Coding School Challenges

The idea of going to The Iron Yard brings me a wave of anxious and exciting emotions. as school has never been my strong suit. I coasted by in high-school with average grades and my study habits were almost nonexistent. I would cram for an exam for 15 minutes and ask myself, “when am I really going to use this in the future? Why does this matter to me? How do I pay for all these classes?” These questions puzzled me and as a result I never finished college. Instead, I decided to put all my efforts, time, and hard work into my career in hopes of promotions and better opportunities. Unlike the puzzling plague of school this brought me instant gratification. However, as I continued to work hard in my career I could never quite see myself doing it for the rest of my life. Something was missing. I did not have a passion for it, rather, it quickly became a means of paying my billings and staying afloat. I knew I had to make a change. I explored many career services and they all lead me to computer science. I had always been curious and interested in coding but unfortunately I never had the courage to break out of my comfort zone and take the leap. Until now.

When I think about the challenges I will face at the Iron Yard I immediately think about the finances needed to support myself through this new journey. I’m not worried about the learning curve I’m going to have to overcome as I am very excited and anxious to begin this new chapter of my life. One thing I have learned about myself is if I truly put my mind to something that interests me, I will go above and beyond to be successful. Now that I have discovered this new world of coding and have practiced for the past few months I no longer want to cram for 15 minutes. Instead, I want to learn more. I find myself seeking new sources of information to be better than the day before. I now want to engage in a life-long learning of code and make the most of every minute. Finances will be my biggest hurdle as it crippled me when I first began college. Working to pay for classes developed into spending more time working than actually studying which was a factor into discontinuing my college career. I have also never been without a job for the past 12 years. Although I have been pushed out of my comfort zone many times climbing the corporate latter, making the leap into this unknown territory will be my biggest challenge. “What if I don’t get a job?” “What if I didn’t save enough money?” These are questions that plague my mind as September 26th grows closer. However, I know that these questions will subside with my hard-work and dedication as I am confident that the rewards will significantly outweigh the risk.

Another challenge I will face is breaking out of my old mindset of learning. As I reflect on my past, I have always been fixed on figuring things out for myself through trial and error. I believe this will be my biggest opportunity for growth during this course, as the process of trial and error takes more time than collaborating with colleagues and educators to find an answer. I plan to break out of this mindset by asking questions sooner rather than later, and by learning from my mistakes in order to accomplish my goals. I also plan on changing my study habits. I want to challenge myself by practicing and applying my knowledge into daily projects. I also hope to work on my time management. I want to make sure I manage my time appropriately between my school work, studying time and home life.

How do you eat an elephant? (One piece at a time.) This will be imperative to my success at TIY and in my future career because of the vast amount of knowledge I will need to learn. A supportive environment and joining colleagues that share the same passion as me has always been the key to keeping me focused outside of my comfort zone.

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