I've always been into creating something from nothing and got bitten by the web design bug during the web 1.0 days.I thought of myself as an artisté trapped within an analytic mind and programming allowed me to create without needing to have the dexterous skill a traditional artist required. I am a visual learner so the desire to display information in a clear and concise manner is very important to me. Programming was a means to an end to communicate with an intended audience. My code wasnt the cleanest but it was (mostly) functional.
To quote my strikingly similar #DEVCommunity article
As a GenXer who grew up with a strong work ethic I decided to start at the bottom, work hard and wait to be recognized for my efforts. I got so wrapped up in reaching for the brass ring I forgot about my real passions. I’ve bounced between a bunch of different focuses: Technical writing and documentation, training, process creation, deployment, networking and helpdesk. All in an effort to regain the spark I had creating with code.
I had convinced myself that I wasn’t a “programmer”. I knew a little bit here and there to do my job and personal projects. When I graduated I shopped my resume and portfolio around trying to get jobs that span from television production to entry level development. I was told that my body of work was impressive but because I didnt have a computer science degree or certifications I was not a suitable candidate. I freelanced here and there and somehow landed one web development job made a lot of money in a short amount of time then got out. I thought support and networking was more stable career path.
During my undergrad I was obsessed with making programs and websites to do dumb things. I made sites to help run D&D games. One of my senior projects was an application for farmers to share information with each other regarding grow conditions for various crops. After that class we received grants from the school to flesh the project out more and it became property of the AgEngineering department (dont work on commercial products as coursework kids!).
I made programs to play collectible card games over IP because we were too poor to buy physical cards. I was blessed to have QA jobs in the summer for gaming companies. I worked on multiple distributed teams that made FPS mods and have 3 commercial releases under my belt. By graduation I had professional and hobbyist experience creating and testing software. I miss that environment.
I am excited to be learning again and trying to find my niche. A lot has changed since I’ve been out of the development space so I am really trying to focus on my strengths and marketability. I am a learner advocate at egghead.io and eager to contribute to the community at large. Currently my end goal is to become involved in Developer Relations.