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Why I Got Into Software Engineering and Why I Chose Flatiron School

robotspacefish profile image Jess ・2 min read

(Note: I'm moving my posts from my time at Flatiron School from my Github to this platform. This blog was first posted on November 18, 2019)

I’ve always been fascinated by computers. When I was a kid I would borrow my friend’s Computer Shopper magazines, which at the time were inches thick magazines full of ads for computer parts. My first computer was an Apple IIGS. I’d spend hours playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, King’s Quest, and Zany Golf, and messing around in DOS. I never got anywhere because I had no idea what I was doing and no instructions, but I felt like the possibilities were endless, if only I could’ve “cracked the code”.

At some point in my early teens I got a book on C++ that came with a compiler on a disc. I could never get it to work and, regretfully, I gave up trying. I had a billion other hobbies and interests to focus on so I didn’t think much of it at the time.

When I was deciding on a college major I went back and forth between film and computer science. I got decent grades in high school, but I struggled with science and math courses and had trouble studying. I ended up choosing film because I doubted my ability to succeed at a computer science degree, and besides, I wanted to be a screenwriter or work with motion graphics, or do something art related anyway. It wasn’t until after getting my degree that I was diagnosed with ADHD and began to understand what my issues with studying and focusing were.

I decided I would give computer science another chance and began taking courses at a community college. Unfortunately I never finished because of health issues, and not succeeding (along with other things) worsened my anxiety. I self-studied different aspects of programming on and off from that point but I never felt like I was making the right kind of progress.

Finally I decided enough was enough. I wasn’t going to let my anxiety continue to rule my life. I wanted to develop quality coding skills, soft skills, and be part of a community. I knew if I wanted to make real changes I would have to start forcing myself to do the things that make me uncomfortable, so I applied to Flatiron School. Each day is a challenge, but I look forward to becoming a better version of myself.

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