If I Can Do It, So Can You

I served 80% of a two year sentence in a level 2 prison. This wasn’t as bad or scary as a lot of people assume. The actual worst part is the fact you don’t have your freedom, but as far as the danger aspect, as long as you are not too weird, or got pride problems or anger issues the danger chance is low, at least in the prison I was at… I digress. So if it wasn’t for my incarceration I would’ve probably died or something, or continued living for negative ideals and selfish ambitions.

When incarcerated I began to fall in love with learning. I would see many other prisoners who would speak of waiting to be released only to return to the same way of thinking. What caused this? I believe a lack of proper education, and a lack of embedded love for learning from an early age caused this. Maybe it wasn’t the full cause, but it contributed to a huge aspect and I knew when I got out of there, I would continue learning, and using what I learn to help others also fall in love with learning, and teaching what they learn to others. We can all learn from each other!

When I got out of prison I thought I wanted to get into psychology, then I changed my mind and wanted to do drug addiction counseling. During that time I started taking classes at the junior college and during this I was working at my uncles cell phone store. I had always loved computers and thought I was pretty savvy. Questioning my perceived savvyness is exactly what made me realize I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. We would run into network problems and software problems and I would not sleep some days at home because I wanted to figure out the problem. By this time I started wondering more about software and how it is written. I googled free programming courses and ran into some free python courses. I went through it half way and got to arrays and it started confusing me. Then I also realized that I learn some syntax but had no idea how to apply this to anything or even create something outside of the websites course editor. but I also realized the power that is behind creating a program. I told my school counselor my new found passion and she suggested an introduction to programming class with C++. It was in this class that I was able to finally talk with other programmers and the teacher helped me understand the concepts I was struggling learning on my own. About a month before that class was over I seen an ad on social media of a programming school that invests in you as opposed to lending you money. I applied for this school and learned that they focused on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which up until then I knew nothing about. I started to research and followed along some videos on YouTube until I understood how the 3 languages work together to make a webpage dynamic, stylish, and structured.

After I applied I began searching for more courses and ran into freeCodeCamp. This site was new to me, and immediately I began the next part of my journey. I got accepted into the school and I begin April 10th 2017. I am excited and I am yet to finish all of the freeCodeCamp’s challenges but I am passionate about doing so. I am excited to get to the non-profit section as well because giving back is the most amazing feeling ever. There will be more to this story, but for now, this is where I am at. A beginner coder, with a fire burning within. A programmer who seeks to learn the craft not so much for monetary gain, but for the love of the challenge and for the love of learning. And over all the love of the free distribution of knowledge through human communication. I have begun coding videos available here that help me to reinforce what I learn, but others may get something out of it, all I ask is to return the favor to someone else if they can, when they can. (:

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