It started with a thoughtful little talk.
I went to the Chic Geek Hack Night last month on the 27th. I’ve attended quite a few Chic Geek meetups since we moved to Calgary, including Hack Nights and book clubs. Some of my favorite new friends are Chic Geeks. On the January 27th Hack Night, Heather Tovey gave a thoughtful little talk about learning your first programming language. Anyone who (like me) feels that they are not a full contributing member of society because they don’t code, seriously, read this talk. It made me feel like, “Yeah, I think I can do that.”
Fast forward four days. On January 31st, I attended an event called The HTML500, (sorry for all the hyperlinks guys, but I want to pass this info along because I’m excited!) a one-day workshop where I learned some basic HTML and CSS FOR FREE! Hack Night and The HTML500 collided in an inspiring week that has me thinking of a career change. From unemployed to employed you ask? Well, yes and no. I am thinking of changing my career from an unemployed engineer to an employable web or app developer.
Clearly, I have not worked out the details yet, but I spend a lot of my time since then doing just that. Here’s what I’ve got so far: there’s a company in Vancouver called Lighthouse Labs that provided the instructors and material for The HTML500. They offer eight-week coding bootcamps aimed at cranking out employable new web and app developers. From what I’ve heard, the bootcamps are intense (12-hour days), but successful and respected. They boast a job placement rate of 100%. Should I do it? Should I jump in head first and commit to a different life? I guess if my answer to that question was, “No,” my response to myself would be, “Well, then you should have stayed in Boise.”
Back to Ms. Tovey. As I understand her story, she is a self-taught web developer. I am going to have coffee with her next week to talk about her experiences in building a new career. If she will kindly allow me, I will write a post on what I learn from her. More details to come!