed many freelance assignments, like creating the website pictured here:
But as he achieves one goal, he sets himself more. He’s noticed that lots of startups have been setting up shop in Manila, and wants to work more closely with them, as well as developing more apps for online marketing. So now he’s turned to the Tuts+ Business section to learn about marketing on the web.
“Quick shoutout to David Masters,” he says. “Your articles on freelancing and marketing are awesome!”
So what has Andrew learned in this journey from customer support to web development and beyond?
First of all, he says, learning web development is equal parts “theory” and “practice”. When starting out, invest in good resources that’ll cover all the basics, but be on the lookout for opportunities to put your skills into practice.
Secondly, don’t turn your nose up at small projects, because they can often lead to something bigger in the end:
It’s not uncommon to start off with small projects, and grow from there.
And finally, he says, it’s crucial to keep learning at all times:
A huge challenge for any web developer is keeping their skills current. So cultivate a healthy thirst for new knowledge, and allocate time to learn new skills. Consider it as part of the job.
Or leave a comment or question below, and I’m sure he’d be happy to respond!