Why I Became A Developer

Happy New Years everybody!

Like many of you, I find myself reflecting on the past year and thinking about the life-altering decisions that have brought me to be in the here and now.

2017 was a year of Big. Big changes, Big decisions, Big opportunities and Big Thank You’s the universe for the incredible life I’ve been lucky enough to experience so far.

One of the Biggest (and possibly the most important) decisions I made was to walk away from a thriving career in Sales to pursue *drumroll please* Front-End Web Development. Why, you ask? Did I have a background in coding? Engineering? Design? Some kind of natural inclination to take up coding? NOPE. I basically knew how to navigate Google, and maybe do some simple math in Excel. I couldn’t even work Google Sheets.

So what in the hell was I thinking??

Well, here’s the thing. I grew up reading basically anything I could get my hands on at the local public library because my parents didn’t believe in T.V. The product of this was an overactive imagination and an insatiable curiosity of what lay beyond the suburban neighbourhoods I grew up in. If I was animated as a child, I’d probably be a shorter, Korean version of Belle in her opening song of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast:

I can confidently say that the overwhelming desire to travel was my thang — long before it was every gap-year student and millennial’s thang. The problem with soul-crushing desperation to get out and see the world though, is that it costs money. A lot of it. Also vacation days are required if you have some kind of job.

After much thought, I deduced that the only way to achieve my dream was to figure out some way to make money WHILE travelling. I didn’t want to be forced to come back home after every trip, I wanted to keep going until I couldn’t or no longer want to. A Google search then told me about Digital Nomads. Cue singing choir of angels- this was the money answer right here.

Long story short, I researched the hell out of what these self-proclaimed digital nomads were doing and found that web development was not only an option, it was right up my alley. It was challenging, it allowed me to create (after years of selling stuff for other people, this was important to me) and it basically guaranteed that I would never get bored with it.

So in 2013, I took a workshop in HTML and CSS, to see if I would be any good at it. I was not. In fact, the end product of that workshop was an humiliating disaster of a single page website. I didn’t know the difference between padding and margin, I couldn’t figure out how to float ANYTHING. Frustration was high. Yet, I found myself curiously delighted. It was a puzzle, and I love working out puzzles.

Fast-forward to 2017, where I found myself among some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, furiously trying to learn Javascript and React in a coding bootcamp that promised to take me in and spit me out a full-fledged Web developer in 9 weeks. And spit me out it did, chewed me up first, swallowed and digested me, then spit me out like a half-eaten burrito. A burrito that could code. A developer burrito.

So here I am, professional web developer ready to begin my digital nomad life as a Freelance Front-End Developer. On the first day of 2018, I am standing on the precipice of change and of the unknown, and looking at a booking confirmation for the first stop in my nomadic life- Cork, Ireland.

My reasons for becoming a developer are deeply personal, and as a non-tech professional who chose this path my outlook on coding and life may be different from yours- and so it should be. I have only just started on this journey and am indescribably excited for what the future holds. I also feel a healthy amount of trepidation of what lies ahead- so if you’d like to see how this all pans out, I encourage you to follow me as I pursue this digital nomad life. I promise there will be f*ck-ups and let-downs, hilariously unexpected twists and turns, lessons in life and in dev life to be learned through experiences big and small.

Happy 2018.