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Rachel on Ruby


A blog about my adventures in web development using Ruby.


Finding Your Road

This is going to be more of a personal post versus a technical one, but I think it’s important for me to get out there.

Why did I decide to get involved in web development? I am a 30-something with an MBA in Business Analytics and a law degree (yet to be used but maybe one day?) currently making my living as a data analyst. I love data and learning and exploring all the ways it can help advance our society. While my job is a great one, I still feel unsatisfied and have a hard time picturing myself continuing down this path to retirement. So, I have made it a point to keep myself open to other possibilities. This has led to where I am currently – learning web development through an online bootcamp. (Flatiron School’s Learn Verified)

I have always been technically inclined; my favorite part of my classes was building the spreadsheets and running the algorithms. I organize to a fault and am always looking for ways to be more efficient and end careless errors. In my job I started writing Excel macros; after that came the basics of VBA and simple scripting.

There is a term that I’ve heard called flow in which you are so engrossed in what you are doing that time just flies by. You can get into a steady stream of work where you are not easily distracted and are “in the zone.” I always assumed this meant having great concentration skills. That is, until I first experienced it when I was working on an automation script. Suddenly, the work day was over. I was so caught up in finding a solution that I didn’t even notice the time passing. That’s when I knew this type of work was something I wouldn’t get bored with and could see myself doing long-term.

I think I’m drawn to programming because it requires the logic and rules a type A person craves. But it also requires creativity and knowing how to think in the abstract to solve a problem. There can be many different ways to get something done and I find it so gratifying to come up with one of those ways. It’s also fascinating to see how other people might do the same thing. Programming has given me a completely new way to challenge my brain.

In college, I never even considered computer science as a possible career, and business school didn’t venture into anything beyond analysis software. Even though learning web development through Flatiron/Learn has little intersection with what I spent all those years studying, I believe that investing in yourself is one of the most important things you can do. I’m not quitting my day job any time soon but I am open to exploring this potential new career and learning everything I can. Hopefully I will find that position that perfectly balances data analytics and programming. Until then, I can at least see a road in front of me.

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