I knew programming was for me, MUCH later in life.

I loved playing with computers growing up but it wasn't until college that I tried programming ... and failed...

At the college I was at the first class you took was a class about C. It was taught by someone who 'just gets it', read from a old dusty book about C, that assumes you already know C... programming concepts and a ton more. It was horrible. He read from the book, then gave you your assignment and off you went.

This was before the age when the internet had a lot of good data available on programming. And it didn't help that I was a terrible student. I wasn't mature enough, I had no attention span.

So I decide programming is not for me and i drop out of school and through some lucky events I went on to make a good career in the tech world in networking. Good income and working with good people and all that.

Then after age 40... I'm at a company who is acquired (approved by the Trump administration ... who said there would be lots of great jobs) and they laid most people off.

I wasn't too sad about the layoffs that we knew were comming, it was a good career but I was tiring on the network / tech support world. If you think tech debt is bad, try working in networking land where every protocols shortcomings are 40+ years in the making and they can't be fixed ... without another layer of 20 year old bad ideas... and there's just no way out.

It was also an area where at most companies even where those staff are valued, eventually they decide you're just 'maintenance'.

I had worked really closely with the developers at this company, and I found they got along with me, and I got along with them to the point that they asked some issues be assigned to me. I could spot patterns in bugs and provide engineering data they wanted (accurate / logical troubleshooting, clear documentation, no guessing, tell them "i don't know" when I really don't ... surprising how few people do that).

We had such a good relationship that the directors in my department couldn't get a hold of engineering resources when they wanted ... but engineering would always answer my "Bro, you're going to want to be ready for this one, here's the details..." calls.

I hadn't seen their code ever (it was closely guarded) ... but I felt like I 'knew' it.

But no matter how valuable I was to the engineering teams I was in support... not engineering and thus I was expendable / our department was seen / treated as a cost center.

So as layoff time drew near I knew I liked working with the engineering team and I wondered what to do and I thought maybe I'd take a shot at programming while I had time at work. I read a bunch on the internet and played with some JavaScript as it was super accessible and ... found a whole community that was a hell of a lot more helpful than in my college years and all sorts of info on the internet.

So I do a bunch of stuff online and I'm enjoying it, but I also want a classroom experience to get questions answered and etc.

Unfortunately, as far as in person options are it felt like me it was:

- Go back to college for years ---- un no I've got fam and kids.

- Bootcamps, who have pretty mixed (i'm being nice) reputations.

So layoff time comes, I was really fortunate to get a good severance so I've got time ... but not go back to college time.

So I sign up for the canned bootcamp at my local university.

I could go on for ages about how everyone who hates boot camps is wrong ... and right about them. But I'll skip that for now and say that ... I actually had a great time.

I (and the handful of capable folks in the class) found that while we weren't great students in the past ... we were suddenly super excited about going to class every day and having someone drop knowledge on us each day was ultra motivating.

After that I picked up my first job and it has been fun since then. I like fixing stuff, I like making it 'better' and easier to use (for me, coworkers, and the customer) and it's fun learning / trying new things all the time.

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