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Decided to Start Programming

I’m pretty new to the blogging world, so you’ll have to give me a little leeway. The reason I’m here is that I recently started a full-time online software engineering bootcamp at Flatiron School, and one of their requirements is to keep track of the journey a bit through blog posts. So since this is the first one, I’ll just give a little introduction and how I got here.

I studied Spanish in college …and French, and linguistics, and translation, and religious studies, and philosophy, and Latin American history. You might say I was a little all over the place, but I have a wide variety of interests, what can I say? So if I have all these liberal-arts-y social science interests, what am I doing trying to get into programming? Well I’ll spare everyone a sob story about how my first grade teacher told me I was bad at math, but the cliff notes version is that my K-12 education was great for a lot of things (shout out to my first grade teacher), but STEM was not one of them. The emphasis at every school I went to was arts, humanities, writing, social sciences, language, etc. so I thought that’s what I was good at and what I should do. And I actually think it’s a super common thing that doesn’t get that much press: kids grow up thinking they’re bad at math because their math education just wasn’t very good, or being good at it was stigmatized.

Well, turns out my brain’s definitely wired for engineering, and not knowing that at the time, college was a pretty big struggle for me. I ended up dropping out after several years’ worth of valiant attempts to fight my natural brain to help my mom run the family small business (equipment rentals for events). Anyone surprised that most of what I did for the next two years there was a combination of carpentry, electrical repairs, building renovations, accounting, profitability, and financial projections? …Because I definitely was! Fixing stuff and crunching numbers in excel isn’t exactly what 18 year old me thought would be my favorite part of my future job. And teenage me definitely wouldn’t have thought I’d spend my free time taking apart traffic lights, building giant operation tables, and scrolling through Python tutorials.

So now here I am, looking to switch careers to a field that aligns better with my natural abilities. And for me, as much as I love to research stuff on my own and go down deep random project rabbit holes in my free time, if I’m going to really commit to something and prioritize it, I need more of an external structure. Huge respect to the people that can learn to program completely on their own (the resources are definitely out there to do it), but that can be a long lonely road.

We’re just wrapping up the first month of a six-month full-time program and starting to get into some exciting stuff with Ruby. Hopefully future posts will be a little more technical as we dive a little deeper into the code, but since this is just the beginning, that’s about it for now.

Thanks to anybody that read this far!

Top comments (2)

leob profile image

Cool story man, yes I believe you when you say that young people are often scared away from math and science just because of bias or inadequate education, good that you've found your true destiny.

lucasalt profile image

Follow your dreams and keep going for the rest of your program ✊