The front-end engineering world is fascinating but also a little scary. Scary because of how much I don’t know at this point. I’ve dove head first into a new world I never knew existed.
Last week I was able to attend the Charleston WordPress meet-up group hosted at The Iron Yard. It was a great time of meeting people around the area who want to learn and challenge themselves to grow as programmers. We also had the pleasure of having Zach Schnackel show us the aspects of his Boilerplate theme ‘Basey’ and why he built it. During his talk I was quickly overwhelmed at how much I don’t know about programming. Sometimes I question how I will ever become a “programmer.” All sorts of negative thoughts haunt my mind but then I remind myself that I am a “programmer.” I’ve been able to accomplish a great deal in just two weeks with the guidance of an awesome instructor and the help from fellow students.
The truth is, I will never be done learning and that is very exciting! To stop learning is to stop living.
Getting out of your comfort zone is hard and not the path most of us choose to take. We like predictable outcomes and the safety that accompanies them. The problem with that sort of life is that it is really boring!
Great things in life come with a risk of failure and defeat. When you take a chance, there is no guarantee that everything will work out. In fact, it probably won’t work out perfectly like you hoped for. If you look at the great men and women throughout history you will see that they all took the road less traveled.
Most of my career I’ve taken the predictable path. You know what I found? Those paths are usually very disappointing. I want more out of life than ordinary. I don’t regret getting a four year degree but it hasn’t really brought me what I hoped for. The traditional route isn’t for me. I wasn’t made to wake up and do that same boring work day in and day out. Doing so makes me feel as though I’m wasting away.
I need to be challenged and stretched. I need to work with people who feel the same. People who think outside of the box and like to challenge the status quo.
I found exactly that when I stumbled upon The Iron Yard coding school. At first, I passed on the idea that I could become a programmer and completely change my career path. But something told me to look further and dig a little deeper. The funny thing was, I was actually teaching myself how to code last fall and really enjoyed it. I thought it would be a cool hobby and maybe make some extra money on the side. To pursue this new life, I had to take a huge leap of faith. I had to quit my job in order to accommodate a full-time, 3 month intensive course. “Rational” thinking would have said to forget about it and stay at my company. My company afforded safety and guarantee, after all.
I had an unexplainable force urging me to take this leap and go all in. The best part about it is my wife is fully supportive of this venture. Now, here I am after week two of school and I have no regrets WHAT SO EVER!
My life for the past two weeks has consisted of digesting tons of material on programming. My eyes have been fixed to a 13″ screen for hours on end and my ears are destroyed from listening to music nonstop to cut out the world.
To tell you the truth…I absolutely love it! I’m learning some incredible stuff and I’m meeting some awesome people along the way.
I’m out of my comfort zone and that’s exactly where I need to be.