My Journey Begins

Mandi Haase
Jan 20 · 3 min read

Ok, I have a confession to make. I am a learning junkie. I mean, my condition is serious. If I am not learning something new every day, I start to get restless, irritable, and annoying to those near to me. My children are constantly complaining, “mom you are addicted to learning. If you didn’t study, you would go crazy!”

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

You know what? They are right. I LOVE to learn new things. Some people love to travel, others to eat out…I love to learn. So much so that taking a day off from learning is almost torture for me.

As a homeschooling mom, I suppose the desire to learn is a good trait to possess. However, on a recent vacation to my husband’s parents’ home, I realized that I needed more. Up to that point, I had been focusing on homeschooling and working with my children. Don’t get me wrong. That is a FULL TIME pursuit in and of itself. The problem is, I kept finding myself asking the question, “but what will I do next?” Up to that point I thought I would be a Japanese translator. However, having worked part time in the translation field, I knew that the future is somewhat bleak. As translation technology increases, the work will continue to decrease, and finding good translation jobs will become increasingly difficult. My income from translation was almost comical. I could make more money driving a school bus. For someone with a masters degree in translation, that was quite humbling.

Ok, so what should I do? As I took a break from homeschooling during that vacation, I realized I had to do SOMETHING. But what? I was interested in computers and programming, but there was NO way my husband was going to let me enter another learning program that didn’t promise a job but promised to empty our bank account. With two masters degrees, I knew just how expensive and oftentimes unprofitable a degree can be.

Ok, I will learn programming on my own! That though passed through my mind….and then disappeared. I knew I needed more guidance than self-learning would provide.

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

“Check out Lambda School.” My husband casually advised me as I was pondering what the heck to do. Why? Because Lambda School is free until you land a job making over $50,000 a year. So, I did. I haven’t looked back since.

I was able to enter Lambda School in December of 2019, and am now two months into the most rigorous learning experience of my life. There are several nights during each week that I go to bed in tears, frustrated at my lack of comprehension. My children watch me stand for hours in front of my computer, grappling with new concepts that I just can’t seem to get. They see me jump up and down for joy when I pass my weekly tests.

I am just about to enter the series on React. I am not going to lie. It’s going to be HARD. However, I REFUSE to quit. Why? Because what I am learning is AMAZING. When I am done, I am going to be able to help make the world a better place using the skills I have learned through this program. I am so excited to make a difference!!

So, for anyone thinking about learning programming, data science, or other fields associated with computer science, I have one suggestion. Check out Lambda School. You will be amazed at what you find.

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