I began working in business management in the fall of 2013, when I attended my first Startup Weekend in Colorado Springs. I’d been interested in web development and entrepreneurship before, but I had not explored it further until that point. Startup Weekend was my first real spark that started me on the path I’m on now. It also introduced me to all kinds of exciting technology and startup concepts like; the business model canvas, the lean startup method, wireframes/prototyping, and graphic design. At the time, the programming aspects of our project seemed like mystical wizardry. I was definitely jealous of those skills, but I had relegated them to a part of my mind that was unachievable.
I slowly began to attempt some tech startup concepts without learning to code by using alternative tools and content management systems (CMS) such as Shopify and WordPress. I understood the value of those tools, but they weren’t quite able to execute what I wanted. So I hesitantly dipped my toes into the HTML/CSS class on Codecademy.com. Bam! That ended up being my spark #2. None of it was as hard as I had expected, and the basics of a website became immediately demystified. I continued to push myself forward and took more programming MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) while also reading programing books.
I ended up moving to Myrtle Beach, SC and within a week I became active in the community at Startup.SC, a Myrtle Beach startup incubator. They gave me a space to work through my online programming lessons. It was there that I got involved with the tech startup LunaDesk. At the time, I had handled the business development aspects of the startup, so that de-facto ended my programming education.
It was at the Startup.SC space that I took my first in-person programming class with Tech Talent South’s two week pop-up code school. You could call that my spark #3. I never would have realized how much that would have advanced my learning and left me craving more. In fact, it had such an impact on me that I decided to continue with TTS’s full-time program. There was one major problem though, TTS didn’t offer a full-time coding program in Myrtle Beach. So I did what any sane/insane person would do: I packed up everything I owned, put it into my compact car, and moved to New Orleans for the 8-week, full-time program. I decided in my mind that I would put my full dedication into learning how to program. I truly enjoy it and nothing would make me happier than a career in programming.