Jeffrey Goodall, August 31, 2015 | 2 min read

The Winding Path

Picking a career is hard. It requires a lot of thought, an incredibly good understanding of yourself and a lot of luck. Though it’s hard now, it was not always this way. You start off in elementary school “knowing” what you want to be. A firefighter, policeman, astronaut… all of these careers seem like the perfect choice when you’re young, but slowly and steadily they begin to deteriorate. By your senior year in high school, you can’t even decide whether engineering or business is the right major for you, much less what career you want.

This is where I stood 6 years ago; unable to decide on a major and unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. So I decided to do what most people do, choose the career path that seemed the most profitable and made the most use of the skills I knew I had. For me this was petroleum engineering, which after one year turned into chemical engineering. Engineering made good use of my math and science skills and, thanks to some good friends that I made along the way, I enjoyed it. After four years I graduated and would proceed to start my first “real” job at an engineering contracting company in Houston. I thought that’s how my life would continue. But I soon came to realize that chemical engineering was not for me. Without my college friends to bolster my enthusiasm, the job quickly became stale and boring. I was unchallenged and my creativity was being wasted one tedious calculation after another. I needed something new.

That brings us to today. After two years of working there I quit my job to pursue coding. Why coding, you ask? Well, I had done some programming in college and I really enjoyed it. To me programs were almost like puzzle games and I loved solving them. With that in mind, I took a leap of faith. Betting on those “puzzles” as my dream career, I moved to Dallas and enrolled in Tech Talent South, an 8-week bootcamp.

The classes have been very interesting so far and the people I have met have all been far from the boring, corporate style that I had grown accustom to as a chemical engineer. I am optimistic about my future in coding. TTS offers a lot of networking opportunities as well as exposure to the vast field of software development. The tech startups and entrepreneurs located in the building only further emphasize the possibilities in software engineering. I know this program will allow me to zone in on whichever career I want, but first I have to build a base. Through the first two weeks we have learned HTML/CSS, Javascript, jQuery and basic Ruby programming. This week we learn Rails. Though it is a small step, it is a necessary one and brings me one step closer to a career in software development.