The Day Before
So before I really get started in school, documenting my processes, my experiences, I suppose I should let you know a little about me and what got me here
I'm 40 years old, I'm a single dad of 3, and I'm disabled.. well, partially - I have 3 displaced discs in L1-L3 and osteoarthritis in bot of my knees. We live in a rather rural town, so finding work that wasn't manual labor that would surpass back breaking for me, wasn't the easiest of tasks. And forget surgery. Docs won't touch it except to give me pain meds and muscle relaxers, and a network of other pills that make me no good as a parent.
I tried work from home, doing customer service for Telecom Companies, Mobile Companies, Gaming Companies, Insurance Companies, the list goes on. And as soon as the work slowed down, another was added to the list. While I was working for these companies, I learned one inescapable truth. They all had one thing in common, except for maybe the Insurance Companies, their backends were HORRIBLE. Clunky pieces of outdated software that was either written on a beta framework of Sharepoint, or Custom Coded 3rd party tools that wouldn't work half the time.
I would spend nights, after the kids went to bed, after my stream was over (Oh yea, I'm a twitch streamer too) thinking about those systems I had to work with, the issues they faced, and how I could improve on them. I drew up sketches in my head, new interfaces, new end-user experience. More stable, more responsive. I could resize the screens and have things just fix themselves, rather than have to scroll all over the place to get to something.
That's when it hit me - I needed to be working in the industry that makes all this stuff. I've got the experience using it, why not take a stab at improving it now?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not going into this completely blind. I've got about 3 years of practical experience under my belt already, and self taught as much as I could, but I couldn't progress very far, because I needed the structure that a school could offer. But I couldn't go back to school, because I still have about 10k in student loan debt.
I was browsing Facebook about 3 weeks ago, and bless the algorithms, the site knew I was looking at coding tutorials, and classes, the answer popped up right in front of my face.. a bootcamp. 9 months of the most rigorous, in your face, discipline bearing, freedom fighting service training that this country.. wait.. wrong bootcamp..
I said to myself.."What the hell is a bootcamp?" Googled it.. and was floored. apparently I was sleeping under a rock for the last 20 years, because there are coding bootcamps everywhere! And they aren't that expensive. But the only caveat is that they are all full time. Can't work, can't make money for the family. There are part time options, but they extend the course out another 4-6 months, and still don't lend to simultaneous employment well. I checked the finances. With what my Fiancee brings in, we have just enough to make it for about a year and a half on our current budgetary needs if I buy into this. Screw it, nothing ventured, nothing gained..
Then, I learned about Lambda. The angels sang. Not only do I get the extensive bootcamp that I wanted, but I don't even have to pay it back until I make over 50k a year? That's already 3x what I make now.. We can live comfortably and then some even at that salaray, but I've since learned from the success stories on the Slack, that people are getting offers 3x that amount with about as much experience as I have had so far. SIGN ME UP!
So here I am, about to take the plunge. 9 months of intensive code-therapy, I'll be dreaming in code before this is over, guaranteed. And I want to share my experiences with the world.