How I became a Shopify developer: Kevin Cruz
Welcome Kevin! Tell me about the world of web development. When did you first start to dip your toes into the world of coding?
I've always been a computer guy from a very early age. I was just the guy that everyone in the family went to for computer issues, troubleshooting, things like that. I even remember as early as 6 or 7, trying to install games on my mom's computer, which totally couldn't handle the game, but I made it work.
But I got introduced to HTML in middle school, we just made wonky websites. But I never picked it up again until way later when I entered the Military at the age 22, working in IT.
Tell me a bit more about the military. How were you able to choose this IT path over another?
I was in the Coastguard. And in the Coastguard, you go to bootcamp and then you have to wait to go to your advanced individual training on whatever the job is.
You put your name on a list in a school that you want to go to. Depending on the school, the wait can be anywhere from 1-4 years. So I patiently waited for my time to work in IT where I ran cables in buildings, connected phones and computers to the network, fixed printers - a really broad range of activities.
It wasn’t until I started working with CISCO Network Switches that I first got introduced to something similar to backend development. It was the beginning of my new love for coding.
So did you learn to code then and there? Or did that come after the Military?
The Military is an awesome opportunity, it’s 4 years to teach you discipline and you get amazing benefits in return. But for me it was just that, I didn’t want to hang around too long, so after getting out - my brother (who was also in the Military) and I decided to try to Get Rich Quick through an Amazon dropshipping business.
That didn’t go according to plan. So we pivoted to something completely different: Real Estate. I enrolled in college to pursue real estate, all paid for by the Military. But I dropped out 3 months in, I wasn’t into it. At that stage, my cousin (who shares very similar interests to me) was learning to code in a bootcamp - and I got insight into the potential of software development.
I ended up joining an 8-month Full Stack course. Right after I joined Freemote and that’s where my Shopify knowledge and freelance career started. I haven’t looked back since.
Oh wow! Of course we’re familiar with Freemote, Jan’s a good friend of Storetasker :) So tell me, how’s life as a freelancer? Have you enjoyed the decision?
It’s been absolutely amazing. I see nothing but upward movements from where I’m at, I’m super happy.
Any advice for the next generation?
Just do it, pick a path and go for it, whether it's bootcamp or whether it's self-taught. You have to know what will work for you. The greatest benefit of a traditional course with instructors is they keep you accountable. You HAVE to do the hours and work in order to pass. If you are an individual with enough self-discipline to put in the work everyday, then there are plenty of free options that will do the job.
If you are someone interested in freelancing in the Shopify ecosystem, I can’t recommend Freemote enough.
And Good Luck!