Why am I here?

Well, I’ve always been interested in computers.

Even when I was a little kid, my main source of entertainment was playing Spyro or Crash Bandicoot on playstation or playing pinball on the computer, and I always marveled at how something could be written as code and be displayed as so much more. I even got into the habit of taking apart our broken computers (which was no easy feat) and looking at its heart and brain.

My whole life I’ve wanted to do something with computers. I felt like it was something I was meant to do. But I didn’t know what I was supposed to do about it. Or how to even start the process of learning.

I was never in a high school that was big enough to even offer a computer science class until my senior year, and even then the school still didn’t have a class.

I had almost completely given up on the whole idea by the time I finished high school, and planned to fall on my ‘Plan B’ and go to college to major in sports psychology.

Until, one day, my older sister sat me down and told me about her experiences in the computer coding bootcamp called “General Assembly” in Seattle. It sounded so interesting. Between the class, the people, and (of course) the food, I was intrigued to say the least. I kept asking and asking for her to tell me more. Eventually, she noticed how serious I was about it, bought me a 6 month subscription to codeschool.com, and told me to try out the basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript courses and see how I like it.

It was my very first time writing code, and honestly, it was nothing like what I expected. I had the expectation that it would be as simple as “put this there and make it work”, but obviously, I was wrong. In the two months I studied before applying to GA, I had the biggest rollercoaster of emotions that i’ve ever felt towards a class subject. During beginning HTML and CSS, I had a great time, thinking “this is pretty easy! I must be a natural!”, then I got to JavaScript, and quickly realized how far from “a natural” I really was. Soon I was calling my sister saying “I don’t want to do this anymore, I have no idea what’s happening, i’m not cut out for this, etc.”

And then she told me what i’m never going to forget. She said, “when it comes to coding, the biggest thing you need to learn is how to be okay with failure. Coders don’t get paid well necessarily because their job is hard, they get paid well because it’s a pain in the ass, and most people can’t deal with failing hundreds of times in one career.” Because of that, I decided to keep going, and soon got my epiphany for JavaScript.

After spending 2 months of studying and one month of applying and working on finances, I was officially a student of GA Austin WDI #8. And let me say, when I got the email saying that I was registered, I was scared. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy, but a big part of me wasn’t sure if I was smart enough or skillful enough to even compare to the “hot-shots” that were going to be in class with me. But at that point I was committed, so I prepared for hell.

When I got onto the main WeWork floor (which took me a very long time because the building is very complicated and poorly adjusted for first-timers), I was actually in shock. I expected a confined room with white walls and snazzy dressed people, but instead walked into a huge space full of couches, ping pong, free food, and casual people. I felt … relieved.

The second I walked into this classroom, I knew I was in the right place. And when I met my classmates, I realized that I wasn’t behind at all, I was actually right on par for starting the class. That was the last thing I needed to get my feet on the ground and feel comfortable with where I was.

I am now in week 3, having learned HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, and AJAX, and I am still loving every minute of it. From the easy code-alongs, to the “I have no idea where I am or what I’m doing” code-alongs, to the “I hate everything and still have no idea what I’m doing” homework sessions. I’m no ‘Wiz’ at anything, but I’m not really bad at anything either, which I feel is not a bad place to be.

I’m slowly learning that this actually was what I was meant to do, and I’ve actually managed to make my childhood interests into my reality. I get excited thinking about all the opportunities that will present themselves, and all the frustration and failure I will learn to love.