March 29, 2015

Noob to Wizard: The Journey


It's been around six months since I quit my job as a PSI Analyst. For those of you unfamiliar with the terminology, it's pretty much a glorified title for an Excel technician. I lasted a mere 3 months before the banal, repetitive tasks took their toll on me, slowly killing my sanity with every vlookup I did. There were more than a few reasons why I quit, but most of all, the corporate life wasn't for me. I couldn't imagine kissing ass for the rest of my life to get that 3% promotion every year. I couldn't imagine doing something I didn't enjoy for the rest of my life. I couldn't imagine not being challenged... ever. So I quit.

I quit before I had anything lined up, but I knew I wanted to code. Luckily I had extremely supportive friends who had every intention of helping me reach my goal (shoutout to @alexiomota and @Yanyeeli ). They helped me research coding schools and vet the ones that would fit my needs. They answered any question to the best of their ability and helped me figure out what I wanted to do. Who knows what I would be doing if it weren't for them!

A few weeks and interviews later, I got into the school of my choice, Metis. Unfortunately, after Kaplan acquired Dev Boot Camp, they have decided to streamline Metis as a Data Science school and removed Metis's Ruby on Rails and UX-Front End Development courses. Regardless, my time at Metis was everything I wanted and more (shoutout to @tabfugnic, @dgalarza, harry (please excuse his lack of twitter), and @thoughtbot ).

Although it's not a literal bootcamp, there was nothing easy about attending a coding "boot camp." There were around 5 hours of lecture and 3 hours of practice problems almost every day. On top of that, in order to network, we attended meetups to mingle with other developers and expand our networks. If we weren't able to follow along with the day's material, there was studying to be done after class. Worst of all, I lost 3 hours commuting back and forth from school. "Easy" was never a word that came up when describing those 3 months. But if I were to go back in time and had the chance to do it over again, I would do it in a heartbeat. Not because I'm some sort of sick masochist or because I have $12,000 to just throw around. Not because the material is impossible to learn independently but because the experience taught me what I was capable of and, more importantly, because of the amazing people I met.

Having thoughtbotters as my instructors was invaluable. Not only are they passionate developers, but they are regarded by many to be some of the best in their trade. This was like having Sir Lancelot teaching me to fence or having Michael Jordan teaching me to shoot. They were able to answer questions based on previous experiences, teach us best practices, and show us how to write clean code. The best thing of all, though, was that they stayed connected and truly developed a relationship with us students.

Six months after I quit my job and started down this path, I've landed my first development job as a developer at Wizard Development and it's everything I wanted. I have amazing co-workers, I'm challenged every day, I have a voice in my team, and I get 20% time to write this post. I get freedom to do things the way I see fit and get to learn on the job. I'm pretty much living the dream.

Out of everything I've learned thus far, the most important thing I've learned was just how much I rely on others and to embrace it. Looking back, I would never have gotten to this point without the help of friends I've had and the friends I've made along the way. Being a developer is great because I'm challenged every day and the things that I can learn are limitless. Best of all, the coding community is unrivaled. I've received so much help from others and I want to learn enough so that I can do the same and bring people through the same journey that I did. So if you have any questions about anything feel free to reach out to,

Written by Elijah Kim © 2024
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