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Did You Find Coding? Or Did It Find You?

xoshly profile image Ashley Randall Updated on ・2 min read

I discovered coding at the lowest point of my life...

If I can be completely honest, vulnerable, and transparent, I did not know about coding until early 2020. I had just given birth to my daughter and I was ready to start working on my hair salon. Being in the beauty industry for almost 10 years, I decided that it was time to build my very own salon. And that I did, until COVID hit me hard.

And as a new mom, Postpartum Depression hit me harder and I struggled with my personal and professional life really heavily. When my daughter was only a couple of months old, I had a talk with my husband and our life counselor and they both told me to stop doing anything business-related for 2 weeks. This way, I was able to clear my mind, focus on myself, my husband, and our brand new baby.

Within those two weeks, I challenged myself to really think about myself and what I genuinely enjoyed doing. You know, things that I knew that I was naturally good at. So I made out a list. And among the top things, technology and art-related activities were on that list.

Here I am with a failed hair salon before it even got started, half of a bachelor's degree in Digital Design, and a thousand odd jobs under my belt. I thought to myself, where is my life going?

Coming straight outta high school with a full Vocal Performance scholarship ten years ago, to a 28-year-old woman who lived her life to accompany those around her.

So within those two weeks, I did something that I had never done in my life; focused on myself.

I knew that I had a genuine love for engineering and technology. But I did not know what I could do in those fields. So I went to google and I literally googled, "creative jobs in tech." A lot of things popped up and coding was one of them.

I googled, Youtubed, and read up on coding and I literally had a lightbulb moment.

I started to follow Software Developers and Engineers on all social media platforms, just to see what their lifestyle was like.

I saw those individuals and I thought to myself, "Can I really live that lifestyle?" And my exact thoughts were, "HELL YES!!"

This industry is EVERYTHING that I prayed for in a career.

Here are the personal career goals that I prayed for over 10 years ago:

1) I want to be creative
2) I want to solve problems
3) I want to teach others
4) I want to travel
5) I want to work remotely if needed
6) I want to receive a great salary to help build a foundation for my family

I am so thankful that my failed business led me in the direction of my true passion.

I used to pray that God would bless me in a career that had all of the stated qualities above and in those 10 years of being a Professional Hairstylist, I always wondered why I could never get ahead in that industry.

How did you discover coding and how has it impacted your life?

Discussion (6)

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy • Edited

It found me... as a curious 7 year old back in 1983.

The ZX Spectrum didn't really come with many cassette tapes of software, I had no money for games, and the only other thing you could with it was write programs. It booted straight into what you'd probably now call a code editor so it was easy to get started. It also came with a manual on how the built-in BASIC language worked, so I taught myself from there and have never looked back.

It had a huge 48K of memory!
ZX Spectrum 48K

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xoshly profile image
Ashley Randall Author

Maannn, I would have loved that as a kid. Heck, I would still love to have that now, just to play around with it. It reminds me of when I was a child. My brother-in-law would take me to the library and I would explore the computers as much as I could because I was fascinated by them. We couldn't afford a computer at home but my mom brought home a regular typing keyboard and I would type on that thing all day, acting as if I was on the computer, LOL! Thank you for sharing your story.

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ayomiku222 profile image
ayomiku olatunji

I found code... Happy to day this

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tankerguy1917 profile image
tankerguy1917

I would say it found me. One of my brothers had been coding for a while, showing me what he did and explaining what it all did. And at the same time, most of my friends were really techie and into coding. I would inspect the code on websites, change a few numbers, and that was about it. One day, I was in a class that I had been trying changed, as I didnt need it anymore (or to begin with), one of my school counselors came in and showed me a list of available classes, and one of them was coding. It looked better than any other class that was available, and I knew that a few of my friends had it that same period. So the next day, I'm learning HTML. Then, years later (near the end of the last school year), I picked coding as one of my classes. Now, I am learning python/pygame, I am way ahead of where the I should be if I was just following along with the class, and I am even attempting to make my own game engine using python and pygame.

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xoshly profile image
Ashley Randall Author

I wish that my friends at that time were techie. I was a true techie at heart but I would get teased by those around me because of it. So, I never looked into it and focused on other things as a child. I am glad that you found it at such a young age. I took one computer class in middle school and I hated it. We didn't get into coding, we were just learning how to type. LOL! I haven't learned Python yet but I am so excited to start. When you finish your game, post it so I can play it. :)

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tankerguy1917 profile image
tankerguy1917

I was the opposite. My friends thought it was weird that I didn't know a lot about computers, and to be honest, I still don't. I also didn't like computer classes since it was just typing. Also, how would I post a game here? I have a github repo if that helps.