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When we decide to bring positive changes in our life, success will follow. We might face challenges or struggles, but taking those as a lesson makes us unbeatable, and we become a better version of ourselves. A strong mindset, always in the process of learning, clear goals, and passion for what we do are the keys to becoming stronger personally and professionally.

Enter Dana Yudelevich, Senior Front End Developer, Tech Lead & Mentor. She is an excellent example of how investing in yourself is the best thing anyone can do. Silicon Valley Times reached out for an exclusive interview with her. Here she shares her story, hustle, and advice for people looking to become front-end developers.

1. Tell me a little bit about your background and how you ended up choosing your field.

I’ve been a Front End Developer for the past 12 years. I got into the field after reading some web development and design books and was hooked. I kept reading and doing tutorials for 8 hours a day until I had a good understanding of web development basics. I was really drawn into the graphical and user interface aspect of things and along with starting my first job as a junior developer, I completed Visual communication studies. As I progressed further in my career I delved more in-depth into the more programmatic side of things and became an expert with Javascript and React development. My experience at Fiverr helped sharpen my skills at planning and coming up with the complex architecture of features, as well as learning the best practices of working with a larger team across the globe. I became a Senior engineer and started really enjoying mentoring more junior engineers.  

2. What were the biggest hurdles in your career and how did you overcome them?

I can think of a few moments in my life that were both difficult career-wise but also personally. When I was 24, I was already working for a start-up in Tel Aviv. It was on my 24th birthday that my father, then 61 years old, was murdered by a neighbor in my childhood home. This was devastating for me on a personal level as I’m an only child, and my mother passed away years before from cancer. I was broken and had to still maintain my career and my job while trying to piece my life back together. It was a huge blow for me and a very tough point in my life. I was able to join Fiverr and from then I bloomed, and the people and organization really helped me build my life back and get my career on track. I now feel like I’m a stronger person after going through what I did and coming back on top.

3. How do you differentiate yourself from others in your field?

I think my background in design and understanding of user experience helps me differentiate from other engineers that may have a good technical understanding but lack the attention to detail and understanding of how the user would use the interface they’re building.

I really care about the things I build and code, and love to get direct feedback from users, look at statistics and metrics and be involved in the product development process and influence decisions made.

4. What advice would you give to someone asking for advice about becoming front end developers ?

I think the best advice is to be ready to learn and A LOT. Be ready to invest time learning by yourself and know that you basically never stop learning in this field. I still learn new things every day, since this is such a dynamic field with so many tools popping up and advances being made.

5. What do you do to recharge when you are feeling drained?

I find it important to take some time off the computer especially if you’ve been cracking away at a problem and can’t seem to reach a solution. I go for a walk, listen to a podcast, or go to work out. I feel the time off-screen helps me improve my well-being so you can perform better. I usually find the best solutions to problems when I’m doing something else, and it just comes to me! 

It was great interviewing Dana Yudelevich. You can reach out to Dana via LinkedIn.