If you asked me what I wanted to do when I was 12 - I would have said ‘Programmer’. I’ve always been a technology hobbyist - teaching myself BASIC on an IBM PC Jr., or convincing my parents that I needed a TI-85 graphing calculator in middle school (hint: I didn’t, but I was able to pass the time on the bus developing games).

After high school, I discovered the high energy of restaurants and the service industry. Over 10 years, I worked a huge range of positions in food and beverage - serving in a family owned diner, Expo at one of the highest rated fine dining restaurants in Florida, and eventually General Management of a restaurant in Portland, overseeing roughly 20 employees and $1.5M in gross annual revenue.

Through my time in the service Industry, I was able to develop strong work ethic, an attention to detail, and excellent interpersonal skills - things I’ll carry with me regardless of the environment. While I loved my time with food and service, I never gave up my love for technology. Most of my free time was spent playing PC games, creating websites, and building custom PCs for friends and family.

In 2014, I was asked by a friend in the technology industry (after an impromptu discussion about design patterns) ‘Why aren’t you a developer?’ I didn’t have a good response. Shortly after, Google Cardboard was released and after an incredibly compelling horror experience, I was hooked. I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of the future as a developer.

I quickly enrolled in Epicodus, a full time and hands on school for aspiring programmers. The structured environment and focus on fundamentals enabled me to turn my passion for technology from a hobby into a career.

Since then, I’ve met some amazing people and worked on a huge number of incredible projects- from two week creative visualizations, to managing teams to create full fledged games. I think the 12 year old me would be pretty happy.