Not even 20 minutes into my flight, I already downed one cup of coffee (black of course), pulled out my MacBook Pro, forked over $8 for United’s in-flight wi-fi, logged into Bloc, and started coding, excited to spend the rest of my time in the air working on the next checkpoint in the software developer program. While still in the early phases of the program (I started 7 weeks ago), I’m loving every minute that I get to spend learning programming. Well, probably not every minute…like that time where I spent a good couple hours trying to make a feature on my website work, only to find out that I was missing a “.” in a few spots. That was a lot of fun. But overall, it’s been a great experience so far. I am amazed at how much I’ve learned already, and it’s so cool to see progress almost daily. I’ve already built the a website from scratch, and even my husband (who has a computer science degree) was impressed, and told me that he doesn’t know how to build many of the features that I learned how to implement.
It’s still a little crazy to me that only a few months ago, I was still trying to decide whether or not to take the leap into learning programming. As a full time chemical engineer working in manufacturing for almost 10 years, I have the stability of a nice paycheck, familiarity with my industry, and a proven track record with my employer. At the same time, I was beginning to question if I wanted to keep doing what I was doing for the rest of my career. I had always had an interest in computers, and loved my programming courses in college…maybe even more than my engineering courses. After a series of events happened in my life, both personal and professional, I had a moment of clarity where I decided that life was too short to let fear of the unknown get in the way of pursuing my passions. After several months of taking individual programming courses on my own, more as a hobby, I realized that I was hooked. I didn’t just want to develop in my spare time; I was ready to make this my new career. While this clarity felt awesome, I was also terrified. I knew I was going to have to make some big changes, and I had no idea even where to start. After researching many options, which included traditional education, coding bootcamps (both online and in person), and continuing on my own with free resources, I ended up choosing Bloc. For many reasons, it was the best fit for me and my family, and is allowing me to begin this career transition without quitting my current job until I am ready.
After a little over a month in, I am extremely happy with my decision, both to start learning programming and to go with Bloc’s software developer program. It hasn’t been easy - the material is definitely challenging and takes time to learn. After my kids go to bed, most of my evenings are now dedicated to Bloc, which often means less sleep and time for other hobbies. At the same time, as my skills are growing, I’m realizing even more how ready I am to get into this world full time. I’m starting to understand what people mean when they say that if you find your passion, you won’t work another day in your life. While I know I have a lot of hard work ahead, and sometimes just want the time to pass so I can be “done” with the program and get a job developing full time, I am doing my best to enjoy the journey of the learning process. Bloc certainly makes this easier for me, and I can’t wait to see my progress over the coming months.