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Mental health is something that is not mentioned enough, especially in the tech industry so I wanted to share my story.

I first became a software developer February of 2015, so about five years ago. It was almost two years after graduating with my BS in Information Systems degree. I already thought I was “behind” back then, because I couldn’t find a job right after college. I was working full-time as a technical writer after I graduated but continued the job search.

I remember interviewing at Bluetube Interactive (now, no longer exists)…the interview was over two hours long. I didn’t do too well on the technical exercise on the computer, but the manager gave me a chance anyway, in hopes that I learn and grow. I only lasted there three months, before my manager fired me. He gave me an “ultimatum” in that, if I didn’t finish a project in two weeks, that he would let me go. I remember sitting in his office when he told me that. I wasn’t allowed to ask for help, even though I was learning 3 new technologies on the job (C#, Entity Framework, and responsive design). I learned .NET in college but it was with VB.NET. That really set the tone for most of my experience going forward. …

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Hacktoberfest runs Oct 1–31st. I first heard about Hacktoberfest from Women Who Code — Atlanta chapter. I went to the Hacktoberfest kickoff event hosted by WWCAtl that was Monday, October 1st at Atlanta Tech Village. One of the directors, Erica Stanley, gave a nice presentation on what Hacktoberfest is and how we can participate in the challenge, put on by DigitalOcean. More info: . Basically, if you create 5 pull requests (PR’s) on GitHub, and are of the first 50k people to do it, you get a free t-shirt at the end of the challenge.

I was not sure what to expect since I never made a pull request on GitHub before. Yesterday, I started dabbling in GitHub repos and made my first PR…before I knew it, I had created the 5 PR’s that was needed to complete the challenge! I am not sure if I am one of the first 50k people to complete the challenge, but hopefully I will find out soon! …

For my first story, I wanted to talk a little about myself…

I am originally from Douglasville, GA (about 30 minutes west of downtown Atlanta off of I-20), so yes, I am a “Georgia Peach”. I grew up in a lower middle class household and have no brothers or sisters. I am also a lefty (lefties rule!).

When I was around 8 years old, my dad bought our first desktop computer, it was running Microsoft 95 and costs about $1,000. I remember playing computer games all the time — more than watching TV. There’s a particular game that comes to mind when I think about those times and that’s Fury 3. …

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