My first post
That’s the quintessential programming phrase, right? If so, that’s perfect for the adventure I plan to embark on! If not, meh whatever.
So what’s the purpose of this blog? I’m not entirely sure yet. I suppose I’ll start putting some words on (electronic) paper and see what sort of product ends up coming out.
The reason I’ve decided to start a blog in the first place is essentially to log my thoughts, process, and experiences as I begin to enter the world of programming and coding! I’ve had a few careers up to this point in my life, but none have left me totally satisfied. As a math teacher for four years right outside our nation’s capital, I found the teaching experience very cyclical and repetitive, which is quite the opposite of what the initial lure of teaching was for me: an exciting environment where each day is different. There was things I could do to become a better teacher… professional developments, conferences, get a masters, etc. But even after pursuing some of those options, I never felt like the core of what bothered me about teaching would ever change. Every September would be the exact same routine-building exercises and get to know you activities. Every late spring would be the pressure of having all your students pass an arbitrary but mandated state-wide test. I just couldn’t do it for 26 more years in a row.
After teaching came a radical life change: I moved to Denver, broke up with a girl I was dating for four years, and started a brand new career. Any one of those things on their own would be intimidating, but all three happening at once was a pretty life altering series of events. I’ve been working at a great company with a highly respectable mission statement…. as a trade accountant. Aside from a math major, I have literally zero experience with accounting. Yet because a friend of mine worked in the accounting department, I was able to land an interview and secure the job. It’s a fine gig, but again not something I can see myself doing until I retire. There’s not much variety nor a ton of new stuff to learn. Neither of those factors are all that appealing to me.
So after 8 months as an accountant, I”m seeking another hobby/passion that I can turn into something else, potentially a career? I’m not sure yet. But what I do know is that I love to learn. I love to be challenged and keep up with constantly developing new ways to be successful. I think that’s why I always loved sports. Everyone is always trying to get better and stay ahead of everyone else. As a 28 year old, despite my love and skills as an ultimate frisbee player, my window to be a professional athlete is rapidly closing. Ah who am I kidding, it was never gonna happen anyway. Thanks mom and dad for not blessing me with better genes!
But I digress. After talking with LOTS of people and reading tons of career guidance type things, I think I’ve found something I’m genuinely interested in pursuing that can keep me engaged for a long while. Programming and coding. To say I have very little experience would be a drastic understatement. I took one computer science class at the prestigious University of Delaware (home of the fightin’ blue hens!) It was simultaneously the hardest and most rewarding class I took my whole 5 years of college. And that includes a whole bevy of 500 level math courses.
But I always appreciated the things I learned and wished I went back to it. I’ve always been hesitant because I thought “Well hell, how can I possibly learn enough NOW to make it worth spending time on?” Turns out, I was dead wrong and lots of people do it.. My best friend Dave Voyles (who is doing some really cool stuff over at Microsoft, check him out!) convinced me that with the amount of resources available, literally anyone can learn this stuff. He sent me a ton of links to resources that I can check out and that’s what I plan on doing.
I’ll probably start messing around with Scratch today to get myself back in the mindset of thinking like a programmer. So from here on out, I’ll try and post the things I’m working on or reading about or listening to podcasts on, etc. Given the overwhelming amount of stuff that’s out there, I’d LOVE to hear suggestions on great resources, other peoples’ paths to learning coding, etc.
Sorry for the length of this first post!! I couldn’t contain the enthusiasm!