I worked at the PTO for a little over two years, and just recently quit. It just wasn’t for me. I stayed there as long as I did mostly to pay off college loans, which was painful but necessary to me to justify moving on from a relatively secure job to learning and studying programming on my own. This was not an easy decision, but it was definitely an important one. Over my two years at the PTO, my vitality noticeably dropped. I exercised less, I felt constantly lethargic, and my mind numbed as I looked over patent applications and attorney’s arguments. I didn’t have the will or energy to cook healthier meals for myself and resorted to eating out. It just wasn’t healthy.
I tried telling myself it wasn’t the job, and that it was all mental and could be fixed. After I finished paying off my loans, which was my biggest excuse for not quitting earlier, I concluded that I did not want to do this job the rest of my life and that if I didn’t leave, it would only be harder later. Recently, I mustered up the courage to tell my supervisor the bad news. I was nervous , but it went fine. She wasn’t really disappointed, and really wanted me to just be happy. I was relieved.
Now, why do I want to get into webdev? It’s where the hotness is at. Online businesses/services/webapps make money while we sleep. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the true lazy man’s domain. I don’t want to work 8 hour days until I’m 50 or 60. After reading about dozens of startup/website successes from teens and twenty-somethings in the New York Times, HN, TechCrunch, etc., I know I don’t have to.
In high school, I was into making websites. I learned by myself/the internet. I did it out of pure interest, not because of money–I didn’t really consider the fact that web developers could automate income and just ignored my interest in diving in deeper and studied something else I thought would be interesting in college. As it turns out, Biomedical Engineering was not all that interesting.
As I was working at the PTO, a college friend dropped out of his grad school program to make money online. Somehow I got interested, and I installed Python on Windows XP (please, don’t judge me, we all start somewhere) and started to learn how to scrape (yes, it ran slowly). One thing led to another, and I got more interested in programming and webdev. As I dove a little deeper down the rabbit hole (i.e. linux), I began to recognize how powerful computers really are, and have been hooked ever since (not that long). I just want to clarify that I think the hole is very deep and that I am not that far down it at all, but just recognize how deep it may be. As another disclaimer, I’m not planning on scraping my way to success. It’s probably not viable for the long term and I want to make something legit.
Anyway, I don’t want to live a life of regret so, let’s start from a clean slate. I’m currently getting more intimate with Django. I know this will be a long process with failures along the way, but I’m willing to go through that to learn more. After recently quitting, I’ve been eating healthier, home cooked meals, running a little everyday to get the blood flowing, and making stuff in Django. And I’m much happier .
Wish me luck.