This January, I moved to San Francisco to attend App Academy, a selective full-time web development bootcamp, and I've since been hired as a contractor by App Academy to conduct technical interviews with prospective students. It's quite a bit different from teaching handstands, and as this is essentially a personal blog (and because you’re reading this, hi!), here's the explanation:
My ultimate goals haven't changed. I'm passionate about mental health, and looking for a way to have a significant impact while also supporting the lifestyle I want (lots of gymnastics and lots of travel!)
Plan A was to start an online business and help people improve their confidence and self esteem through online coaching - somehow combining fitness, positive mindset, and community. When Plan A didn't work out, I decided to move on to Plan B: become a software developer, earn-to-give, build my skills and my network.
If you've ever heard of Effective Altruism and 80000 Hours, you'll know what I'm talking about. The idea is to use concrete evidence and reasoning to figure out how to do the most good. 80000 Hours turns the Effective Altruism approach into career advise, suggesting that, for example, working a high paying job and then donating to effective charities, or getting involved in start-ups and entrepreneurship, could ultimately have a much bigger social impact than working an entry level job at a non-profit.
At first I worried about abandoning my coaching goals, but I actually think Plan B turned out to be a much better plan. I always knew I wanted to work towards a cause I cared about, but until recently I'd neglected to consider what I was really good at, and what I enjoyed doing. I started teaching myself HTML and CSS in order to improve this website, and just kept diving deeper and deeper. I loved being able to build stuff from scratch. I'd hit a wall, but keep chipping away at a problem, and finally come up with a working solution. That was empowering. Coding felt like playing, just messing around, and I'd get sucked in and lose track of time.
In the tech world I've also been able to surround myself with smart, motivated, passionate, innovative people who can push me to improve myself and always keep learning. I love being part of a team, and solving tough problems collaboratively. And as much as I enjoyed coaching gymnastics, I'm glad to be doing something slightly more challenging than teaching 3 year olds to climb over blocks.
You can be sure I'm committed to becoming the best software developer I can possibly be!