I decided this morning that it was finally time to not only return to blogging, something that I haven’t done since Phase 0 of Dev Bootcamp, but also to redesign my website.
The weekend before I started the on-site portion of DBC, I was sitting in my apartment in Chicago trying to figure out Jekyll and feeling completely overwhelmed by it. (To be fair, part of that may have been nerves.) This morning I realized that it’s actually quite simple. While I could have built Jekyll into my existing github.io site, I wasn’t married to the very basic site that I’d designed over the summer, so I’ve decided to scrap the old site and replace it with a Jekyll-powered blog.
Anyway, a lot has changed in my life over the past year. It’s incredible to think about now. A year ago I was working in the bariatric clinic, seeing 15-20+ patients nearly every day and coming home exhausted and often discouraged. I was long past the point of professional burnout but felt obligated to press on. It’s not something that I’ve talked about publicly very much, but it was a dark time for me. I was trapped in a career that hadn’t fulfilled me in a long time, and as many of you can probably relate, that unhappiness started to seep into every other part of my life.
The bright spot in this time was learning to code. Tomorrow is, coincidentally, the one-year anniversary of my first push to GitHub. This was the calorie calculator that I wrote in Ruby. It’s not much to look at, but it was the turning point for me. Everything that has happened after I typed
git push goes back to that moment. There aren’t many times in my life wherein I could look back and say, “Yep, this was the catalyst, this one moment,” but this is one of them.
Once I got it up on Heroku, I used that calculator in my practice every day. I started pulling it up on my phone when I was in an exam room with a patient so that we could look at it together and talk about what the numbers meant and how we might change them. Not only did I have a new way to connect with my patients and give them another stake in their own care, but I saw how powerful programming was. That phrase is thrown around a lot, but it’s absolutely true. And equally as important, I saw how powerful I could be.
I’ll write about my experience at DBC in a separate post. Today I am simply thinking back on that little app and how far it’s brought me. Through hard work, good timing, and no small amount of luck, I had my pick of job offers last week. On Monday I’ll start my new job with Life.io, and I’m super excited about it. I haven’t felt excited about work in ages. It doesn’t seem real yet; I’m still in disbelief at how this last year has transformed me.
This new year will be a good one.
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