Why I am Studying Software Engineering

Over the past few years, I have found myself pursuing multiple interests such as recording bands/doing sound for TV, making videos for YouTube, and even writing a book. For a while, I was even passionately interested in trading on the Foreign Exchange market. I enjoyed trying to time the ups and downs of the market. While learning its patterns and methods, I was convinced that this was what I was supposed to do as a career. I sunk every free hour into studying charts, learning the tools given to me by the program I was using, and watching tutorials of the ‘secret trick to beating the market [100% OF THE TIME!!!]’. These efforts, believe it or not, amounted to nothing but a large hole in my wallet and the feeling that the one thing I thought I could be good at was impossible. One day, as I sat myself down at the computer to look at the charts again and figure out their secrets, I realised that I had lost all interest in trading. The stress of seeing green, then red, then green, then red, then more red, then even more red was just not appealing to me. I couldn’t be sure it ever had been.

It was at this point that I put trading on the back burner in hopes that maybe, after some time off, my passion would be re-ignited and I could come back stronger than ever before. It didn’t. Instead, I floated through life going to a job that I’ve been in for the past 8 years. A job that I had NO interest in whatsoever and that provided no progression opportunities that I wanted. There was nothing for me there.
Cut to about 6 months later, we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic , life has not progressed for what feels like years and I have decided to make a change.

So, where does programming come into this? Around about 3 years ago I became very interested in making websites. I’m the kind of person who, when they are interested in something, goes hard at it, learning everything they possibly can about it and then just burn out before it can ever really turn into anything fruitful. Regardless, this was my introduction to any sort of computer language. The reason why I burnt out and gave up back then was not because I didn’t enjoy writing endless div tags or hacking together some JavaScript to make a button change the colour of a word. It was because I had no direction and honestly no idea of what I could even get out of learning these things. With no direction or motivation anymore, my passion died.

Jumping back to the beginning of the pandemic I decided I wanted to try learning a developer language again. So after a quick google search of ‘good languages to learn for beginners’ I came across the wonderful, versatile language of ‘Python’. Python was a whole new world to me. No more was I making words show up on a webpage or endlessly trying to keep the footer of my page down at the bottom where it belongs but I was making dynamic and interactive programs that I could craft to do anything I wanted. If I had an idea, I could just build it! My eyes were very quickly opened to the possibilities of this language during my time taking a ‘Python for everybody’ course on ‘Coursera’. This course was taught by a Mr. ‘Charles Russell Severance’ and his attitude toward the language created an intrigue and obsession that will last longer than any of my past endeavours.

Once the course was complete and I was back out on my own time, learning my way, I actually found that I enjoyed programming even more. Through learning how to program on my own, I learned just how much I love the process of learning. Where this process differs from trading is the definitive nature of programming. Programming has rules and a specific (albeit loose) method to getting something done. Trading had mis-information, money-grabbing ‘moguls’, and always the ‘best way’ of making money out of the market. I couldn’t find the same creativity in trading as I do in programming.

It was around about 7 months into learning how to write programs in Python that I decided this was something that I wanted to do as a career. I wanted the opportunity to always be in a position where I could learn more than I did the day before. I couldn’t stand going into work and knowing exactly what the day was going to throw at me and how I was going to deal with it.
The only problem now was that I had to figure out how exactly I was going to prove to employers that I was worth their time. After a short period of being turned down for all of the jobs I applied for, I realised I simply didn’t have the experience that I thought I did. So rather than just begging every employer I could find to hire me on my word, I decided to take the next step and become formally educated.

This brings me to where I am currently. I have begun studying with Academy Xi to structure my learning in a way that will make sure that I am ready to take on the many challenges of programming and lay a strong foundation for who I am as a developer.

This is only the beginning and I am very excited to see where I will be this time next year!