After days going back and forth about starting this blog, fighting with my “impostor” syndrome over if I even had the right to blog about coding as a beginner, I finally made up my mind. So hello and welcome!
The story of this blog, which is the story of how I decided to change careers and become a programmer, starts 19 days ago. On that fine Sunday morning, I woke up with the biggest hangover ever. Laying on the couch with a massive feeling of “compressed brain”, I made 2 resolutions:
1) Quit smoking.
2) Change careers.
This blog is mostly concerned about resolution #2. For the past six years I have been a professional wedding photographer. I honestly love the process of creating an image, but I am tired of being the tortured artist.
My passion for photography is at its lowest levels ever. Nothing like making a business out of it to kill that passion, eh? Honestly, at this point I’d rather photograph a rock than a bride.
Searching for something
Many times I wondered if there was anything out there I could do. Do I have any useful skills?
I studied radio and TV, specialized in cinema, got a masters in video editing. From there went to photography. Now I was considering a career change to illustration. I felt like I was walking in circles.
The only thing missing now was to create an animated movie out of my drawings, so I could really go full circle. All my careers so far have been “artsy”. Lots of hard work, very little pay. I really am tired of being the tortured artist.
So there I was, 7am Sunday morning, worst hangover ever, and for some unknown reason I remembered this friend who finished his masters in Data Science. What the hell does that even mean?
Google pointed me to a website called Udacity. Read about data analysis. Nope, nothing for me. Found something about a nanodegree. What is that? Web development?! Wait a minute! I can do
The beginning of times
The first time I used the Internet I was 12 years old. The year was 1996 (yes! in the beginning of times!) and my dad took me to his research lab at the University after school. We opened Netscape browser and after pondering, I searched for “photos of Guns ’n’ Roses”. I was in love with the band’s guitar player, Slash (don’t judge!).
The Yahoo Directory returned great results and that was effectively the end of me buying posters and music magazines at the newsstand (and the start of a collection of many floppy disks instead).
(If at this point you are wondering what on earth am I talking about, floppy disks, Netscape?! Here is a brief history of the Internet in 1996 for you!)
Soon the World Wide Web saw me creating my first pages, coded on Frontpage and later on CoffeeCup, as I got more experienced. I bought books on HTML and CSS and even decided to use Linux as my main OS. I truly loved the Internet and computers, but when it was time to choose a career path to follow, I looked elsewhere.
I was 17 years old and in a few months I was going to do my admission exams for University, and I still had not decided what course I would take. I talked to as many persons as I could, in all areas. A couple friends doing Computer Science told me it was super hard, that I would be the only girl on my class, and that I would need A LOT of maths. Damn. I’m horrible at maths. Another friend told me Radio and TV was nice and that he had a class on comic books. That seemed fun.
Back to the future
I’m not gonna lie, Radio and TV was a lot of fun. Cinema, even more. I just don’t want to starve and live on the streets when I’m older. I honestly worry about that. Maybe that’s just a Millennial thing, we do worry a lot about the “future”.
I’m not afraid of working hard either. I worked my butt off as a small business owner and photographer, often 60 to 80 hours a week. It would be nice to know if I invest 20h, 40h, 100 hours of work a week, that I will enjoy what I am doing, and that I will be well paid and valued for that.
(On that subject, I’m totally not wanting to work more than 40 hours a week in the future. I have a life to live!)
I did not find this sense of safety in photography, but when I read about Web Development, about Front End and Back End and things I never thought about before, something clicked inside of me. I felt, for the very first time, this is it, this is my “call”.
So that’s it. This is the beginning of my journey to become a web developer. On my next post I will write about the study path I chose to follow. But before I go, here is a website I created 10 years ago, using HTML, CSS and iframes, for your delight!