Found it through the meetups group

(Jeff Easley) #1

Good morning!

My name is Jeff Easley. I’ve spent most of my working life doing everything there is to do in the restaurant industry. Bartending, waiting tables, and managing restaurants was great for single life, but not the best once I started a family. I decided I needed out a couple years ago, and tried out a few things. I did network administration for a couple years right out of high school, but my knowledge in that area has become very outdated. To show how long ago it was, I participated in the planning and implementation of at Windows NT to Win2k conversion…loooooong time ago!

When I was a kid I taught myself how to fix computers, make batch files in DOS, and wrote web pages from scratch using HTML. In hindsight, its what i should have pursued as a career back then. I decided that now is the time for me to pursue that. I’m currently in a bootcamp through UNCC hoping to do just that. I know that without recent relevant experience, I am behind the 8-ball in comparison with others. But the importance of networking and a portfolio are not lost on me.

I’m all in on this, and very happy to have found a local group that I may be able to learn from. Any and all advice is definitely appreciated!

(John Mason) #2

Welcome Jeff!

No worries on starting late. I know a few people that didn’t start coding until later in their adult lives, so you are definitely not alone. Hope this group is useful to you!

(Josh) #3

Hi Jeff,

For what it’s worth, your background sounds very similar to mine. Not so much our work histories (I’ve done mostly construction-related stuff), but the abiding interest in tech. I took a Network Administration course in HS (for a Cisco certification) and I always used to tinker with computers, taking them apart, swapping parts, etc. I would help neighbors and family members with their computers when they were “acting up” (usually just meant updating and/or resetting, but I was still treated like a wizard).

I remember very distinctly having a binder with sheet protectors that were filled with various resources I’d printed out to learn Web Development. This was probably around 99 or 2000, and it was pretty basic HTML and CSS. I thought it was cool, but I sort of got the impression that it was too simple and that nobody would ever pay me to do it. I just thought “well, I learned that!” and moved on. Things were much simpler then and we didn’t have all the frameworks to contend with, to say nothing of the ways the respective specs have expanded over the last 20 years. They hadn’t even come out with jQuery yet!

I often think about how I would be one of those Senior Developers by now if I had stuck with it. But that just wasn’t the direction I went in, and that’s fine. I’m 35 and I wouldn’t say that I’m the absolute picture of the success you can have, but I am happy that I have successfully transitioned away from menial work at companies that don’t value me to technology and I’m on the path I want to be on.

The transition has been challenging, to be honest. I wouldn’t be able to do it if I didn’t really want it. It’s required a lot of endurance. Even after attending bootcamp, I still try to get up every day and code a little before I go to work because I’ve got a lot of ground to cover and I want to be the best. I am fortunate that I don’t have kids, but I do have a wife and other responsibilities. Having kids will put an extra burden on you. But it can be done.

If you ever have any questions, I’m happy to give my general $.02 or what worked for me as well as whatever knowledge I do have about web development (though there are a lot of talented folks who have a lot more knowledge than I do in that department).

(Jeff Easley) #4

John and Josh, Thank you for the welcome. I’m looking forward to the future and the doors that will potentially be open. I also have wondered where I could be had i started this path 20 years ago, but you can do that with nearly every life decision, and it would drive you insane.