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A reminder to myself, and possibly to others

Just passed the 4 week mark of bootcamp. Not the military kind, the software kind. I tried the military once but somehow ended up doing theatre instead--more on that later. Nonetheless, this is still a bootcamp and boy am I feeling it. I sometimes wish it was the crawling-through-mud-with-barbwire-above-you kind. There’s a clear goal there: get to the other side. In this bootcamp, sometimes I lose sight of what the other side is, so I have to remind myself often of why I am doing this. Part of that process is writing it down. If I have a place where my goal is visible, I can reference it, be reminded of it, and in the end, see how far I’ve come. So, still in the thick of barbwire, here we go.

Why did I decide to become a software engineer? I didn’t love my job before, but I liked it. The day to day was generally interesting, I greatly enjoyed the people I worked with, and I got to scooter into work everyday. Not a moped, not an electric scooter, but a good old fashioned Razor push scooter like it was 2000 again. Southern California has great weather for this kind of commuting, which I would highly recommend for those that are able. But with all that, I still checked the clock far too often while at work, like most people. Did my co-workers help? Immensely. How about the scooter? You bet. But after a number of years of primarily looking forward to being with my co-workers and getting to them via foot-powered childrens toys, I thought that maybe the job itself could be something I could look forward to. Maybe I would be at a job someday where I wasn’t just looking forward to that magical time of day when the two hands of the clock happen to be in the position that means “You can leave now.”

After a series of big life events, I find myself living in Seattle. Now I have no coworkers and no reasonable weather for riding my scooter (for the most part), so now I really am left with finding that job I could look forward to. Through another series of events and successful persuasion checks, I was lucky enough to have a friend from SoCal move up to the PNW. They just so happened to be a software engineer. During this combination of soul and job searching, they encouraged me to look into this whole coding thing. I have always had an interest in technology, but never really considered leveraging that as a career. I was a theatre major in college after all! I did try my hand at an Intro to CS class while in school, but it turned out to be the only class that I ever dropped. And I made it through a semester of ancient Greek translation, so that’s saying something. At that point, I was thoroughly convinced that computer science was not for me. I was discouraged, as I thought it would be something I would enjoy, and I always hoped I would come back to it one day. Well, that day came 4 weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Even though I’ve only been coding for a short while, it has quickly become one of my favorite things to do. Very few things in my life really move time so fast that you lose track of how long you’ve been doing it. But I constantly find myself thinking, “That can’t be the time. Have I really been coding for that long??” and being completely fine with it. Strangely enough, my past theatre career has had a big influence on why I enjoy coding so much. At the end of the day, both mediums are about creation, and about building something from the ground up to proudly share with the world. With theatre, those creations are ephemeral. With coding, however, those creations are there forever (OK, I know, the internet is not forever, but you get what I mean). That different kind of creation is fascinating to me. The ability to continuously improve something is not commonplace in the theatrical world so I am very much looking forward to exploring that phenomenon as my software engineering career grows.

So that’s why I am here, to make a career out of this new passion of mine. I’ve got my goal post, my proverbial “end of the barbwire.” Even if it’s just me reading this in the future, whether that be next week, next month, or next year, now I know why I started. Now to see what comes next.

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