Although I began my 26th year still living in the city that molded the first quarter-century of my life, my life already felt different. After two bittersweet election years, I had resolved to find a way to impact the world beyond politics. My first step involved finding a new professional role that utilized my strengths and changed lives without being overtly political.
A few months prior, I made a small web application to keep track of ping pong games for my coworkers at Oscar Health. Even though it was a trivial side project, and I was an inexperienced coder, I felt exhilarated when my peers started using the app. Even as I moved on to the CSOs, I kept tinkering. By early Summer, I decided to become a developer.
They don't call it a bootcamp for nothing - I worked full days almost every day of the week for four months just to keep up with the curriculum. I developed a new stress wrinkle on my cheek that still hasn't faded. Even still, I enjoyed being a student more than I ever have before. It was project-based learning, and I was surrounded by extremely bright peers all working toward the same goal.
I try to live by the programmer credo: 'Always Be Coding'. As a student, I helped build simplified versions of Twitter, Wikipedia, Spotify, and Amazon. My group capstone project was a Chrome extension that helps people practice coding on Youtube. I've also built an action for Google Assistant, a Microsoft VSCode extension, and a handful of professional and personal websites (like this one). My favorite work-in-progress is a podcast player and recommendation engine.
Erin has been thriving in her Masters program. Truman and Eleanor love all the New York smells and nearby parks, though I'm sure Truman misses Arizona hiking. We've seen half a dozen Broadway shows, and the dogs and I experienced our first snowy winter.
I'm also grateful for the many friends and family members who brought joy to my life this past year.
Now I begin another new chapter: the job search. I'm not sure where I'm going to end up, but I know I want to work on difficult challenges with other intelligent developers in NYC. I want to continue building useful tools, exploring new ideas, meeting people who are making a dent in the universe, and loving Erin and the doggos. If you know anyone who you'd like to connect with me, let me know!