A Journey from Sales to Programming

As I write this post, I realize that my programming journey has been a secret outside of my close friends and family.

Thinking back, I’ve always been programming in one way or another. I’ve only been formally programming for a few months, however, programming is more than mere code and frameworks; it’s a mindset that involves steady focus and logical challenges.

In college, I studied what I cared about: people, their decision-making processes, and the resulting social consequences. Psychology and Sociology were intuitively interesting, yet I was not tasked to think about what I wanted to do with this information career-wise. People would ask me, “What do you want to do?” But I didn’t have anything in mind.

It’s kind of strange to ask someone in their early 20’s how they want to spend their time during the majority of their life. It’s a bizarre expectation for someone who likely is unaware of where they will live, who they will settle down with, etc., to make such an extreme life choice.

Back to the point — I chose to enter the workforce to establish myself financially, and by my mid-20’s I committed myself to a location, home, and person that all make me happy.

But happiness != fulfillment. Due to a personal condition (that I choose not to disclose), my entry-level career path in sales challenges my nature to be socially anxious. I have been successfully conquering this anxiety for years, but it continues to creep in and remind me that I have to get off of the speeding train before it derails.

This led me to an extremely difficult decision. I have to switch careers to find something that I can do for 40 hours a week, without feeling self-destructive, that simultaneously provides the financial stability to honor my commitments.

Fortunately, my current employer has given me the ability to test the waters with some side-projects, mostly involving marketing and content creation. Most of this was basically an internship alongside my job, but it felt good to use my intellect to create something less ephemeral than a sale.

It wasn’t until I discovered the fundamentals of programming that I realized how I could challenge myself on a daily basis and use my inherent needs to build something stable, something tangible (albeit not physically tangible), something I could point to and say “I made that,” that actually served a purpose outside of self-sustenance.

Here I am, a few months later, keeping hope alive, coding to myself. It will be a long journey, but I’m enthralled to see where it takes me.

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