I’ve been teaching web development for a few weeks at a local web dev boot camp. It has been, in a single phrase, awesome. Not only does this reflect well on my resume, I also get to grow a very different set of soft skills while still retaining my connection to the software development world. The cherry on top is the satisfaction of helping individuals learn and move toward more fulfilling careers themselves. After a long day, it’s that satisfaction that keeps me smiling.
I went to college with the intention of becoming a high school math teacher. I had had some great and some terrible teachers who both influenced me to be a positive force in others’ educations. (Perhaps if I had attended a city school with a modern curriculum, I would have known that software development was a far better career for me, but I went to a rural school that only went so far as to teach typing and Microsoft Word.) But because of my slow start I felt forced to abandon the Bachelor’s curriculum in mathematics. At the same time, the siren song of money was drawing me to a more lucrative career. I abandoned the idea of becoming a professional teacher and pursued programming, but my desire to be a great educator never disappeared. And now my teaching job marries those two paths: the career that was and the career that could have been.