How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Code

I’ve loved technology for as long as I can remember. Throughout my life I’ve moved from one fascinated obsession to another. From Legos to the original Nintendo and later the Commodore 64 my mother bought us kids, teaching myself to type on the keyboard with Carmen Sandiego, Trying to install Yellow Dog Linux on my original iMac (Tangerine, if I remember right), to motorcycles (red 1976 Honda CB360) and European cars (1987 Saab turbo; black with tan leather interior), HAM radio in college and bicycles throughout my life.

Despite my lifelong love-affair with technology, including an engineering degree, I didn’t learn to code until my mid-thirties. I honestly found it tedious and frustrating, largely because I didn’t really have any mentors, except a few friends in college who were into gaming or file-sharing (sans license).

While I knew how important & amazing computers were, the ability to code a full program eluded me. Once I started working in my field, energy efficiency, I simply didn’t have enough time. Then I struck out as on my own as an independent consultant and shortly thereafter I found myself working for a startup company with a web-based product, where I finally found the freedom and time (not always paid ;-) to explore the wild world of software development.

Originally my intention was simply to replace my old tooling, largely based around Microsoft Excel and US Department of Energy (US DOE) software, with a data analysis and a scripting language. I chose Python around 2012 and have never found a reason to regret it. I’ve also dabbled with R from time to time and find that it fills a solid niche in my work as well, but I’m especially glad to have invested in the Python, Numpy, Pandas ecosystem. More recently I’ve made a push into web development, motivated simply by the earnest wish to share my work and make it available for others, with the Flask web-framework.

I’ve never shied away from hard problems, which has always required the sharpest tools. I’ve always been a avid learner — my thirst for knowledge is probably my greatest asset and I’ve always subscribed to the saying that, “It’s a poor craftsman that blames his [or her] tools”. I’ve had the foresight to select some solid tools, including Python & R, and I want to hone my craft. That’s why I want to be involved with Holberton in any or all capacities that make sense. I’ve always firmly believed that teaching is learning and there is little separation as one informs the other.

I was instantly attracted to Holberton school. The mission of diversity and community service speaks deeply to me, especially in these challenging political times and the regional disparities that we all know are unsustainable. I hope that I can become the change I want to see in the world and that my involvement with will leverage the network effects of what seems to be an ideal community for achieving it.


Originally published at eayoungs.github.io.