When will I be a “real” software developer?

For years I tried to be a “real” runner. I ran 5Ks, 10Ks, and 2 half marathons. Why didn’t I ever feel like a real runner? I was a back-of-the-packer. Not last but just too slow to ever feel like I belonged there.

For years I worked as an applications developer and never felt like a “real” developer. Then I quit for a while and tried to do something else. I finally went back to web development thanks to an opportunity brought to me by a colleague. Still, never having the computer science degree made me feel out of place and out of my depth.

Last year I decided to get my cred by going to boot camp. I wanted to prove to myself and to the world that I belonged. It was great. It got me out of a job where I wasn’t advancing in the way I wanted and it got me immersed in the life of a web developer but it wasn’t enough. That’s when I discovered Launch School, an online software development program that values depth instead of breadth and forces you to slow down when the rest of the world wants you to just get out there and start working already. I’m going to take my time and do this right so that I can spend the rest of my software career — wherever it takes me — contributing the way I always wanted and feeling like I finally belong.

I plan to continue documenting my Launch School experience because reading the words of my fellow students has been so helpful to me.