Hi Brian Tan! I enjoyed reading your story! It rings a familiar note, because that’s what I’m going through right now. After almost 10 years of doing web development, I decided to switch to UX. And yes, it’s immensly rewarding! My approach is quite similar to what the people in your article did. Learn, read a lot, share and apply.
It seems like UX is such a simple job to do, but that’s just how it looks on the surface. People may dismiss it as a lazy-person’s job, but they may not realise that it requires a lot of effort and patience if it is to be done right.
My initial approach is as follows: learn, make notes, fill the gaps in my knowledge. Then apply to my first project. Then work on tightening my workflow and increasing the output so that I open myself to more opportunities to learn/fail/iterate. I strive for consistency rather than perfection or awesomeness in my initial stage of transitioning to UX.
I’ve also started to share my thoughts here on Medium and I write about all the things I mentioned here in my stories. You may be interested in reading this one, about increasing the output and going for consistency. I think it’s a good tip for beginners, based on my experience.