“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius

If you asked me a couple of months ago about what my opinion was on coding, my answer would be and I quote “I could never see myself go down that career path, coding is so boring.”

Hi, my name is Liselle and I am a current student at Flatiron School. I graduated from Pace University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Biology with hopes and dreams of pursuing a career in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The person I was at the beginning of this year could have never even guessed that I would make this transition into tech.

As we all know, in the beginning of March 2020, New York was under PAUSE and all non-essential workers were required to stay home. During this time, we all had feelings of stress and anxiety at one point or another. We were either an essential worker, working from home, or trying to grasp the fact that we were out of a job but nonetheless, this was a stressful and strange time for everyone. Whichever the circumstance, we were trying to adjust to everything going on around us and trying to mourn the loss of the pre-pandemic life we once had.

Since I was out of work, I really needed something to do during quarantine to not only get my mind off of current events but to use all this new free time I had to learn something new. I decided to pick up a familiar skill in R, a statistical programming language. I took an introduction course in Biostatistics in college and R was the main program we used to analyze our data. So I thought picking up this skill would be extremely beneficial to me since I wanted to go into a field that will most likely use this program. I purchased a course in R on Udemy and was excited to re-familiarize and learn more about R.

After completing about 50% of the course, something just clicked for me. I found myself falling in love with code. Yes, me, falling in love with code. Who would have thought! If you knew me, this would be the last thing you would even think I would do. I took an introduction course to computer information science in college and at that time, I was swamped with my science coursework (mostly Organic Chemistry) so I didn’t even really get to recognize coding for what it is. So when I was doing R and I saw that a couple of lines of code could create this beautiful display, it lit a fire within me. I never knew how creative and satisfying coding actually is.

“Wait but isn’t R more data science than software engineering?” Yes, but you still need to tell the program what to do when you want to display different colors on a graph that represent your data. It wasn’t so much of the data science part that really drew me in but the fact that you could literally create anything you wanted with code. I gained this new perspective of programming. It was no longer a boring thing to me, it became this new way of not only satisfying my love for problem solving but also giving me the ability to have a creative outlet that I never knew I needed.

After making this realization, I craved more. I wanted to see if this was something that I really wanted to pursue. I did some research and almost every forum I saw said Python was the best for beginners. So I purchased a Python course on Udemy (yes Udemy was my best friend during quarantine and it still is to this day) to gain a new understanding of coding rather than just what I’ve seen in R. I fell more in love with code. I was able to learn basic concepts and logic that I think helped prepare me for something bigger. I really did enjoy self-paced learning but I needed something more. I wanted to really have guidance in my learning and to be challenged in a way that self taught learning can’t really offer. I wanted a more interactive and community based learning.

In my opinion, there really is no better way to learn than from others. Yes, you can solve problems in your own way but how cool is it to know multiple ways to solve one problem. You can learn so much not only about yourself and your own knowledge but being able to learn how others think and solve problems is something you can’t get by learning by yourself. Being able to have a community of people that are on the same pace as you also helps keep you on track and motivates you. As I was looking around at different coding boot camps that fit the type of learning environment that suited me, I found Flatiron School.

Flatiron School makes it very known that they are all about community. Most of the coursework is done through collaborative learning and not to mention the different programs that they offer really sold me. They do their best to accommodate everyone no matter what is going on in their life or their background. Once I made the decision that Flatiron School was a fit for me, I applied and (as you can already tell by this blog post) I got in! I am so happy that I found my passion to code because it has allowed me to fully embrace my creative side.

I’m so grateful for this opportunity that Flatiron School is giving me and I’m so excited to see where my keyboard takes me!