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A Coder's Journey

From educator to programmer.

The Beginning

You woke up one day and realized you were ready to try something new. Do something different. You had taught for nine years: three countries, five schools, all ages, and (luckily!) you loved it. You were absolutely happy. You loved the purpose it gave you. The connections you made. The unbridled energy of Every. Single. Day. You were never bored. Never.

Until one day, it just didn’t work anymore. And you weren’t sure exactly why. You wished you had the answer, because then, maybe, you could have fixed it. It became harder and harder to keep at something, when the spark was gone. Maybe it was all the testing. Maybe it was the lack of services. Maybe it was the bureaucracy. You can’t quite say…but it was time for something new.

You remember hearing that the average person switches their career 7 times, and here you were 31, and still doing the same thing? Maybe it was all just an expiration date after all! You remember learning about Steph, how she went to Flatiron, and was now working full time. Wait. You said. She just went to school for three months and now has a job? Yes. WAIT. For reals? AND she LOVES it.

You talked to people. One girl had left an office job for a start up. Her biggest regret was that her employers didn’t fire her so she could collect unemployment. She told you to begin at codeacademy. You did. You felt like you were back in fifth grade when every morning began with a multiplication times tables. Every student had 1 minute complete the questions, and if you got them all right, you got a sticker, and the next day you moved on to the next number. You loved the certificates. The emails congratulating you. And you loved coding!

You took a class, you applied to some programs, you coded, and miraculously, you got into Flatiron! You were so happy(cartwheels(!) and cartwheels(!))! You had a new future. Something exciting. Bright. And last week, you began. You coded all week. You learned how much you didn’t know. You got help. You stayed up too late, and finally, you managed to answer some of your own questions. The error messages slowly made a little more sense. And that’s where you are. At the beginning.

I lied.

I said one day I woke up and wanted to try something new. It didn’t happen like that. It was a process.

There is no ready. set. go. It’s not a gunshot and then you go off running into the distance like an antelope tearing up a glorious African sunset. It’s a Sunday long run, slow footstep after slow footstep, building up the miles, so that one day, when that shot is fired, you will at the absolute least, know you prepared the very best you could.