Why I Quit My Job and Went All in on Software Development
I had a great job, by any conventional American standard. I was afforded incredible amounts of flexibility (95% of the time I had no commute), the team I worked with was amazing, the company was growing and I was given as much responsibility as I could handle. When I left, I was in charge of the fastest growing department in the company and we had our sights on a contract that could double the company in size.
During lunch breaks and at night, I also spent a lot of time helping run a company I co-founded several years prior. We made practically every single mistake you could think of. Spend 1/2 of our self-financed start-up money on a website that we would get rid of in a year, “check”. Believing that we could get to where we wanted to be by treating it like a side-project, “check”. Hiring someone else to do a job we were meant to do, and watching it not turn out the way we planned, “check”. Being honest with ourselves about where we were was something that we had to learn to do. But I’m grateful for how much it has taught me, and we’re more resilient because of it.
These two seemingly polar opposite companies actually share something very important in common. Both are dependent on someone else to code their product (aka, outsourcing). If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that there is no shortage of ideas that start with “wouldn’t it be awesome if we could <insert software functionality> ?!??”. Yes, it would be very freakin’ awesome, but we can’t do it. Why? Because we don’t have the resources, or the know-how, or the time. This conversation would happen daily, and after some time, the “what if they could do?” turned into “what if I could do?”
In a lot of ways, going all in on becoming a software developer was an easy decision. If you take away the financial instability and the countless hours of hard work ahead, I probably should have just done it sooner. I was built for it; high levels of abstract reasoning coupled with the tolerance to sit in front of my computer screen all day (and night) make it a very appealing career pivot. However, it’s much more to me than simply becoming a developer. It’s about freedom and sustainability, for both myself and my business endeavors.
February 13th was my last day on the job. Ultimately, I chose to go with what I had the most control over; my business and myself. I chose to stop waiting around for someone else to do it, and start doing what I’ve been dreaming about. Now, however, the hard part begins. I will be attending a coding bootcamp this summer called Launch Academy, and putting everything else on hold. This isn’t a “class”, or something to do on the side; it’s a 100% immersive educational-lifestyle for 10 weeks. That’s the best way I can describe it; a lifestyle. I had tried learning on my own, I made progress, but attending a bootcamp is by far the quickest and most effective way to really become a developer. This is how I am going all-in.
When I’m done, my hope is that I can add some of those “awesome features” we’ve dreamed of to CommuniKey, but there are no guarantees. This is just the beginning of a lifelong journey into a whole new field, and it’s going to take time to get to where I want to be. I know I’m lucky to even be afforded this opportunity, and the support from every single person I’ve talked to has been tremendously uplifting. That, I am truly grateful for.
I remember the exact moment I made the decision to do this. Lying in bed, late at night, couldn’t fall asleep, I said to myself “are you really going to do this? It sounds so crazy.”
“Yeah, let’s fucking do it.”