Updated: Nov 28
We all have something we are “good” at. Maybe you pick up a baseball for the first time and throw a strike, or you have a ratatouille taste pallet and anything you cook is amazing? For me it was art. I struggled with most other subjects, but art was a subject in which I excelled. Growing up, this attitude made me “good at art”, which later led me to a career in it.
Fast forward to 2021, I have a successful career as a Senior Graphic Designer, but it no longer challenges me. I feel stagnant in my current job, as I have felt in other positions during my career. The sterile environment a year into Covid only exacerbated this feeling. A change was due, which made me think of a career I was always curious about: that of a Software Developer.
Three years prior, I had taken UI and UX courses at Nashville Software School as a way to spice up my resume. During that time, I saw other students taking a Software Development Bootcamp that intrigued me; however, at the time it seemed like an unrealistic prospect. Yet three years later the idea of pursuing a career as a Software Developer still excited me. With the “end of the world” vibe in the air, I felt reckless, applied to Nashville Software School, and got a scholarship. The scholarship alleviated the anxiety of finances during the boot camp, yet my main obstacle was my mindset, which told me “I am not good at this”.
Flashback to my elementary school years and the mindset that I grew up with. Praised for high grades in Art and English but nothing in regards to courses with more logical thinking, of which I associated with coding. I steered away from these more challenging subjects, because I wasn’t “good” at them. However, I craved a challenge, and the “Aha” moment after taking the time to investigate and solve a coding problem was magical. I knew coding wouldn’t be easy because I wasn’t good at it, but it didn’t mean I couldn’t get better. I used this mindset whenever I struggled and instead of shutting down with negative thoughts such as, “I’m not smart enough for this?” I reframed my thought process to, “I don’t know this yet, that’s ok. I can learn.” Or even better, “I don’t know this yet, but why would I? This is all new!” Whenever a failure came I took it as an opportunity to ask questions, practice using my developer tools, and acquire more knowledge. To say I struggled at Nashville Software School is an understatement; however, I pulled through, and in doing so I created a more exciting future for myself. Every day I start work I know I will learn something new, continue to grow, and be a better version of myself. Best of all, I can give myself a high five, because if my high school self saw me now she would think that the world went through a black hole and I was in an opposite land. There’s something cool that I, not a black hole, could change my future in this way.
Now that you know my story, I have a challenge for you. Think of all the amazing experiences this world has to offer, now think of something you have been putting off. Maybe you want to paint but you aren’t “artistic”, or you put off running a race because you aren’t “athletic”? Maybe you want to learn Spanish and move to Alicante. Whatever it is, don’t let anything hold you back, give it a shot and see if it sticks. Your future is yours to create, no matter where you are on your journey.
Lauren Dimbeg is a Software Developer at CANA LLC. You can reach her via her email at firstname.lastname@example.org