Back on the Ruby train

Today was a sunny day. Which means, in Portland, today was a great day. It really does blow my mind how sunshine can alter your mood so drastically.

The sun, my early arrival to work, (early to rise, early to GTFO of the office amirite). Not too shabby for a Monday.

But, today, the main event was my conscious decision to get back on the Ruby train.

I’m still fairly young in my career, and most of my experience has been customer service-based (which, honestly, is a perfectly fine and respectable career). Unfortunately, it’s not the career I’ve ever really wanted for myself. It just happens to have been the starting point with the lowest barrier of entry for a biology major gone Foreign Language Master’s graduate.

After years of annual and bi-annual (and quarterly and monthly) panics about where I want to be in my career, I still struggle to choose a particular direction and stick with it. I often begin in one direction, following where my skill set and where a reasonable career may lead me, and often drop it, out of insecurity or restlessness, or because of the lure of something shinier and sexier pops up in my head. This has been my relationship with programming over the past two years.

I first played around with a course or two on HTML and CSS, and, frankly, learned nothing. Then I found my current job and got sidetracked from that larger goal. Through this position, though, I did find that I had a penchant for patterns. And data is full of patterns. So, it seemed, tech was a good place for me. I began bonding with one of the engineers I worked closely with, who happens to have a lot of influence over data projects and QA. With her encouragement, I decided to give Ruby a try. So, I started some CodeAcademy; worked on a few problem sets; got acquainted with the basics. And then, I was given my first Ruby-related project at work and realized how absolutely minimal my knowledge in this field was, quickly became discouraged, and shut down. I distracted myself with fashion blogs and online shopping for weeks, neglecting the work I knew I should be doing. And, while I don’t think those distractions are fully vanishing anytime soon, I decided to give myself a little kick in the ass today.

Learning Ruby does not mean a full career as a developer. Learning Ruby does not mean giving up my dream of owning the town’s hippest and most delicious coffee shop and *insert specialty baked good that I haven’t figured out yet*. Learning Ruby does not mean I can never be a writer. Learning Ruby just means…learning some Ruby. (Oh, and also fluffing up my resume with non-customer service related skills, that’s also kind of a big deal). Most of all, learning Ruby, is certainly not a waste of my time. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

SO. Here’s to all you folks out there, trying to teach yourself how to code. It is hard. And time consuming. And, let’s be honest, kind of emotionally draining. But, hang in there. Just keep going. Just work on another problem…another lesson. Eventually, you’ll get somewhere.

Happy Monday. 🙂



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