A few months ago, I joined Subvisual Academy, which turned out to be an amazing and out-of-the-box experience. Today, I'm here to share my journey with you, so sit back and learn more about it.

Before the apprenticeship

Since I can remember, I’ve been interested in understanding how everything in my surroundings works, so studying Chemistry in university felt like the right path. When I began studying Chemistry, a lot of things started to click in my mind, making me feel like I was meant to be in that field. However, as time went on, and despite my initial enthusiasm, this area didn't provide me with the sense of fulfilment I craved. What once sparked my curiosity started to feel mundane and repetitive. Even the joy of working in the lab lost its luster, especially with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 lockdowns. I felt down at the time, unsure of what to do next and lacking funds to continue my studies, so I made the tough decision to drop out. I would be lying if I said I had everything under control because I hadn’t. However, I didn't want to give up and surrender to defeat. I believed my future was in my own hands, and it was up to me to pursue what truly brought me joy.

During this phase of my life, my friends in IT introduced me to their projects, sparking my interest in app and website design. I remember back in my childhood, I made a blog and played around with the CSS, feeling like a hacker because I could tweak how it looked. (Well, I've learned since then that it's not quite like hacking, of course! 😅)

I decided to give it a try and dive into frontend development, entirely self-taught. What did I have to lose? I needed to take the leap. Despite it being a completely unfamiliar territory, the challenge only fuelled my determination to push forward and discover how far could I go.

Why Subvisual?

I stumbled upon Subvisual and saw it as a goal to strive for. This was the first company I met when I started my journey as a developer. I saw it as a company with clear values and culture, one that cared about people, and instantly became a reference for what I was looking for in my professional future. Subvisual shared really cool projects and is focused on a field that I am also very interested in: the web3 world.

I had to try and send my instant application, but I wasn’t selected at the time. I gained some experience at other companies which provided me with knowledge and work methodologies.

After a couple of months and despite already working in IT, I knew there was still much to learn. I wanted to go deeper into development concepts, explore new areas, and expose myself to different experiences. I applied again for Subvisual, and it was proposed for me to do an apprenticeship with them. Accepting the challenge was a proud moment for me, marking the beginning of a significant step forward in my career because I knew that if I joined this experience, I would grow a lot. I was absolutely over the moon to be here.

Leaving the comfort zone and confronting the impostor

When the apprenticeship started, I was presented with an open-source web3 project called ethui — a crypto wallet built to speed up developers' workflow.

I joined the ethui project, and it opened doors to web3 concepts that I wasn’t familiar with and new technologies I had never encountered before, such as Tauri for cross-platform app development, Vite, and Zustand for frontend framework and state management, and Rust for backend. Coming from a background primarily focused on frontend technologies in my personal projects, I felt nervous because I wasn’t familiar with any of these technologies, even though I really wanted to learn, and also make a positive impression on the team.

I challenged myself on the frontend, implementing the Keyboard Shortcut feature for users to quickly navigate and execute actions within the application. This allowed me to delve into all the aforementioned frontend technologies, as I had to utilise a bit of each to implement the feature. Later, I pushed myself to tackle a small feature in Rust. Chaos ensued! Thoughts like "How will I learn Rust?" and "I'm only familiar with frontend; I won't be able to do this" flooded my mind. The mentors were invaluable, guiding me to learning resources and patiently teaching me Rust fundamentals.

Working with the mentors like Davide, Resende and Miguel proved instrumental in overcoming my anxiety and understanding my worth. Their guidance from day one gave me the confidence to explore new things and contribute to this project, from understanding web3 concepts and how web3 works, to helping me by contributing for the project. My impostor syndrome began to quiet down as I realised that the most important takeaway from this experience was the opportunity to learn and grow every day.

Beyond the project itself, I had the opportunity to meet both onsite and remote team members, participate in conferences and talks held throughout the experience, and even gain the courage to speak publicly on a event called “Friday Talks”. It was an apprenticeship filled with emotions, working on a open-source project with a stack I had never explored before, and meeting incredible people along the way. As the apprenticeship concluded, I felt like I learned a lot and I was very proud of myself.

My perceptions of the company were solidified throughout these 10 weeks. At the end of the experience, I was invited to join the team!

Looking forward

In just 10 intense yet very enjoyable weeks, my apprenticeship at Subvisual proved to be a game-changer, both professionally and personally. Stepping out of my comfort zone, collaborating with other developers, and confronting imposter syndrome head-on were defining moments. This experience provided a confidence boost, affirming the significance of my contributions and instilling a newfound sense of self-assurance.

I gained skills for thriving in this field: better communication, critical thinking, creativity, and openness. I felt genuinely happy while working on the project and bonding with the team. The weeks flew by, and I found myself fully engaged in my role and it was an easy decision to continue this journey with Subvisual, knowing there's still so much more to come.

In retrospect, every challenge, every moment of doubt, was worth it. The experience not only shaped my technical skills but also fostered personal growth and lasting connections. My apprenticeship was more than what I could have ever imagined — it was a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. These 10 weeks were just the beginning, so I'm excited to see where it takes me next.