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Spenser Brinkman
Spenser Brinkman

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The Big "Why?"

Prompted with the question "Why did you decide to study Software Engineering?," one looks to their history of experiences had and choices made leading up to such a fundamental change in life direction. Whitewater raft guide, tree climber, park groundskeeper, national park interpreter, produce manager--these hats, and more, make up the varied background I've built up as a part of the blue-collar workforce since my 16th birthday. I am thankful for these jobs, as I was able to pay my way through college with minimal debt to show for it. However, due to the physically intense nature of such work, my body experienced measurable decline and I was faced with a dilemma: stay the course and be forced by my body into an early retirement or jump ship and forge a path to a more fruitful and sustainable career and future. The choice, at this point, was easy for me to make, and so I decided to make a change.

But this does not answer the question of "Why?" as in "Why study coding?," but instead answers "Why not continue to do what you've already been doing?"

As I considered alternate career paths that would utilize my mind over body, I read more about the skills required of a programmer and I realized that I fit the bill. As a lifelong enthusiast of logic puzzles and exercises in critical thinking, along with an affinity for math, creativity, and memorization; my hyper-focus for detail; and my ability to organize multiple evolving ideas at once, I became confident in my aptitude to become a successful software engineer.

Fast forward three months and I am two weeks into a 20 week software engineering bootcamp. So far, any doubts I started with have fallen to the recesses of my mind and I am more sure than ever that the choice to jump head-first into this program was the right one. If anything, I wistfully wish I had made the change sooner. But, at least, I made the change.

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