Starting at Fullstack Academy
My Path to Coding
From Social Work to Coding
I’m finally starting a coding bootcamp — Fullstack Academy. It’s a big change for me. My dad is a programmer, and I was always interested in it, but I never really delved into it until a couple years ago. I always had a passion for social work and helping people, and I’ve spent my adult life thus far pursuing that path. I’ve worked as a family therapist, a substance abuse counselor, a mental health assessor, and an undergrad/masters social work instructor. But I always felt that something was missing. I recently finished all of the course work for a PhD in social work program, hoping that I would feel more fulfilled in the world of academia. But in the doctoral program, I realized that the things I was enjoying most in the program were figuring out the statistical analyses on our statistics software and arguing the logic of concepts and theories with other students and my professors — things more applicable to programming than social work.
I started dabbling in coding classes, through Khan Academy, Girl Develop It, and CodeAcademy on the side, and I really enjoyed it. I got a sense of accomplishment from solving problems, figuring out how things work, and seeing the fruits of my labor. It was exciting and interesting and... well… fun! And there was/is so much room for growth — it was easy to see that no matter how far you get in the field of web development, you can always learn and create new things.
It wasn’t easy making the switch — it took a lot of time and soul-searching. But at the end of the day, when I thought about my future, I simply saw myself appreciating work in programming more. I can still help others and participate in social good without it being my entire career (or I could possibly use tech to achieve social goals)! Either way, I appreciated what I was able to learn and gain through social work, but I’m excited to have my day to day career be more logically -focused challenges, which I can see the effects of each day. I know learning to code can be a difficult path, but as a social worker, I know intense work. And I’m ready for it.
I was looking at many different bootcamps and narrowed my search to a few that seemed rigorous, had good reviews, and had good reputations within the tech community. I spoke to past Fullstack students who felt confident and competent in their work post-graduation, whereas others I spoke to who went to other bootcamps often described their programs in less inspiring ways, such as making them feel comfortable in not knowing much.
I’ve now passed Fullstack’s foundations, and am preparing to begin the live portion of the course. So far it has been rather challenging and sometimes intimidating, but each time I’ve been able to figure out another concept, it’s also been that much more exhilarating. So now I’m looking forward to starting the live portion and preparing myself to keep diving deeper!