My Story of Chasing Dreams and Becoming a Developer

Written by Rathan Kumar

Senior Software Developer | Django Instructor

Hey there! Ever feel stuck in a job you don’t love? Well, I’ve been there, twice! But instead of settling, I took some big leaps of faith, and here I am, living proof that chasing your dreams can lead to amazing places.

NOC Engineer: My Escape from Rotational Shifts

Imagine me in 2012, a NOC Engineer (Network Operations Center), surrounded by flashing server lights at night in Mangalore’s bustling IT hub. Not exactly the dream job! Those endless rotating shifts messed with my sleep, my life, and my mood. I felt like a robot, not an engineer.

But deep inside, a different dream buzzed. I wasn’t just drawn to software engineering, I was obsessed! Code felt like a secret language, algorithms like puzzles begging to be cracked. But 2.5 years of my NOC experience, even though good, wasn’t the key. My world was away from the vibrant coastal city I called home.

So, in 2014, I took a BIG leap (scary, but exciting!): I quit. No backup plan, just a gut feeling that this risk was better than the drag of my current job. It was nerve-wracking, but the thought of chasing my dream made the fear shrink.

This wasn’t just about a job change, it was about freedom. Freedom from sleepless nights, from routine-wrecking shifts, from feeling stuck. The future was uncertain, but one thing was clear: the NOC engineer was out, and the coding dream was on!

Mumbai Hustle: From Websites to Python Power:

New city, new me! Mumbai welcomed me with open arms, and I had a new mission: become a software engineer. My past experience with WordPress gave me a leg up with PHP, like meeting an old friend. I gulped down online tutorials, built mini-websites to practice, and finally landed a PHP developer job. But you know what? The pay was too low.

Then, Python entered the scene, especially in this exciting field called AI. My brain tingled with curiosity! Time to hit the books again, but this time, it was a delicate balancing act of work, sleep, and…10-hour study days! Yeah, crazy, but I was determined. And, guess what, Python became my new superpower!

The Leap of Faith (Again):

Python’s allure made me lose interest in PHP. One morning, I took another risk: I quit, again, job offerless. This time, the goal was different: freelancing! In India, it wasn’t common, it’s like a person who does freelancing is jobless! But, freedom called me.

My heart truly belonged to creating web applications and portals. That’s where Django came in. This framework, with its power and ease of use, felt like a natural next step for someone with a PHP background. I dove headfirst into the Django documentation, soaking up everything I could. I practiced, learned, and explored, falling deeper in love with its capabilities.

So, here I am, fueled by Python’s magic and Django’s potential, ready to create amazing things as a freelance software developer!

I started on Fiverr, offering WordPress, PHP, Python, Django, and even REST API and AJAX gigs. I sent cold emails to clients globally, connecting with amazing people online.

The American Dream:

In 2018, a project manager named Joseph from CondorWeb Texas offered me a freelance gig. It was a good fit, and we kept working together for a year.

Then, they surprised me with a full-time offer! But here’s the twist: it wasn’t a traditional job. They offered me work on a project-by-project basis, which meant I had the flexibility I craved while still getting a steady income. It was a win-win for both of us!

Love and Loss: Choosing Family Over Dreams

Just as my US company offered me a chance to travel to the US and pursue my dream, life threw a curveball. In July 2019, my father was diagnosed with small-cell carcinoma, an aggressive 4th stage lung cancer. The world came crashing down. I couldn’t accept it. But I knew I had to be strong for him. I declined the US offer, but my company, understanding my situation, offered me a work-from-home position.

Those following months were a blur. I worked from home, from the hospital room, spending every precious moment with my dad. The financial burden of his treatment was immense, but I never gave up.

The World Stood Still, But His Love Lives On

In April 2020, as the world stood still under the grip of COVID-19, I also lost my father to a courageous battle with cancer. The pain was immense, but his love remains a guiding light in my life.

From Student to Teacher:

Udemy became my platform to share my knowledge. Creating Django courses helped me heal and connect with others. The positive feedback fueled my passion for teaching, and today, I have multiple courses with amazing reviews. You, reading this, might be one of those students who supported my journey, and for that, I’m deeply grateful.


My journey wasn’t smooth sailing, but hey, who wants a perfectly flat ocean? It’s the risks, challenges, losses, and learnings that shape us, and I’ve embraced them all on my path from NOC engineer to Django teacher. So, if you’re feeling stuck, don’t fear the jump! The world rewards those who chase their dreams, even when life throws curveballs.

My journey started with a scary quit, fueled by passion. I juggled, learned new skills, and even freelanced in an unconventional way. But it led to freedom, amazing connections, and the chance to inspire others. Remember, even loss can be a teacher. So, keep learning, keep growing, and keep chasing your dreams, because you might just inspire someone else!

As I continue my journey, the lessons learned remain etched in my heart. From NOC engineer to Django Developer, the path may have changed, but the core remains the same – the pursuit of knowledge, the passion for learning, and the belief that even the toughest challenges can lead to something beautiful. And who knows, maybe someday my story will inspire someone else to take their own leap of faith.

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