In January 2011, I took stock of my life.
I quickly realized that, while things looked good on the outside -- great home, great career, great friends -- I felt incomplete on the inside. Every day at work, I honed skills that were more and more specialized and less and less useful for doing anything in the real world. I felt like I never actually created anything of value.
So I asked myself a simple question that made the course of action abundantly clear:
5 years from now, where do you want to be?
On one hand, I could continue to move deeper down a path of specialization in an industry I didn't love. On the other, I could put everything I had into learning skills that would allow me to ultimately create things for the world and give me flexibility to solve any problem I wanted.
So I left. I got my first book on HTML/CSS, sold most of my stuff, and moved 2000 miles out to San Francisco to learn how to code and kick off this new adventure.
I haven't regretted that decision for a minute since.
What's Your Story?
Maybe you've just begun to play with code, perhaps making simple web pages in HTML or solving some problems in Ruby. Or maybe you've already had your first "Wow!" moment by using jQuery to bring the browser to life or by building your first command line game.
And maybe you've seen enough to set your mind afire with possibilities... the heady combination of logical problem solving and infinite creativity provided by coding is a perfect storm for the kinds of people who eventually make this their full time job.
Regardless of where you are now, picking up coding is a journey that we know well. It's packed with frustration and elation and every emotion in between. You'll struggle, yell at your screen, and laugh like a maniac when you squash the bug you can't believe you found so you can finally see that program run. And you'll eventually know the soul-warming satisfaction of seeing other people use what you've built.
Though the resources today are better (and certainly more numerous) than ever, they still haven't addressed some of the most fundamental challenges of connecting the dots between playing with code and building a career in software engineering. That's why the exact point when you realize that you want to make this your career is both wildly liberating and absolutely terrifying at the same time.
What do developers actually even do?
How do I break into the industry if I don't know anyone?
Am I good enough to do this?
Am I learning the right things?
Is it too late to pick this stuff up?
Who is going to catch me if I stumble?
The questions are endless and, in most cases, entirely justified.
The Viking Vision
Our vision for Viking Code School is simple:
Life-changing education should be accessible to everyone.
It's a vision whose success will be found only over many years but it serves as the North Star for everything we do here. It's why we've built this school from the ground up to provide a direct path to a career in web development for people who can't drop everything and move across the country right away.
And it's why we'll continue to help awesome people like you to free their inner geek any way that we can.
Free the Geek with Us!
Sometimes the scariest part of knowing the path you want to walk is feeling like you're going it alone. Now, with this blog, you have a friend and mentor along that journey.
We're here to provide plain-English answers to the important questions, check you when you're pointed the wrong way, and show you the things that you're expected to know as part of the transition into a full-time career in software development. We'll cover everything from what your journey ahead looks like to what you need to know up front to how to find and secure a job you'll love.
If you do decide to make development your career, I hope you'll join us as part of our intensive web development program, which was built solely to get awesome talented people like you into the job you want.
Even if you're not quite ready for all that or you're taking a different path, you'll find this blog to be a helpful resource. We'll almost certainly give away far too much information for free but we believe that good things happen when you help people out. It goes along with a philosophy that's pasted on the wall here:
Create more than you consume.
Finally, although we're here to provide hard answers to key questions, it's always with a spirit of creativity and a passion for all things tech. The best developers are the ones who are shamelessly inspired by the geeky, the quirky, and the fun. We do this because we love it, and we hope you'll join us to free your inner geek as well.
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Let's take this journey together!