Sarah Rhie, March 10, 2015 | 4 min read

Do Something

When I decided I was going to join the part-time code immersion class with Tech Talent South in Raleigh this winter, many of my friends and family were surprised to hear that I was going to take a coding class. “What? Really? Why? That’s cool, though. I had no idea you were interested in that stuff.”

I was not surprised by their response.

If you look at my lifestyle, it would be safe to assume that I’m pretty clueless when it comes to technology. I honestly do not know how to work Twitter proficiently. I don’t possess the skill to make my IG photos VSCO-y with that perfect hipster tint to show that I’m in the “in” crowd. I seriously don’t know how to use Dropbox, but somehow I’ve managed to view something that’s been shared with me (how do I share?). I JUST updated to OS X Yosemite (only because of this coding class) and just until a few weeks ago, I was still sporting my cracked iPhone 4S until a friend berated me for being so behind and donated his iPhone5 upon his iPhone 6 upgrade (since when was it a crime to use an outdated phone?). Yeah! See—nothing about that screams that I would appear to be someone interested in coding, so WHY did I even sign up for this class?

Despite feeling behind on the current tech bandwagon, there was a time when I was all about CSS and HTML. Back in the day when Xanga existed and was actually relevant, I would spend hours reading and finding CSS and HTML codes to style my Xanga page to my liking. That was my first taste to coding, but unfortunately, my journey to code ended there. As time passed and Xanga grew obsolete, my time exploring codes waned, and I pursued other interests in college and beyond.

I don’t know if it’s just a mid twenties thing (is this what they call a quarter life crisis?), but I feel like a lot of people around me struggle with “finding your passion,” and determining whether our work brings value and fulfillment. All this talk about passion, work and fulfillment really had me thinking about my own strengths, weaknesses, and interests. If someone asked me what my interests and hobbies are I think I would have to really think about it (uhh…Netflix and donuts?). Somewhere in between trying to find a job and learning to settle into “adult life,” I had become complacent with a mundane, routine lifestyle that mainly involved work and home. This really irritated me. I felt like I was wasting time and opportunities for fulfillment and joy by not pushing myself out of my comfort zone in taking the initiative in finding and being active in my interests. That’s when I decided that I wanted to go on a mission to try and experience new things and activities. Netflix, you were great, but I don’t need you.

Then, I remembered my beloved Xanga page and the hours I spent beautifying it. Maybe, just maybe, if I gave coding a chance, I’ll enjoy it just as much as I did when I had scratched the surface with CSS and HTML. That possibility loomed over me, and I had to find out. I searched for coding/hacker programs, but most required a full-time commitment and and/or were located outside of the Triangle, but quitting my job and moving for coding wasn’t a viable option for me. Luckily, I came across Tech Talent South and saw that they had a part-time class AND it was in Raleigh. Seriously? This had to be a sign, because it just fit all too perfectly.

As I’m closing in on the final week with Tech Talent South, I can honestly say that this class has stretched me, not only intellectually, but personally as well. I had no idea whether I would love coding or not once I passed the simple CSS and HTML, but I gave it a try, and I’m proud of myself for trying something new, outside of my comfortable routine. Intellectually, to be honest, coding has been racking my brain, BUT the feeling of accomplishment that I get when my code works AND I understand why it’s working is such a rewarding and addicting feeling that it keeps me going. That feeling of accomplishment alone keeps me excited to continue to code on my own even after the class ends, and I’m excited to be able to create something not only for myself but for my friends and family.
If you have even the slightest interest in coding, give it a try! Seriously, what is there to lose? Either you’ll love it and get hooked or you’ll figure out that coding isn’t for you and you can cross that off your list and move on with at least some basic knowledge of code. Seems like a win-win situation to me! #TRYIT (I also don’t know how to use hashtags appropriately..)