When I was in high school, I was a computer nerd. We didn’t have enough money to buy our own computer at home, but friends of the family gave me computers to use – a TRS-80, then a Commodore 64, and, I hit the big time my senior year with a Commodore Amiga. At my high school, we used dumb terminals connected to a DEC mainframe computer. So, I am dating myself. No, we didn’t have the Internet. Shoot – we didn’t even have color monitors at school. Buy, hey, at least we didn’t have punch cards.

I quickly maxed out the programming classes at high school, so I taught myself through a mix of mentors, books, and trial-and-error. I actually learned enough to have a couple part-time jobs programming and spent the first year and a half at college as an Air Force scholar in computer science.

But, I had this picture of my future with a pot of coffee, a computer, and minimal human interaction, so I abandoned the major and coding.

Fast forward 23 years – and I decide to learn to code – again. Specifically, front-end web development (HTML, CSS, and Javascript).

Why?

  • I love to learn new things.
  • I love to build things.
  • I have ideas of websites and web apps that I want to build.
  • It helps me work with web developers on my teams.
  • It might make me more marketable.

I invested in one of the more popular coding bootcamps – General Assembly, taking their Front End Web Development course in the evenings over 10 weeks. Learned a ton, and I recommend General Assembly’s courses. Very professional and well-done.

In the end, I am better for the experience. I haven’t built the next killer app, but I am having fun, I know more, I understand the web development projects I oversee, and, who knows, maybe some of my ideas will turn into products. Some of my hobby projects include: Polipsum, the political Lorem Ipsum generator and some Alexa skills: Recipe Ingredient Substitutes Finder; Fragile X Facts; and, Can I Have a Conversation in a Restroom.