Why?

I’m in a rare reflective mood today. Here are some thoughts. I will probably ramble.

A little back story on why someone like me(the most risk-averse human being alive) decided to quit his decent-paying job in the financial field to pursue software development. Let’s bring it back a few years and see if I can pin point why I did this. Growing up my family was never really into tech. While I really enjoyed playing video games, it was always something that was heavily kept-in-check by my parents. I spent most of my free time playing drums in a crappy hardcore band and skateboarding. In fact, we did not have access to a viable internet connection in our house until probably around 2004–2005. All this to say, I was not raised to be a programmer. I was not writing my first programs at the age of 6 like some of the people I listen to on various podcasts.

The desire to do something different all started around a year ago when I was out to eat with my wife at one of our favorite restaurants (shoutout to Bazille). We were talking about if we could do anything career wise what would it be. I think I mentioned something about working on video games, since even though I didn’t play them too often, they had always fascinated me. So that night I went home and began researching what it takes to work in the video game industry. Programming/Developing/Languages/C#…these words kept popping up. Keep in mind at this point I did not even know what a programming language was. So I enrolled in a free online Harvard CS50 class which focused on the programming language C. As you can imagine, this being my first ever introduction to programming, I was in way over my head. My brain melted when we started getting into pointers and recursion, so I threw in the towel. I then started looking into other languages that were more beginner friendly. This is where JavaScript entered the picture. Since JS lives in the browser, I really liked how you could see the fruits of your labor right away. I am still working full time during all of this and I’m married, so I would typically hangout with my wife until she went to bed and then stay up until 1am–2am trying to learn everything I can about programming/web development.

I discovered that I really enjoyed this stuff. Even though I wasn’t that good at it, I still enjoyed building stuff and solving problems programmatically. The pace at which I was learning seemed much too slow. I started looking into other options. Since I didn’t want to go back to school for another 4 years, I started looking into coding bootcamps. Living in Jacksonville, FL my options were slim. I actually interviewed for a bootcamp in Jacksonville and was accepted, they ended up calling me back a week later and said that they were discontinuing the program…not a good sign. I then looked into The Iron Yard Orlando and discovered something much better. I interviewed with some of the staff and instantly had a really good feeling about it. I was accepted a couple days later and the rest is history. I am 4.5 weeks in and while I feel defeated and like an idiot on a daily basis, I have learned SO much since this started. Here’s to the next 7 weeks!