It was New Years Day, 2018. I knew that I had to make a career change but I just didn't know where to start. My reality was this: I was working 70 hour weeks in all weather conditions on top of an hour and a half commute one way each day. I was getting toxic paint on my clothes and skin. I wasn't able to take care of myself physically, constantly eating whatever food I could find on the road, becoming overweight and unhealthy. I had worked at my previous employer for five years. I felt that if I could get enough experience and time in with the company, I wouldn't have to do so much of the "grunt work" anymore. Apparently, management didn't have the same idea. I vividly remember crying in my work van one day. I had enough.
Growing up, mostly because of how this industry is portrayed in the media, I had always looked at software development as something that was very interesting but was for people that were much smarter than I. I never really understood what it took to thrive in this industry. Because of that, I thought that I was destined to work jobs that I didn't like, but paid the bills. It wasn't until a couple of friends from high school, who were also in similar predicaments as myself, became software developers that I saw this as something I could do for myself and began to gather information on how I could join them.
The biggest step I had to take from bootcamp student to professional software developer was learning how to think like a developer. Bootcamps are good for teaching a TON of syntax in a very short amount of time. Memorizing syntax is useless if you can't take that syntax and learn how to solve problems with it. I am very grateful for most of my coworkers, for they were understanding and helpful. As I learned how to solve problems, my love for my new career really started to flourish. I take pride in being able to see a new project from an exploratory phase into completion.
If you are reading this and you are in that state of desperation as I once was, know that you can do it too with determination and desire to create a better life for yourself. Feel free to reach to me with any questions or if you just want to talk tech.