I recently left my job to focus on my education. Working as a Developer Advocate I could see the gaps in my knowledge about code that came from teaching myself the last few years and how it could hold me back a little. After a lot of discussion, both with myself and my wife, I made the scary decision to go back to school. Specifically, I am doing a coding bootcamp. I want to get a focused education to build up my software development skills and fill in the gaps of my knowledge while also having the ability to be a part of my family. I did some research on a few and landed on Lambda School. At the time of this writing I just finished my third week. I am really enjoying it and having the opportunity and privilege to go back to school is awesome. Once I am done I may go back into a Developer Advocate role or work to get a position somewhere as a Software Developer. I still have the itch and desire to be a Software Developer specifically. Being a Developer Advocate was something I really liked and I will probably come back to it after having some time as a developer under my belt. With more experience I can be of better service to people in a role like that. Ultimately, I like my work to be something where I can make a positive impact on people's lives. Perhaps I will go into teaching people how to code or something similar. For now, I just want to be part of building something.
After I gave my notice to my manager and told a few other folks who needed to know word of my departure began to get around the company. I had folks coming up to me in person or reaching out via chat or email to tell me they heard I was leaving and asking if it was true. Each one of them told me how happy they were for me to be making the choice of going back to school, but that they were sad for me to be leaving. They took the moment to let me know how much they appreciated me and my positive attitude at work or gave some example of how I made them feel happy with the things I did. Some people noted they learned a lot from me while others just thought I was awesome to be around. It was very humbling and quite special to hear these things.
This also sparked some reflection of my own and I began to wonder to myself if anyone would bring up something I did, like a specific action of some kind rather than just general sentiments. I began to question what I had actually accomplished in the years I spent at the company if no one was bringing anything up that I had done. Didn't they remember anything I did to help our customers and fellow employees? Then as I thought about it more I realized that people were taking their time to tell me how I made them feel and it was important to them that I knew I made them happy in some way. My attitude and the way I carried myself brought them a small bit of joy in their life. That is a greater impact on someone than any specific action I could have done.
I plan to take this forward with me in my career. Wherever I end up after completing Lambda School I want to make sure it is a place where I can positively impact people, both the companies customers and especially my fellow employees. I will strive to be someone who brings a positive attitude to the team and helps make people feel good about their work. If you are starting out in your career or even if you have been working somewhere for awhile, I would challenge you to do the same. It's great that we can make big sales or solve tough technical issues and those things deserve to be celebrated, but only in the moment. When it comes time to look back on what you have accomplished strive to be someone that people will remember as a person who built people up and made their lives better.