My Coding Journey: A Reflection

written by Amber Abreu


blog How one decision changed the trajectory of my life

In February 2021, after feeling the relief of finishing all of my law school applications, I decided to use my new free time to learn a skill. Although I was making my parents proud that their daughter would be going to school to become a lawyer, a feeling of uncertainty kept following me as I studied and applied to these schools.

I had graduated a year early from college as a single mother with no concrete future plans and I felt like I was falling behind. Applying to law school was my scapegoat during this time: I was always studious, so furthering my education in this way made sense as the natural next step. However, my brain was in it but my heart was not and I felt it everyday.

Every night I doubted the decision I was making. Being a lawyer was prestigious, and I would be making my parents proud, but law school was expensive and time consuming, and I didn’t want my career to get in the way of my relationship with my daughter.

So when I finished sending out the applications, I decided to teach myself to learn how to code. I kept thinking about the Computational Linguistics class I took for a year in college and how passionate I felt going into it everyday. During this time, I set up a learning plan and made weekly goals for myself. I had felt more passionate actively learning and seeing my programming skills grow than I ever had studying for the LSAT. I continued to study and watch tutorials during the times that my daughter was asleep, until I made the decision to invest in myself and pursue the career that I always wanted full-time. I taught myself enough to get into Fullstack Academy, and now, a year into my coding journey, I am so glad I made that decision.

Since then, I have created an amazing network of mentors and peers that genuinely want to see me succeed. Every day I am learning something new and watching my skills evolve right before my eyes, and now that I am working as a Teaching Fellow at Fullstack Academy, I get to see other people on their own coding journey’s evolving right in front of me. I am really grateful that I found this path that I genuinely enjoy working in everyday, and to have a career that continuously pushes me to be better.