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Symbol and Code

Kyoko Kikuchi
A Graphic designer, learning Software Engineering to become a full stack developer.
Updated on ・3 min read

A typical late career change

There are many factors to get to this new phase of my life where I am immersing myself into a sea of coding. Those include ones anyone would face when it comes to career choice. I needed a better paid job that has an increasing demand in the job market and can't take unlimited time and funds to invest in myself. And it has to be something I enjoy.

Computer technology became such a good friend in my life in general as well as in my previous career as a Fashion designer.  
I worked in the industry in many different job roles over a decade and still do freelance gig work.  As a creative and productive designer, proficiency in graphic design and photo editing programs, namely Adobe Creative Suite, have replaced markers and sketch pads.  And I had no problem switching them unlike artists whose objective is their expressions which often depend on mediums of choice.
Managing Office Suite, web based PLM and database programs to communicate and execute projects within enterprise and to oversea vendors and factories were lifelines for fast paced production workflow. On many occasions I have helped my colleagues and IT department to solve issues in programs and hardware settings as well.
As a graphic designer, learning HTML and JAVAscript to create web sites were critical and have become go-to side jobs. I had interest in computer technology well before that point, but I was ecstatic learning a bunch of meaningless words called codes to turn a blank page into a creative visual communication site, and the fact that I only need access to the internet.

Finding true nature of myself

However, an important decision making path for me learning Software Engineering has to be my approach to it as a concept rather than as an occupation or a career. 
Japanese is my native language and watching movies in English over and over with closed captions helped me to learn and become fluent in English. But I had great struggles in school. A big difference between two languages that hinder my ability to learn was the way my brain processes letters, words and sentences in written format. Japanese is constructed with three different writing systems, two phonetic alphabets and Chinese characters that are roughly called pictograms.  ( So in my subconscious state, I naturally recognize characters by looking at it as symbols than data strings.
Also, whenever I watch my favorite Sci-Fi movies, I find myself looking for symbolic cuts that trigger my imagination beyond and get fascinated by the story behind.  
Now I have come to find out that's exactly why I have been compelled by computer languages. They are a bunch of letters and numbers, they form units, and create new meaning with new symbols. Although I am so visually inclined, that transformation gives me a feeling I got a special key to open a door to the next dimension and inspires me more than beautiful image presentations.

My long term goal 

Not only coding but also there are many subjects I want to learn going forward. One of the long term goals is to help grow sustainable clothing businesses by developing programs for their production lines. The ideas are still in progressive state however I am certain leaning Software Engineering is the right track towards it. 

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