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Michael Hadley
Michael Hadley

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Reset Button

When I was a kid, the two most useful instruments you had playing a video game were the quick save button, and the reset button. I can't tell you how many nights I spent hitting the reset button trying to beat Super Mario 64 or get a perfect run on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Reset. Reset. Reset.

It seems in life there's a few times we wish we too had a reset button!

I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Mass Communication in 2013, armed with 4+ years of knowledge I set out ever so naively expecting to find a job right after graduation, live close to my girlfriend and maybe get married in two or three years. But as all coders know, just because you write a statement that looks perfect, doesn't mean it's going to run perfect. I mean let's be honest, pretty much nothing runs perfect the first time.

I found myself three years later unemployed after the computer store I was working at got bought out and the new company cleaned house; I was single, unemployed, living with my mom. This is starting to either sound like a movie trope, or the beginning of every "think piece" of journalism about people my age ever written.

Clearly the black hole that was my bachelors degree wasn't going to work out. So what then?

That's when I discovered coding. Not in some, miraculous fury of typing and learning a language in a month. No…I am not a "Rockstar coder". Honestly I ran through some tutorials on Ruby and some other coding language I don't even remember, and thought, "Hey! This is pretty fun." I took stock of who I am, and thought despite the Achilles' heel that is my math proficiency, I should take a look at this. I like problem solving, I like creativity, I like seeing something I've done from just pieces come together and actually do something. So with not even an idea of HTML/CSS, (I was more of a Xanga kid, I didn't really customize my Myspace page in high school), I looked at boot camps, and with some help decided on the A.A.S that I just graduated with.

What they don't tell you about reset buttons is it takes a lot of courage to press one. There are consequences. Financial commitment, sacrificing nights, and weekends; caring a little more about how to make sure your abstract class in your java final works with your subclasses, or about how PHP uses Salt to encrypt your password, and then how do you decrypt it for login?!

But there's only a few times in life where you get to press a reset button and end up exactly where you needed to be. Maybe I haven't completed the level, but I'm definitely at a better starting point than I was when it began. Sometimes all you need to do is have the courage to reset, whether in life, or when you can't get past a particularly hard error message, (I'm looking at you PHP). And who knows, you might just level up along the way.

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