Why Colleen Got Into Tech

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× NOTE: My friend Colleen recently made the jump into tech by going to a coding school. I've asked her to share her reasons why she decided to make the switch into technology, because it's a pretty big change from her past endeavors.

My name is Colleen, and I’m here to write about why I decided to get into tech. I’m hardly “in” tech, but I’m learning, growing, and truly enjoying this space. How did I get here? The truth is, there is no one answer, no single “Oprah-inspired, aha moment.” Rather, it’s been a series of continued encouragements and mini victories.

If you’d told me in college while I was writing screenplays at 2:00AM that I’d be writing (ahem, and liking) Python, I’d have laughed you right out of the room! Why on earth the sudden urge to dive into software development? In no order:

Independence: I loved the idea of gaining a set of (employable) skills and tools which I could take with me wherever go, for the rest of my career. Now, I don’t have grand plans to sail around the Mediterranean anytime soon—or at all—but if I need to move, or make a change, that can happen with the skillset I’ve acquired.

Helping Others: Many of the world’s problems can and will be solved through tech. While poetry will continue to save our overwhelmed hearts (Seamus Heaney, anyone?) tech will quite literally—save our beating hearts and contribute to proper cardiac function. I am continually inspired by this and have a desire to champion the quest for solutions. The ability to help others was a strong factor—if not the single strongest factor which drew me into tech.

Challenge: I knew learning to code would be demanding, but I also thought the challenge would be exciting and valuable. I craved something difficult and different. I wanted to see how I would react if I really pushed myself.

Literacy: To me, programming is the new “literacy.” And, I really don’t want to be illiterate. It’s going to affect every facet of life: business, government, the arts, if it hasn’t already. It was imperative to learn. I noticed I was either going to pay someone to keep creating websites and projects for me or I could learn and produce such projects myself.

Friends Dared Me: This is true. After speaking with two friends about the reasons listed about, they dared me to attend an immersive program in Dublin, Ireland. (I did extensive research and decided I would attend Code Institute or no program at all.) I moved from sunny Florida to the Emerald Isle on a chilly day in January. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Now, don’t listen to every dare your friends have, but if it involves education, independence, and a thrilling challenge—perhaps don’t discount it!

Thanks again to Tracy for having me here and allowing me to share my story about why I decided to get into tech. I’m continually impressed and encouraged by her blog posts and feel honored that she would ask me to share my beginnings with you, her audience!

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