Why I Enrolled in the Flatiron School to Learn Software Engineering

As of last month, I’m officially a student of Flatiron School’s full-time software engineering program. I’ve been really enjoying myself so far and I’m confident that this is the next move I want to be making in my career, but when the school asked us to complete a blog entry about why we’ve decided to go into software engineering, I struggled with how to articulate it.

I have a slightly eclectic background, though I’ve spent the last 10 or so years of it, in one way or another, in tech. Most recently I had the title of “technical data analyst” at Jellyvision in Chicago, IL, which had me, yes, analyzing data, but also working alongside software engineers to create, debug, and monitor web applications. I’ve reached a point in my tech career where I simultaneously feel like I know a lot and also very little.

I’m going to try to break down my reasons for this career step in a few points:

1.) I love to learn. It’s cliche, but it’s true. I love that there is always, always something new to learn when you’re working with code, I love that there are so many free online resources from which to learn things, and I love that there’s a huge community to tap into for knowledge and support. It’s hard to think of many professions that have such readily-accessible information and engaged peers.

2.) It’s ubiquitous. Yes, there’s coding for an employer, but if I want to build an app I’m interested in on my own time, no one’s stopping me. If I want to get involved in open source or pro bono work, there’s plenty of it. If I want to apply something new I’ve learned, I can do a project — I don’t have to wait for permission, or funding, etc. You don’t really hear about anyone doing a little dentistry project on the side. (I hope. Things do get a little crazy during a lengthy pandemic.)

3.) I want to commit to something. So far, my career has been directed by a job that sounded interesting, or a company that sounded interesting, without me really actively considering My Career. I think that’s a fine way to go about things! But as I look to the future, I really want to put my energy into a field with intention — I’m a *great* jack-of-all-trades, but there’s also something appealing about working toward becoming a master. (Well, take “master” with a grain of salt, see #1 — always something new to learn.)

I really want to become good at coding, and I’m ready to put in the work to get there. Flatiron is a great fit for me at this point — they give you a lot, and you get out what you put in. I’m eager to build up my skills, over the next few months of this bootcamp and from there on out!