This is my favorite picture of all time. Here you can clearly see who runs the woodshop. In the middle you’ve got me, and to my side, well me again. I’m holding a small four legged me while me, myself, and I all gaze deeply into the camera. If you can’t tell by now, I’m sorry to say but it’s true. This photo has been photoshopped. The point I’m trying to make here is that with anything in life, if you can think it, you can make it.
For the better part of a decade, I helped my father run and manage his custom cabinetry business. I learned to take raw materials and turn them into something elegant and beautiful. The furniture we made was sought after and many people now provide homes for the amazing furniture we’ve made. I loved being a part of an operation that felt like it had so much to offer me, and to be able to help out my family at the same time. But alas, all good things must come to an end.
About two years ago I started to feel like my life was lacking something. The fire I once felt that drove me to be the best I could be was growing dim, and life was starting to feel dull. I found myself wanting more. Something bigger that I could feel in my heart to be out there in the world, just waiting for me to come and find it. I knew that my work life was draining me. I just didn’t know what I was supposed to do.
Fast forward a few months and you’ve got me on the phone with my best friend. Now Ben you see, is a big time hot shot Solutions Architect, or whatever, and he plants the seed for me. I believe he said something like, “Hey Bill, why not just learn some code or something and see if you like it?” . Which I obviously responded to with “Oh hey that’s a cool idea”. I cant promise you that that is exactly verbatim, but it’s pretty darn close. I spent the next year of my life coding in my spare time whenever I found the chance. I taught myself some intro level python and took a few Udemy courses. I enrolled in Harvard’s cs50 computer science class and had an absolute blast being taught by David Malan. I was starting to love the problem solving aspect of being a programmer, but more importantly, it felt like an expression of self. Now that is the feeling I’ve been looking for.
Fast forward once again about a year and a half and you find me having lunch with my dad talking about the future and what it holds for me. I told him that I was planning to quit the company job and pursue a coding boot camp. He looked me dead in the face and said “Thank god, I’ve been getting sick of looking at you.”… Well maybe not those exact words, but lets just say he totally supports me and the moves I’m making in the pursuit of happiness.
So here I am. Taking classes at the Flat Iron School. The online program that is. Which by the way let me tell you, is super great! I get to sleep in until 830 and drink coffee while playing video games until I feel like getting started on my work. The dream I tell you. My cohort has been simply awesome so far. The amount of support I feel like is offered via teachers and students is phenomenal. All of my classmates are driven individuals that will always lend a hand when you need one, or an ear if you just want to yell about your broken code. I love it. Simple as that. I know I made the right choice.