Why I chose to study Software Engineering

In college, I took a class that at the time I was not particularily interested in taking. It was a general education requirement that focused on learning Microsoft Excel and other office products. During that class, to my surprise, I found out that I really enjoyed working with excel. My main career was in aviation and I was able to successfully land a job at the airlines after college. But it was that base level excel knowledge that started my interest in coding and started many rewarding side jobs.

My first job in addition to the job at the airlines was doing simple reports. I really dove into the role and helped anyone with their excel problems. Eventually I was designing custom reports and became the company excel guy. I was later asked to develop a companywide dashboard that would pull information from various databases and display custom metrics. It was a great experience getting to have so much freedom to create a system from the ground up. I will admit however that I was way over my head. I only really had excel training and everything was self-taught.

Sometime later I became a subject matter expert on a volunteer committee with the airlines. I was in charge of maintaining a database of pilot’s employment status. Again, without much guidance I enjoyed the ability to figure out the project by myself. However, I realized that I didn’t have the proper training for what I was doing. These were very rewarding experiences I pursued in addition to my main career in aviation.

Due to the circumstances resulting from covid-19, I was forced to take a hard look at my career options. I reflected on my previous experiences and realized I have a strong interest in technology, so I decided to explore this further. I found that coding was just what I was looking for, it was challenging and incredibly rewarding. In the early quarantine phase, I attempted to teach myself as much as possible through tutorials, coding challenges, Arduino, etc. and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, partly from what I experienced before, I knew I needed a formal education so I could form a solid foundation from which to build on.

That is why I chose the software engineering program at Flatiron. Studying software engineering in a comprehensive program like this will give me the knowledge I need to successfully pursue a career as a software engineer. It will be a long and challenging path ahead, but I am excited to see where it leads!

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