Starting on the path to coding school

I recently started a Software Engineering Immersive through Flatiron School. After 5 years of working in client success, I determined that despite having some natural aptitude for parts of the role, ultimately account management/client success required giving up too much of myself to do the job long term, so I decided it was time for a career change.

The road to coding bootcamp was long, challenging and alternatively exciting and boring. It required long periods of self directed study, which demands focus and self control, as well as taking time to digest the complex topics you’re trying to wrap your mind around. The first long period of self directed study for me was in preparation for the Fullstack Academy technical interview. After submitting my technical interview and finding I wouldn’t be moving on to the next stage, I realized I needed to do even more studying. After another 3 months of practicing in Codecademy’s Javascript course and completing Flatiron School’s Bootcamp Prep module, focusing on Javascript. I had previously taken a survey course from General Assembly in Front End Web Development so I was more comfortable with Javascript, but from what I understand the Ruby course is great and should you begin with Flatiron School you’ll begin your studies with Ruby, so why not start there.

After successfully completing the technical interview and being admitted to Flatiron School, I thought I would have a break from learning-if only! In fact, the work had only begun-Flatiron School is serious about setting its students up for success, and has you Web Development Fundamentals course before beginning school. This course was much more challenging than anything I’d done up to that point, and I ended up deferring so that I could spend enough time completing the lessons and becoming comfortable with the core concepts of development. This was a real test of my commitment to changing my career, and at times I definitely felt like it was too much and maybe it wasn’t for me. More than any other work I’d done previously, I realized that success happened in the space between expectations and desire-for all the pressure and high expectations I put on myself during that period, I had to want to complete the coursework. As obvious as that sounds, it did give me perspective and help me get through those periods where I wanted to stop or doubted that this was the right path for me to take.

Prior to the start of the program, there’s a checkin to make sure you’ve completed the prep work assigned for the program. The assignment is to finish all the labs before this checkin As the date approached and I wrestled with the last few labs, I was incredibly nervous-I was almost certain I’d be told I wasn’t ready and couldn’t start on my selected start date. Having already deferred, I didn’t want to push things back even later. Again, I had to take a step back and remind myself that this is what I wanted to do and that I could make it work. Thankfully I had completed almost all the labs and was able to prove to the interviewer that I was ready!

In my next post I’ll take more about my experience in the first two weeks of coding school.

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