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A Career Switch

watchjazcode profile image Jaz ・2 min read

(originally posted on 8/22/19)

Hey there, I'm Jazmin! I'm an aspiring software engineer and overall geek from NYC.

Since enrolling at Flatiron School, a question I've gotten quite frequently from people outside of tech is "what is a software developer/engineer?" and "why did you decide to become one?"

Describing programming can be difficult, especially if the person asking does not know much about tech or computers. As you can imagine, this makes explaining why I would want to learn how to code, even trickier. But, after much practice (mostly with my super smart, but non-techie dad), I've gotten it down to "I want to speak to computers and comprehend when they speak back". This is pretty much received with a chuckle sometimes, but almost always followed by curiosity. Curiosity is one of my favorite things because it is driven by a desire to understand. I believe when we take the time to truly "get" something, magic happens.

For the past 12 years, I guess you can say I've worked in the business of understanding -- humans! I've worked in mental health as a researcher, therapist and consultant, which more often than not requires a deep desire to "know" someone. Being a therapist, most of my time is spent taking that understanding and using it to help people. Often help means having clients develop, maintain, test or evaluate their feelings, and like writing code -- thoughts and behaviors.

Two years ago, I rediscovered programming via the internet and was in complete awe. I never fathomed that I could find similarities between my current career and that of a software engineer. Yet, as I delved deeper I was pleasantly surprised by an innovative, diverse, and ever growing industry and decided, I wanted to be part of that.

Ultimately, what led me to this career switch is empathy driven development and design. I want to create, support and evaluate programs that will enhance and even radically change the lives of others and society, with empathy at the forefront. I'm excited for an opportunity to understand computers and humans alike.

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