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This post is a recommendation from the Fullstack Academy curriculum.

TL,DR: I’m going to Fullstack to gain confidence in applying for software developer jobs. I like its learning environment, its culture. It is progressive and positive, aside from having competent instructors and a great curriculum.

I used to be a chemist for a chemical manufacturing company that caters to the semiconductor industry in the Austin, TX area. I decided after about three years to take a break, after my mother’s death, and take stock of what I really want to do with the rest of my life. I love chemistry and I learned a lot from my previous jobs. However, I think I wanted something different from what I always used to do, which was, if not teaching, it’s being a bench chemist. Life is too short to be stuck in the lab or so I thought. :-)

During my break, I went over my experiences. I can remember that time when I was deciding what to major in for college. My strongest performance was in Geometry! I loved that class and I loved proving theorems. It’s too bad I can’t remember how to do that anymore (I stopped doing it). I liked trigonometry and algebra. I also liked science, too, but not to the point of making it as a major for college. The first thing I thought I would take was Civil Engineering. Unfortunately, this major wasn’t available in the campus I was supposed to go to. My parents financed my education, and so anything they wanted us to take was what we’re supposed to take. So, I took chemistry because that was what my father wanted me to take.

However, I did well in chemistry that I never thought of switching to another major. I got good grades in college, for the most part. I enjoyed the problem solving parts. I loved the math part. There were a lot of that in chemistry (especially analytical chemistry). I also did well in organic chemistry because of the “puzzle-like” problems (how to synthesize a compound, arrow-pushing mechanisms). I also liked taking the required math, statistics, and computer sciences courses that go along with the chemistry curriculum. I mostly hated the social science and literature part and found that I sucked in physical chemistry which is actually surprising because it has a lot of math. Perhaps P-chem was really abstract and it would take someone who really, really understood the material to teach this course effectively. However, I persevered and made it. I even went to teach in the same university, due mainly to a shortage of teachers in the institute/department.

Deciding I had enough of teaching, I went to become a research assistant for a big research instutute in my hometown. While here, I felt that I needed to move on to something else, though I didn’t know what it was. However, I found myself applying to the PhD chemistry program at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and eventually ended up there.

But now that I have the luxury to pursue what I really want, I tried hard to find out what I am good at and what I think I would really enjoy. So here I am learning to code and going to Fullstack, the bootcamp. I thought this program was good judging from the reviews and what I have seen so far. I’m almost through with the required preparation for the course. I think it will be hard, but I just need to hang in there and enjoy the ride.