Meet surf-loving, location-independent web developer Dafne Deniz who’s been working online and catching waves since 2018. Welcome to “Life by design”. This Discovery Sessions interview series probes prominent voices for their life design, entrepreneurship and travel ideas to inspire readers just like you.
Rosie Bell: Where are you from or where do you feel local to?
Dafne Deniz: Vienna, Austria.
RB: Which adventure has had the biggest impact on you?
DD: Not necessarily an adventure, but meeting digital nomads that spent their time working and travelling was probably one of the most impactful things to happen to me a few years back. It’s what made me realize that I could also pursue that kind of lifestyle.
RB: How did you become a front end developer?
DD: My friends who work in web development told me that if I became one I would be learning for the rest of my life. At first, that sounded intimidating but it made me realize that’s exactly what I want to do with my life – to keep learning and getting better at what I do.
It’s also a way to make sure I don’t get bored. Eventually, I went on an intensive web development Bootcamp in Barcelona called Ironhack. Learning to code was (and still is) very difficult but also incredibly satisfying.
RB: What advice would you give someone looking to break into web development?
DD: Do a lot of research to see if this is really the path you want to take. There’s a lot of work involved. I would also recommend a coding Bootcamp. As a beginner, the best way to change careers for me was to go full-on and be around professionals.
The teachers in my program were very talented people who have been in the field for a long time. Joining that program was one of the best decisions I’ve made in terms of academia and career development. I haven’t regretted it once.
RB: What does a typical day in the life look like for you (if you have one)?
DD: I’m currently working part-time so I work for four hours in the morning and then I’ve got the rest of the day off to do some volunteer work and also follow my hobbies which is mostly surfing right now (I’m in the Canary Islands).
RB: How do you measure success?
DD: By being able to live comfortably with all the freedoms I currently have while constantly learning and improving my technical knowledge and skills.
RB: What habits, principles or ideas have served you the most in your life?
DD: Having a passion for what I do makes it so much easier to stay focused and motivated.
RB: Please share one of your most treasured travel memories.
One of the ladies was sipping 200 dollar tequila shots with a sketchy, dubious gambler, and one of the guys disappeared after losing his contact lenses (and asking us not to let him take out a certain amount of cash to gamble with).
Meanwhile, I played the slot machines with an older woman wearing pyjamas and curlers in her hair until about 5AM. This was one of those comedy of error experiences where everything that could go wrong went wrong, but we were definitely the right crew for it.