My first experience with software development was an “Intro To Java” class at the Ohio State University, 6 years ago (Wow.. 6 years!). At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was studying Communication, knew I was passionate about technology, I just didn’t know what I wanted my career to look like. Coding was always something I was curious about but never something I pursued. I enrolled in the class simply because it seemed to be the most interesting elective at the time. At the end of day one, I felt something I hadn’t quite felt with my other classes; an eagerness to come back the next day. I’ve always been passionate about learning new things but there was something immediately profound about this interest.
The following weeks were a blast. I really enjoyed crunching through the basic “Hello World!”-esque assignments and hanging out in the computer lab. I felt I had a knack for this new thing. I began to notice that I was consistenly one of the first students to finish labs. It often left me wondering, “did I miss something?”; only to find out the next day that my work was actually good! Then life happened.. I was already making significant progress in a Communication degree, I was working, and I was the Vice President of a fraternity. How could I switch majors at this point? It just seemed too daunting. If only I could go back and tell myself to just do it!
Fast forward to today. I currently work for Apple at the local Genius Bar. I spend my day troubleshooting a variety of software and hardware issues for customers’ iPhones, Macs, iPods, and other Apple products. I love the company, I love the tech business, and the work can be quite fulfilling.. but there’s something missing. A few months back, a colleague of mine left the company to pursue a career in iOS development. Around the time of his departure, I talked with him about what he did to land the role. His response? “I taught myself code every day for the last year.” At first I thought.. wow, that’s a lot of dedication.. and it certainly is.. but then I began to think about it more. One year? No expensive 4 year degree? Maybe I could pull this off! This reignited that passion I had years ago. I swiftly (coding pun intended) began looking into coding programs online and dabbling in the basics of a few programming languages. I soon got accepted to a school in New York but couldn’t quite work out the funding for the move. Then, at just the right moment, a family friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in years came into the Genius Bar. I mentioned to him my desire to get into coding and he immediately lit up. He told me a friend of his had attended the Flatiron School in NYC and landed at job immediately after graduation.. and that they had an online program! This was the sign, the little push I needed to get headed in the right direction. It all sounded too good to be true.. but here I am! I am thrilled to be a part of the Flatiron School community and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.
Let’s do this.