CodeNewbie Community

Cover image for A beginning from healthcare to development
Sam Legge
Sam Legge

Posted on

A beginning from healthcare to development

Just bringing this over from dev.to. Originally posted on Dec 28, 2020.

Hello world! My name is Sam and this is my beginning.

It did not hit me in the middle of the night. Nor did I experience some epiphany that pushed me to begin on this path. Mine was a quiet voice and gentle nudge that persisted from when I turned 7 to where I now sit at 36 years. For all those years, my interest in computers and coding was always overshadowed by other passions, careers, obligations, failures, triumphs. My passion for cycling led to a career as a bicycle mechanic in my 20s. I later married and began to look for a means to support a family. This led to a career switch into healthcare. I tried and failed at nursing several times. Each time the struggle to balance study and sleep while working full time, being a father to two young kids, and being enrolled in nursing school proved more difficult that the last. Whether it was my increasing fatigue, decreased interest in medical science, or my disillusionment with nursing, I decided that 2020 would mark the end of my attempts at a career in this field.

This decision did not come easy but the weight that was lifted from my shoulders was immediately noticeable. I was now able to be present with my kids when I had them each week and could now focus on what my next steps could potentially be. I pondered going back to the bicycle industry but previous experiments with doing just this proved to not be the right fit. I wondered if becoming a paramedic for my city would be the "easier" path. I work in the emergency department and have many connections that could land me this sort of work but I could quickly see that I would be unfulfilled.

So what made me decide on computers, coding, development? Well, between the ages of 7 to 36, I have always had my feet dipped in the ocean of computer technology and information. Whether it was tinkering with games, squeezing every bit of performance out of my computer, modifying html and css for my first blog (back in the heyday of Livejournal and ModBlog), taking an intro to programming at community college, installing many linux distros, and geeking out over every new tech hardware released. That quiet voice was always encouraging me to explore computers and technology. Early on, I never thought a career in this was attainable for me. I thought I would need to go back to university and get a degree in computer science like I remembered a friend of mine do. Several years back, I discovered Codecademy and Treehouse. I learned about the many coding bootcamps in Austin. I was starting to see that I did not need to go the traditional route of getting a college degree. The appeal of learning coding from my own home in my own time was such that I began to tell myself that after I became a nurse, I would make this a hobby and learn to build websites for fun.

2020, after sitting down and looking at what my next steps could be, it was obvious to me that I should pursue a career in development. The passion, the challenge, the adaptability, and reward all make it the perfect fit for me. I am excited to begin this journey. I have the support of those closest to me and with chronicling my journey here, I hope to remain encouraged and accountable.

Discussion (5)

Collapse
hmboyles profile image
holly boyles

Hi Sam! I was in the dental field for 18 years when I decided to take the leap into tech. It's always interesting to hear stories of others that came from clinical healthcare backgrounds and are not changing careers!

Collapse
tonycimaglia profile image
Tony Cimaglia

My wife is an RN and it's an incredibly demanding career. We've talked about how difficult learning the career skills we have would have been if our kids were already born. Having the support around you is so important, and it's great you have that. Keep the passion alive by building / learning about what interests you and you'll be golden. Good luck!

Collapse
samlegge profile image
Sam Legge Author

Thank you Tony! It has been a learning curve to find that consistency that fits around my schedule with kids, work, and life. I'm grateful for the support and I'm excited to keep learning. In fact, I don't recall a time when I felt this way about learning something new.

Collapse
agustinustheo profile image
Agustinus Theodorus

Good luck on your future endeavours sir 🙏

Collapse
samlegge profile image
Sam Legge Author

Thank you so much!