Breaking into tech from a non-tech background. Some easy ways to get started.

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So I get a lot of questions from people who ask me, Tari, where did you study Computer science? I always shrug and laugh at this question, because I have not or at least not yet done studies in Computer studies. This doesn’t mean I won’t register and do this at some point but this has not stopped me from dabbling in tech.

My background is in HR with a focus on Data Engineering but I’ve always been fascinated by the tech field. As I built up my curiosity in tech, I drafted five steps to get you started in tech, specially crafted for non-tech people.

Be highly interested

Interest is very crucial when it comes to dipping your feet into the tech world, all things granted, tech is a wide enough space for everyone to play. So, if you don’t read and research how else will you know what could possibly interest you? Half the time people bump into their careers attributed to curiosity and the ability to have inquisitive minds. An example is tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg who created a Harvard dorm room dating application that evolved into Facebook generating billions per year in revenue.

Get involved

This step is all about getting your hands dirty, and actually committing time to learn be it from or online. Resource finding and shadowing. It’s making the commitment to start building a skill from scratch and learning. One author said, learning a new skill is one of the hardest things to do because you are starting from zero, and for the first time in a while, you don’t know anything.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Like anything new, you will fail and at times take longer than you would expect to grasp concepts or work your way around systems and applications. This is the point where most people give up and claim the famous “… it’s late for me …”  saying. Learning tech for non-tech people might feel like learning to ride a bicycle, in order to ride the bicycle, you have to get up and ride the bike no matter how much you fall.

Build something

This step is all about translating your hours of work into portfolios, don’t worry about the level of expertise or scale of projects, when you look back years from now, you will be grateful to have started building your work. If you have opportunities to get on tech-related stretch projects, if not then build your own work to demonstrate what you can do with your skill.

Own your domain knowledge

Coming from a non-tech field, when coupled with tech skills, is a strength that most people overlook. Whenever tech-related projects are done, subject matter experts are required to guide and add value to tech-related initiatives. Strengthen your non-tech areas and complement this with a tech skill such as coding or software testing and you have better chances of landing a job tech related.

About Author

This guest post was authored by Tariro Msindo, a Data Analyst with a background in HR, based in the UK

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18 comments

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  1. Interested in mining

    Hello guys. How much is the fees for Zimbabwe School of Mines?

    1. 14AUG

      Not sure but itz more than 1K n less than 2K

      1. Interested in mining

        You will be staying at the school right?

  2. Anonymous

    Another load of bull. Techzim, what’s going on guys

    1. Iya

      Hezvo!

  3. Q

    Whats the best phone to buy on a $500 budget

    1. Doug

      The one that fully meets your requirements.

    2. Lone Midranger

      – Older flagship less than 2 years old with at least one more OS version update pending. Likely to be used if buying locally.
      – Highest quality current year midranger that you can get with 2 years or more of OS version + security updates

      In both cases, look for something with features and specifications balanced towards your type of usage. Here are some examples to guide your expectations
      https://www.classifieds.co.zw/zimbabwe-cell-phones?order=highest_price&query=&query_type=both&price_amount%5Bmin%5D=450&price_amount%5Bmax%5D=500&display%5Bmin%5D=&display%5Bmax%5D=&ram%5Bmin%5D=&ram%5Bmax%5D=

    3. 😒😒

      Invest that money u idiot or buy a Tecno phantom X

      1. Digital Era

        Guys, I know its easy to forget when we live in Zim, but a phone CAN be an investment too. A friend runs a small event streaming service in Bulawayo (birthdays, funerals, trad weddings etc) with just his phone, LED light and Chinese monopod. Another friend semi retired his DSLR for his then new phone and exhibited the street photography he took with it. A guy I was introduced to does local and online art commissions on his Samsung Note, another makes beats on his in Rwanda. Just sayin

        1. Baetch

          You are right @Digital Era, a phone really is a good investment these days, depending on its capabilities. It’s like having a computer that fits in your pocket.

  4. Chimuti

    Tecno then change tanga business rekutenga nekutengesa mbudzi

  5. Baetch

    I learnt computers on a laptop with windows Vista os, that my parents had been given to use by their NGO employer. I mostly self-taught myself through trial and error process. PC games, movies, data bundles and all the things that we take for granted these days were not readily available. Back then, computer lessons were only done in private schools, a 2gb USB flash was $40 (USD), the ruling mobile operating system was symbian and java, if you wanted internet access, you’d have to go to an internet cafe or use dialup.
    So for me, I became proficient in tech because of boredom. I had a laptop ,but internet, PC softwares and games, movies and videos etc were hard to come by so I started to experiment with Microsoft Office, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Paint, Notepad and all the softwares that come pre-installed on a computer. So, basically,I am saying that, you can teach yourself computers or anything related to technology if you have an interest in it. As for now, I am trying to master an Android application called Tasker. Tasker is an automation app for Android. When I was a beginner, I uninstalled this app a lot of times because of frustration. At first,it’s not really user-friendly but once you grasp the basic concepts, its easy as pie. This app can make you a literal god on your Android phone without rooting.

  6. Baetch

    The other thing that demotivates most people is the mentality that a computer is too complicated than a smartphone,yet a smartphone and a desktop or laptop are all computers.

  7. Realistic Magazine

    Such a useful site. It will surely help me. More power to you. Thank you so much for your cooperation.

  8. Farai Ted Mandoreba

    Me my self farai Ted mandoreba I am a 90% self taught software developer fluent in JavaScript, React & React-Native, Java (Android), iOS swift, web development HTM & CSS, WORDPRESS, Python, C, C++, RUBY & RAILS, Currently sharpening NATIVE SCRIPT…. I can say I am a polyglot….. Yes all because of curiosity and huge enthusiasm in coding…. I start coding from 9pm to 2am daily…. Emerse yourself in this field to get most out of it…be willing to learn always…. This field requires a lot of reading… So you should love reading…..more tips you can contact me on +263773167125

    1. Geralt of Rivea

      Hi, do you mind connecting on Github?

    2. Alderman

      Farai, stop spreading yourself too thin. You don’t need all these languages my guy, specialized engineers are the ones being sort after.