This will be my first attempt at what will hopefully be a semi-regularly updated blog. This blog will mostly be about my dive from the warmy warm comfort of a well-paying but what I think will be an ultimately unsatisfying career in the aerospace industry into the freezing depths of programming. But I’ll of course be swimming for the tropics. The objective here is to story my journey so that one day I’ll be able to look back and say, “Look how far I’ve come.”
The first thing I saw when I started this WordPress blog was an example post titled “Hello World!” already in place for me to edit or delete. Simple title isn’t it? For those of you who’ve never touched code before, this is generally the output of the first program a newbie programmer writes in his language of choice. A subtle nod from the developers of WordPress no doubt, but it speaks volumes for the adventure I’m about to catalog, so I think I’ll keep it. I hope to keep a pretty decent mixture of my technical progression in the field – things I’m creating, lessons I’m learning, or just general information I think I should pass onto others - and just thoughts and opinions on the ‘meta’ side of things – which is really just a catch-all for anything I can’t directly relate to coding.
I should note here that I’ve been programming for about 9 months now. Seriously programming in Ruby for about 6. It started off on the first or second day at my current job. I started noticing my coworkers did a lot of repetitive tasks in Excel that just took too damn long to get results from. Because I was still basically useless to the company, I said “fuck it, I’m going to be useful.” Within a couple weeks I had my first simple VBA script out. The macro took a monthly two hour job and turned it into a monthly 5 second job. And with that, the thrill of getting to be creative, solve problems, and help people set in and I knew right then that I had chosen the wrong major. Programming was creativity, programming was fun, programming was freedom. I started learning my ass off in Ruby.
And here I am now. I’m about to quit my well-paying mechanical engineering job in a slowly recovering economy and willingly accept unemployment. To say I’m nervous would be an understatement. Scared, frightened, call it what you will. I’m that. And the catalyst for my decision would be a program in SF called Dev Bootcamp. I was accepted a few nights ago. It’s a ten week course where I’ll be in an environment that hopefully gives me the mental tools, resources, and connections that will help me become successful in the field. I’m pretty excited for the class itself. I audited it a couple weeks back to see if it was everything it made itself out to be. From what I saw and from current students’ blogs, it seems to be that and more. We’ll see when I get there.
I’m changing my path because I want to help people. I want to solve complex problems for humanity. And every shot not taken is a shot missed. This is my fork in the road.