A few months ago, I left a comfortable job at a great start-up on the west coast, packed a big truck with all my belongings, and moved across the country with my partner to a small town on the east coast. And with this lifestyle change, it was also time for a career change.
I’ve been working in tech for my entire career, but my roles have varied. I started off as a web designer & developer and eventually transitioned into roles in project/program & product management. Most recently, I’ve been working as a product manager and designer. I absolutely loved the UX design part of my job. But I grew tired of product management. I’d also come to find that that opportunities for growth and advancement were limited in the roles I held.
The thing about me is I love to make things. I love to draw, paint, code, make toys, sing, play the uke, tinker, sculpt, and do whatever I can to make something new every day. While it was exciting to help shape a product’s direction as a product manager, I really missed getting my hands dirty.
Outside of work I loved coding. I’d write little scripts to help automate some of my daily tasks - parsing git logs and organizing bug lists, for example. I made little apps that allowed me to experiment with platforms and technologies that I found interesting. I think all of that made me a better product manager because I understood more of the technologies my teammates were working with, but it left me with a desire to grow as a programmer.
I heard about Hacker School earlier this year and it seemed like a rare opportunity to focus on improving my programming skills, meet interesting people, and contemplate my next career move.
I applied to the program, sharing my story and a few short code samples. After a couple of pretty wonderful interviews I was invited to join the Fall 2014 batch. The people I talked to during the interview process were awesome and increased my excitement even further. I really didn’t think I stood a chance of being accepted. And yet, here I am.
So here I am, ready to code my little heart out for the next few months and become better at a thing I really love. At the end of my 3 months in NYC, I’ll have some great work to show, and be ready to start hunting down a killer programming job.
Hacker School, let’s do this!