I learn new technology the same way I went through college and high school and the same way I mainline Bates Motel when I have a free weekend. My mantra is “I am a sponge, this is my passion.”
In 2010 while living and working a not so fun FiDi job in The City, I became interested in helping a friend out with her new startup. She told me, “learn Ruby on Rails and I’ll hire you, it’s easy and you don’t have to be a CS graduate to get it.” That weekend I attended Railsbridge and I was so lost and so out of my element, I was wondering if my computer was even on.
The first question I asked at the Railsbridge Installfest the evening before the event was, “What is a terminal window?” The nice engineer that was assigned to the beginners, to my surprise, didn’t roll his eyes, didn’t call for help, instead-with enthusiasm and a smile he excitedly showed me the Bash Terminal that was installed on my Mac and told me in a hushed voice, “you are now going to be a programmer, think of this little window as your bass guitar and write me a song.” He then gently clicked and placed the terminal in my dock and told me I was all set and walked away, I think in a puff of smoke and sparkles. It was a Ghostdog moment for me and though the weekend was mostly me being lost, as I had to get through RoR terminology before I could begin to code, or what I thought was coding, this simple interaction, from a community I am proud to be a part of, started me on the journey you see here.
Learning how to program isn’t a unicorn. You don’t have to be part of some secret society to code. All you need is your passion and the willingness to share your knowledge. I learned this lesson from a 20 something engineer at a hackathon, with the kindest smile and an obvious love of sharing what he knew. I am truly a late bloomer.