Why I transitioned from backend to frontend development

Lanre Adeoye
4 min read
Remote Religion is a series which shines a spotlight into the life of a remote tech worker in Africa. We explore the promise and perils of remote work and how to navigate career transition.
In this edition of Remote Religion, we spoke with Segun Abisagbo, a Senior Frontend Engineer at Yoco. We talk about his transition into frontend development and how he stays focused in a world full of distractions.

Hi Segun. Please tell me about yourself

My name is Segun and I am a senior software engineer (frontend) at Yoco - an African payments startup located in South Africa. Previously, I worked with Turing and was at Interswitch building interfaces.

How did you get started as a software developer?

I went to NIIT to study Oracle Database Administration. I was on a path to becoming a database administrator till I discovered some colleagues writing PHP, and fell in love with programming. I started off as a backend engineer and did that for 5 years. In the course of my work, I fell in love with design and user interfaces. So, I switched to working on the frontend which was quite challenging at the time. It's been a great experience so far.

Why did you switch from backend development to frontend development?

I got tired and bored of being at the backend and wanted a new challenge. I started researching about what to do next. I read a lot about design and fell in love with the design systems at Apple. This inspired me to build beautiful interfaces that would delight users

What is the easiest and hardest part of your job?

The easiest part of my job is converting Figma designs into pixel perfect interfaces.

The hardest part of my job is maintaining our design system which involves improving developer experience (DX)

What resources have helped you on the frontend development journey?

Coming from a backend background with no UI/UX experience, Dribbble helped me to find design inspirations.

Other useful educational resources include - W3schools, developer.mozilla.org, Stack Overflow, dev.to and css-tricks.

Relevant blogs include - Josh Comeau, Kent Dodds and Dan Abramov.

YouTube frontend development tutorials are also a good resource.

What is your advice to people who want to start a career in frontend development?

My advice is to just start. The beauty of frontend is that you do not need servers, and there are so many resources online. Initially, it would be very challenging - especially Javascript and CSS in the beginning, but just stick with it and you will be a pro 🙂

How do you stay focused?

Setting a goal in a time frame has helped me.

Also, building out fun projects by following video tutorials on Youtube is useful.

I have also tried using the pomodoro technique in the past. (The pomodoro technique is a time management system that helps people to work with the time they have. With this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as pomodoros)

Lastly, If all else fails, let the possibility of becoming broke inspire you :)

Thanks a lot for this Segun. What tips do you have for people who are trying to break into tech?

First thing newbies need to know is that building a tech career takes time and sometimes it is not as glamorous as portrayed on twitter

Next, you have to constantly practice everyday. Put in the work and you will reap the benefits.

Also, network a lot. Go to events. Follow tech professionals on Twitter. Join Slack channels. Join bootcamps like HNG etc.

Getting a job as an intern can be hard. So endeavor to network with relevant people before you need to get your first job.

Finally, don't let rejections faze you. Don’t take it personal. We all get rejected when applying for jobs...so keep applying!

Thank you so much Segun for speaking to me. Where can people find you?

Thanks, Lanre. Here’s my LinkedIn.

Want more content like this?

Thank you!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Read More