Commiting To The Switch, From Blue to White

Many Hats, Trucker to Coder

I’ve worn many hats. I’ve done manual machining, worked on cars, truck driving, deli, retail, and insurance sales. I have to say Software Developer I enjoy the most. I’m currently 26 and wish I would’ve gotten into the tech industry instead of truck driving. I use to drive locally in Chicago just picking up and dropping off general freight and doing trailer switches. It was easy money but worked long hours and i realized after 3 years I didn’t want the rest of my life to be on the roads staying past 7pm not being able to see my future kids as much as Iwould want to. So I started doing research on software development. I also wanted a challenge everyday and not to be doing the same thing over and over again. I know there’s money to be made in trucks same as computers but I decided to commit to software development.

I Should’ve Chose Computers

When I turned 21at the time I didn’t have a place to stay so one of my close friends recommened I needed to make money fast so I got my CDL. He introduced me to a counselor at the time that was able to help me find a room mate and he also did a little bit of career guidance. He had me take interests test to see what I might like in a career. My top 3 choices were truck driving, computers, and chef. I have a fear of being burned though so I decide to go with truck driving. If I would’ve known at that time how much i enjoy software development I would’ve chose otherwise. Since I knew a few people who knew some people that owned trucks and made money I chose trucking. Trucking was great but from my experience so far in the boot camp I’m currently enrolled in I enjoy it far more!

The Challenge In It

The thing that got to me the most about trucking was the endless repetitiveness. Go pick this up. Drop those off. Make this on time. You’re staying late for 2 trailer swaps. Ya good money but I value my time more and it was mostly boring I didn’t feel like I was growing. I play a lot of video games for the problem solving and the challenge of thinking how to do something. Granted so far software development has been the biggest challenge I’ve faced but similar to exerting yourself physically in a sport or martial art you want to further yourself. You don’t one day just decide to give up. With software devleopment the pool is vast and you can go on deep dives and meet others in the same field and not just talk about how much PTO you have. I can usually catch on to things relativly quickly and this skill is the most challenging which makes me want it more. I really haven’t stopped being excited, a little frustrated because I’m a little behind but I know I can get it down. Coming from trucking where the hardest thing I had to do was blindside back a 53 foot truck into a single dock off a busy main street compared to coding is like doing a 180 from mindless driving to pumping the brain for everything its got. I love it though, the satisfaction of finally figuring out something that you’ve been struggling with is the best.

Researching, Preparing, and Commiting

I looked into either self teaching myself or going to school, but then I found the option to go to a bootcamp. For a while I wasn’t in the position to attend mainly due to financial reasons and my girlfriend was still in school at the time as well. Since she finished it was my turn to commit to my career change. I looked at 3 different coding bootcamps and landed on FlatIron School. I love it here and the program is great. We have learned about vanilla Ruby, SQL, Sinatra, Javascript, CSS, HTML, and React. All packed into 15 weeks of non stop knowledge and reps. One thing I wish I would’ve done was dabble more into coding before I came so I could’ve been more familiar with the content we’ve been going over. At least the basics is what I would strongly recommend. Anyways I hope you enjoyed the little bit about me and the read, and I hope I encourage you to take the next step in your career change. Be safe!