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How I Got Into Computer Programming

Have you ever had a burning desire to explore your passion in pursuit of a new career? Currently a student in Hackbright’s 12-week software engineering fellowship, Lindsay Chan started her adventure in programming with a passion for tech and a suggestion from a friend. That suggestion led Chan to Intro to Programming, a part-time night course at Hackbright, in which her long-standing interest in tech developed into a passion for programming.


You have experience in so many fields – entertainment, accounting, marketing; how did you decide to get into programming?

Even though I have worked in a variety of industries and positions, there has always been some sort of technical element of the job that intrigued me. However, I could never do it because I didn’t have the technical training. This curiosity formed the foundation of my interest in programming. Although programming requires a specific set of knowledge, I know I can use these skills in any industry. The broad, applicable nature of programming continues to be very appealing to me. Currently, we live in a job market entrenched in technology at some level, so I figured that learning basic programming wouldn’t hurt.

You took the part-time Intro to Programming course before the full-time fellowship; what lead you to enroll in the part-time course?

Lindsay (center) pictured with her part-time Intro to Programming instructor William Hill and classmates.

After expressing an interest in developing my technical skills, a friend suggested that I try taking a coding class. She referred me to another friend who had gone through Hackbright’s full-time engineering fellowship. She expressed how much she loved her time at Hackbright and how supportive the environment was.

Because of her positive experience, I decided to look into Hackbright. I decided to enroll in the Intro to Programming course to see if coding was for me. After a couple of weeks of the course, I was hooked and decided to apply for the full-time fellowship.

 

I decided to enroll in the Intro to Programming course to see if coding was for me. After a couple of weeks of the course, I was hooked and decided to apply for the full-time fellowship.

You’re currently in the fellowship, congratulations! How did the Intro to Programming course prepare you for the fellowship?

I thought the Intro to Programming course provided a solid foundation for the fellowship. The Intro to Programming course gave me a thorough overview of Python and exposed me to other useful technologies and platforms as well. Although we didn’t go in depth into the intricacies of programming, we were exposed to a wide spectrum of topics during the part-time class.

Having previous knowledge of Python allowed me to grasp and absorb more challenging concepts during the full-time fellowship. I felt much more confident about my time in the fellowship because of this foundation. The fellowship curriculum not only reaffirmed my knowledge, but also provided me with more advanced information about the language.

Having previous knowledge of Python allowed me to grasp and absorb more challenging concepts during the full-time fellowship.

How do you think your experience at Hackbright would have been different if you hadn’t taken Intro to Programming?

Lindsay Chang 3

Lindsay with her certificate of completion from Intro to Programming on Demo Night.

I thought the Intro to Programming course provided a solid foundation for the fellowship. The Intro to Programming course gave me a thorough overview of Python and exposed me to other useful technologies and platforms as well. Although we didn’t go in depth into the intricacies of programming, we were exposed to a wide spectrum of topics during the part-time class.

Going from part-time to full-time student is a major change; how have you managed to make that transition?

The transition from a part-time student to a full-time student was definitely an adjustment. Going from learning 2 days a week for 2.5 hours a day to 5 days a week for 8 hours a day was challenging. After being away from school for awhile, I had to retrain myself to work in “school mode.” Eventually I got used to the schedule and now it almost feels normal. Plenty of sleep, food and downtime made the transition easier.

My favorite thing about Hackbright has been learning new concepts with people who are just as happy to be there as I am.

What’s been your favorite thing so far about your time at Hackbright?

IMG_0319My favorite thing about Hackbright has been learning new concepts with people who are just as happy to be there as I am. It’s nice to be surrounded by people who are eager and excited to be in a classroom. Compared to college, where most people rather skip their homework assignments or not attend lecture, everyone comes in prepared and ready.

They nerd out about the same things, and aren’t afraid to ask questions. For me, it’s been a nice change and I think it fosters a much more supportive environment as well.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting the Intro to Programming course?

I wish I would have started on my final project sooner! I wish I, as least, come into the program with an idea for my project in mind. It definitely takes a lot more effort and planning to create a project than I had anticipated.


Considering a career as a software engineer? Sign up to learn more about our part-time Intro to Programming night course: