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Why Did I Begin Studying Software Engineering? From Chef to Coder

somethn profile image somethn Updated on ・2 min read

So why leave behind a seemingly successful career in the culinary field as a Chef? To be honest, it never really was something I had a passion for. Don't get me wrong I was great at it, had fun, and met a lot of awesome people in my time as a Chef. However, I was left wanting to do something more than just running kitchens and making the weekend special. When I was younger I really enjoyed creating my own free webpages. It became a passion to design websites with colorful creative graphics, music, and pictures. I also desired a deeper understanding of the logistics. I was offered the opportunity to study web design at a technical high school, but I was discouraged immediately because I didn't have the support from my family to pursue it. I believe their remark was along the lines of; "Sounds really hard, you should you do cooking so that way you'll never be hungry". That remark not only discouraged me but shifted my perspective for years.

That became my perspective until several years later one night at work. One evening after a busy shift at work, I went to the bar and there was a lone patron on his laptop. We chatted a little bit until I asked what he was working on, and he told me about his project for a coding boot camp he was enrolled in. I became immediately intrigued and excited. I began to ask him a plethora of questions such as "How did you get into coding?", "Do you like coding?", "What is your career plan like?". We talked for hours; this reignited my suppressed passion. He advised the best way to begin coding is to "Just Do It", go to a website that teaches the information you need to learn, and then attend a boot camp to solidify what you've learned. This logic made perfect sense to me because that is the method that worked best for me. I was a self taught chef. On the surface level it appeared simple. I thought that until I actually began the process of learning to code.

Immediately I discovered after cooking for so long I had forgot how difficult it can be to learn a new skill. It was not this simple process. There were many steps involved. So many boot camps online promising success. I was immediately overwhelmed by the information overload. I decided to take a step back and try a new method. Formal school to learn the logistics became my new plan.
From my time exploring free code camp's website I did learn a few important lessons. Lesson number 1, with Coding you don't have to memorize every sequence, every code, and every language that was a big relief. Lesson number 2, knowing that Google and Youtube videos as reference points were not frowned upon in this industry. This was a very pleasant surprise, being that this was also true in the culinary world. I decided to enroll in this program to learn the proper skills, meet new people with the same interests and finally pursue my passion. I am excited to engage with everyone and pursue this new career!

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Garrick West

Good luck, and keep the passion. Here's a good book for starting out. It's fundamentally both nothing about programming and at the same time it's everything about programming. I wish it had existed when I started out, and - it's free (as in beer and speech)