Me, A Software Engineer?



Me, A Web Developer?

Why I quit my great job to learn how to code…

Disclaimer: I’m not a writer.

Sitting hunched over my MacBook at my favorite Starbucks in downtown Manhattan, I look more like Vin Diesel updating his relationship status than a junior Mark Zuckerberg. Bald head? Check. Muscles? Check. Cool Sunglasses from Chronicles of Riddick? Check. Girlfriend? Moving on.

Besides Googling Vin Diesel movies, I have spent days, weeks, and months discovering ways that I could add value to a tech company or a startup. This has always been my passion but I was just an idea guy. I dreamt about how I could use my financial background to become a CFO, or how I could use my creativity to spearhead business development with new verticals, or even use my innate hustle to guide me through a sales role. There are so many options!

However, I quickly realized that anyone could do that. I wanted to have a bigger impact. I wanted to roll up my sleeves, inject my body with caffeine, and pull all-nighters building the next “Uber of Everything”. This burning passion helped me create my personal vision.

Build cool S#!T that matters

I would repeat this mantra again and again in my head. It kept me awake at night and distracted me throughout the day. How do I bridge the gap from YouTube tutorial coding amateur to established developer? How can I take this love of all things technology and build a sustainable career from it?

I tried to fall back on my imaginary computer science degree from Stanford, the fictional MBA I received from Harvard Business School, and the imagined silver spoon I had in my mouth… but my alarm clock would wake me up before I passed the first round of interviews.

Get off your ass

Even though I lacked a computer science education and an expansive tech related network, I realized I shared a lot of similarities with Mr. Zuckerberg. We both are hungry, innovative, and looking to change the world. Sure, our route from A to B is very different but I see technology as the greatest enabler of our time and by harnessing this power, I could become half-man, half-machine! Queue the evil laugh (Muahahah).

Honestly, destiny has a funny way of working out and if you want something bad enough, you will get it. Sure, the minutes will become hours and the days may become weeks but trust in the process and, most importantly, trust in your skills. So I made the leap.

Believe in yourself

I quit my job in Finance and I’m diving full-time into software and web development. Am I nervous? Hell yeah I’m nervous! I left a well-paying, cushy job in Finance that would’ve made me a millionaire by my thirtieth birthday. But that doesn’t matter.

I have never been this happy or motivated in my life. I truly have an opportunity to build the future and I’m taking full advantage by doing what others fear doing.

Sure, it’s possible that after the countless hours on Stackoverflow.com and debugging thousands of bad programs that I could hate coding. I could absolutely despise it. It’s also possible that I never make another penny and have to work menial jobs to cover the rent. But I have zero worries about those options because what I’m doing is much bigger than that. I’m creating a better future for myself starting now.

I took a leap and followed my heart to do something I don’t have a background in. The rush of excitement, happiness, and passion has infused new life into me and I hate sleeping because I just want to be building really cool S#!T all the time.

I’m not worried about failure because it’s impossible to fail when you’re learning. Everyone has their own Excalibur and I will be doing everything I can to rip that metaphoric sword from the rock and hoist it high above my head in victory.

You know what the funny thing is? I have already succeeded. I proved I had the courage to make a difficult change for a better tomorrow. Don’t worry, I’m not done yet; I still have so much to prove and a world to transform.

Find your muse

I hope you now feel inspired to chase your dreams even if you don’t think you have access to the right tools. We live in a world of abundance rather than scarcity and you need to realize that! It doesn’t matter if you want to be a Nobel laureate, an actor in Hollywood, or a sexy programmer like me.

All you need to do is make a plan, get off your ass, and DO IT!

Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by Jon Rohan

About the author: Benjamin Stewart

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