Graduate Updates is a dialogue style series that we started as a way to spend more time chatting with our graduates and to get a peek into their lives after Firehose.
In each update, we share the details of these conversations and give you the opportunity to get to know our students a little better.
In this interview, we talk with Chris, who made the leap to pursue a career 1,000 miles away from home as an iOS developer at Metova.
Tell us about yourself and how programming became part of your story.
I’ve always enjoyed math and logic, and that was the path I wanted to pursue for a career. However, I felt called to be a mother over pursuing my career when my son was diagnosed with epilepsy. I still completed a degree in Applied Math through an online program. However, I put my career on hold to be a full-time mother to my 3 kids. Once they were all school age and I began homeschooling them, I had a deep desire to start learning myself. I searched for something that was closely related to the math field but would allow a flexible work environment. I had taken a programming course in college and had done very well, so that’s where I started. That’s how I became interested in coding.
When did you realize coding was a passion and not just a fleeting hobby?
When I became slightly obsessed with it. I’d sit down to code and just enjoyed it so much I’d get engrossed in it. I would get stuck on something and HAVE to figure it out. I never got frustrated with it, but I always felt the need to figure it out.
What have you been up to since graduating Firehose?
I moved over 1,000 miles from my lifelong home state of PA to pursue my passion. I was offered a job training as an iOS developer and made the leap.
Tell us about one of the best moments you’ve had as a developer.
One of the best moments I’ve had as a developer was seeing my very first solo app hit the App Store and having the client be especially happy and thankful about it.
What does an average day in your life look like? What about a great day?
On an average day, I’m coding, still searching for answers to things I don’t know how to do, and occasionally still feeling a little bit of imposter syndrome.
On a great day, I actually know what I’m doing and feel very confident with my work.
What’s something outside of coding that’s important to you?
Something that is a huge part of who I am personally and as a developer is my faith. I honestly believe that it was mainly by the grace of God that I’ve grown as much as I have. My training through Firehose and my love to code brought me to a certain point. But there came a time when I felt in way over my head. I was building an app and doing things that I never imagined doing on my own with less than a year under my belt. I prayed a lot and that’s what got me through when I was struggling with my abilities as a developer. I know that’s not a “typical” developer mentality, but it’s who I am and really my rock on which I confidently stand as a developer.
What’s something unexpected that you learned about yourself while becoming a developer?
I learned that I’ll never learn everything there is to know about coding, and I’ll be okay even though I don’t always know what I’m doing.
Are you reading/watching/listening to anything interesting lately?
I’m not stuck on any one thing. In general, I try to diversify and just find things that interest me and are challenging to me and dive in as deep as I can.
Where can people find you?
Honestly, I’m not very plugged in at the moment. I work a 40-hour week and I spend the rest of my time engaged with my family and my church. I’ll occasionally tweet @learngrowaccept and I’m on GitHub as leamerluck.
Thanks, Chris! We really enjoyed catching up with you :)