It was a beautiful summer night eight years ago, the sun had settled and a bright moon had taken its place. Little I knew that it was going to be the darkest night of my life.

A view of Caracas and Cerro El Ávila

I had just dropped some friends off and steered my way back home. Suddenly, the car in front of me stops, blocking the way. My heart accelerates because you just know that in a chilly Caracas night, something is wrong.

Armed military-aged males stepped out, guns drawn, pointing at me from some 20 feet away. My ordeal had started. I was being kidnapped and at that moment, my life had just changed.

Caracas at night. Plaza Altamira.

It all brought me up here. I guess, behind everyone, there are stories to tell.

Mine has been one of ups and downs. I was lucky to be born to great and loving parents. They taught me all the values I live by. I was raised in a beautiful country that was eventually thrown into chaos for personal gains of a few. I can’t recognize it anymore. I was able to study and eventually became a young entrepreneur. Finally, the world spun and things changed. So, here I am. Far away from everything I knew, stronger.

Fast forward to today and I’m still advancing in my path to become a software developer. It’s been a rollercoaster. Every day I question myself, I feel that I don’t understand it, I feel demotivated. I guess it’s just part of the process because I keep standing up, pushing thru.

I use humor as an escape and then a lot of hard work. We’ve been coding for 60–80 hours a week, for eight weeks now. A lot of that time trying to figure out the next step, or trying to find that typo that makes our programmer life so tough on us. Constantly looking up terms, looking up libraries, looking out for answers. And then, we reach out. I reach out.

The community has been nothing short of awesome. Our instructors, our peers, past graduates, senior devs… Thank you, it wouldn’t be possible without all of you.

Devs needed!

Lately, we’ve started a new programming language and it’s getting easier to pick up new things. I mean, don’t get me wrong, simple tasks still take me more time than they should… but less than before!

I want to end this post talking about the takeaways I was able to get from that horrific experience a couple of years ago:

  • I’ve got great friends. All of them came out and helped, some of them financially, some of them emotionally, and one of them specially, risking his own life to meet up with the kidnappers and negotiate. At the end of it, I felt so blessed and so in love with them. Whatever you do, call them, talk to them, worry about them.
Thank you!…
  • Keep it up. Never let anything defeat you. You might lose some battles but stand up again, and again, and again. For as long as you need to. Persevere.

Finally, until my next post, I wanted to thank my wife, who’s been taking care of the house, our kids, our business while at the same time finding time to learn, teach, cook and look stunning! I am so lucky.

And thank you for taking the time to read my ramble…!