This morning I sat down at my desk and was reviewing emails, notifications, and preparing for stand up--when it hit me.
It's been a year.
November 2018 was when I first sat down to learn code. Back then my curiosity was weak, my determination thin. I wanted to create a dynamic website, but I knew I would have to learn to code to do so.
Being someone who spent most of his career in IT, code was something I always brushed against--but shirked away from. C++ had destroyed me in a highschool class. I didn't think I was smart enough, as I'm not college educated. All the "computer science" I learned was on the job, fixing hardware, troubleshooting applications, and configuring networks.
Despite not knowing any code, I had just started to morph how I looked at learning and life goals in general.
I fired up Codecademy and started plucking away at their lessons.
Fast forward and I am now a Software Engineer. Not only have I transformed my life, but the code has transformed me. I no longer fear learning anything, nor trying new things. In fact, I am eager and embrace experiences as much as possible. My hunger has not subsided, in fact it has increased--ravenous for knowledge and creative expression.
It's hard to even remember the past year, because it was a whirlwind of learning and study. I feel a shred of remorse, a bittersweet sadness that I didn't set out to this earlier in life. That I let my fear and doubt control me for so long.
If I could change anything, I would have started down this path at a much younger age. Took my time, learned through organic experimentation.
Cramming knowledge into my brain at a breakneck pace is something I shouldn't have done. I should eased off, but I was just so excited and eager to unscramble the mysteries of code. Even now I'm still dealing with a slight sting of burn out (and figuring out that life/work balance.)
I am so glad for the opportunities that this journey of curiosity presented me. Also, for the bright future I see for myself now. I have a purpose, a truth that sets me forward, each and everyday.
Not being addled with the thought of "what am I going to do with my life", is something to celebrate alone.
To all of you learning how to code, who are setting out on this journey like I did. Slow down a little bit, savor those exponential increases in ability and skill. That is when it's the most fun. It drops off, as you get to a certain point. From there you will start expanding out, learning more about similar but very nuanced things (different languages, paradigms, and patterns.)
The first time you figure out how to use the Singleton pattern isn't nearly as awesome as the first time you iterate with a
for loop. Having a computer do work on hundreds or thousands of pieces of data in less than a second blew my mind back then.
Make better choices about your code and your career.