this is it
The moment I have been looking for. Me. Here. With you. Why am I doing this? Well, I will be blunt, here. This is for me... Maybe not entirely for me, since I do plan to post more technical articles here and there, but at the core, I'm doing this to document my programming journey. If, in doing so, I can inspire others, well, icing on the cake.
However, I need this. I need to write down my thoughts, jot down my projet ideas, document my progress...
All in all, I want to learn in public.
My road is not very traditional. In fact, it's only since a couple of years that I'm entirely devoted to becoming a professional software developer. I come from a totally different background. You see, early on in my youth, I started working with the public. I studied in theatre and worked professionally as an actor/director/playright for a decade (constantly falling back to working with the public for income was scarce for me in showbiz) and then, a drastic change happened.
I decided to go back to school in nursing. Yeah... I couldn't provide for our then family-of-two-and-growing and chose nursing since I liked people and I liked to help. So, in order to be able to enter the nursing program, I needed to do some prerequisite chemistry courses. I totally was charmed by chemistry (when I reflect on this I realize the charm came most probably was caused by all the math, analysis and calculations I was doing than the actual chemistry... but that's another topic). I loved the macroscopic world and decided I wanted more. So I started a bachelor degree in chemistry (after doing, again, even more prerequisites such as all the intro physics and calculus courses) and soon my curiosity led me to learn about extra-curriculum topics such as molecular simulations and computational chemistry.
I should mention that at that time, I took an intro to programming course at the university and learnt some Java. It was my first university-level programming course and it was a real eye-opener. I aced it and felt like a world of new possibilities was opening up. However, at the time, I still wanted to pursue my studies in chemistry and, because of this, we moved here, in Sherbrooke, Canada, for there was a computational chemistry lab that I was really interested in joining.
Well, folks, nothing happens randomly. It's all deterministic. I made that move for a reason, and that reason shed more light on the path I finally decided to take.
While, I was doing an undergraduate internship to that well-respected lab, I was learning about Quantum Chemistry and using python to do some data analysis and send computational scripts to a supercomputer to run simulations. I loved it! It was my first contact with python and the more I was coding, the more I realized that I liked more the computational than the chemistry.
So I switched path.
If I go back in time and am honest with myself, I see that I have always liked programming. When I was a teenager, I did start to learn BASIC. Remember this folks?
10 PRINT "GOING BACK IN TIME!" 20 GOTO 10 RUN GOING BACK IN TIME!
Well... I didn't do much with it, though. Changing colors on the screen, printing some text... But still, I liked it! Very much. I even remember starting a fighting fantastic gamebook with my best friend! Ok, that project, being well above my skills at the time, didn't see completion, but you know... you get the point.
I love programming. I think it has always been in my DNA. I didn't pursue this at the time. And it's ok. It made me the man I am right now. A family man, father of four, with a 20+ years of background experience in sales, communication, customer service, management... You name it and I probably have done it. Man of thousand skills.
Yet, here I am, on the path of becoming a software developer and loving every minute of it. Like a teenager again.
This time, I will stay on the current path.
undergrad and self-taught
It is in 2018 that I started my Bsc in computer science. However, at the time, the timing was not perfect for us and I chose to focus on our family. For me, family comes firts. So, I took a few semesters off, post-poned the undergraduate studies until this Fall, but kept learning by myself.
I am coding everyday.
On Twitter or on my GitHub you can follow my progress on the #100DaysOfCode challenge, where I code for at least an hour on a project, everyday. It has been a very very motivating endeavour and I will surely do, as a lot of devs in the community, a second round. I like the discipline it teaches us. You can see one of the projects that I made during the challenge here. It is my first MERN stack application which aims to log in daily progress and quickly format postings to Twitter and Github for the #DaysOfAnything challenge.
Since it has been completed, I use it daily. You see, I like to automate things.
I will make a write-up of the whole making of this app, since it started with a simple html/css/js project that I refactored into a complete MERN app. Needless to say, I learnt a lot in the process.
Now, I'm currently working on another project, which is in a private repo for the time being but which I should make public soon.
So, anyways, this is it. For now. If you've reached this, thanks a lot for reading. I hope you got to know me a little better.
Come back from time to time, to see where I'm at.
Until then, stay safe!