Launch Academy, winter 2015: It’s official!

IMG_0865“Weren’t you an English major?”

Believe me, I’m just as surprised as you are.

After a year and a half of taking coding classes — initially in hopes of developing more employable skills in pursuit of a communications career — I’ve discovered that I love learning and using programming languages. So much so that I began watching my engineer friends with a great deal of wistfulness, and began asking, “Is there a way I can do this every day?”

I have been accepted into Boston’s Launch Academy, a full-stack, immersive, web development bootcamp. Having given my notice at work, I will begin the program full-time in early November. Late nights and weekends onsite are expected, but with a pay-off: When I graduate at the end of January, I will be prepared for a job as a junior software engineer specializing in Ruby on Rails.

Having avoided math, science, and engineering courses in school — largely, I think, because I felt intimidated by the way those subjects were taught — I’ve found it empowering to realize how much I like solving programming puzzles. Problem-solving is fun once you have the right tools in hand. And, when you can use those tools to build something that works, like a running program or a properly formatted web page, it’s a thrill!

In the past few years since graduating from Kenyon College, I have taught high school English and middle school math. As Communications Director for a State Senate campaign, I watched in awe and admiration as our devoted team — comprised of family and friends, high school and college students, and community volunteers — catapulted my Dad to victory in a challenging race brimming over with worthy candidates. At WGBH, I worked behind the scenes of a TV show, discovered how digital tools and media can enhance early childhood learning, and helped give middle school students an apprenticeship experience at their local TV and radio station. My loved ones and I have also traveled to the other side of the world and back.

And now it’s time for another adventure.

I have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I am so excited for this next phase of my life.

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