My year of code: The numbers

This has been a really big project for me. It has been hard to understand all of the concepts, it has been hard to stay motivated and consistent, and it’s been hard to make the big bold claim that I’m going to quit my job, THEN start learning my new career and THEN get a job in that new field. This has really been a huge test.

I just ran the numbers on my study hours and I’m surprised by a lot of things. It was mind numbing to calculate all of the sessions up – I’m not cut out to be an accountant! I was also surprised by how many things I had forgotten along the way.

All counted there were 329 days between me starting this project (my year of code) and getting a job offer. During that time I spent 1287 hours learning to code. Only 40% of those hours were during launch academy on-campus, and the Launch on-campus semester represents 26% of my days since start. Unsurprisingly my daily average went way up during Launch. It almost doubled from 3.2hr/day to 6hr/day. Both of those numbers surprised me with how low they are, but the first 200+ days I was still working full time. I think the other reason why the averages as low as they were was weekend work. I rarely put in more than 4 hours on a weekend day, so that brings down a week of long days pretty quickly. Regardless of the number, I have spent a ton of time learning this past 329 days…

So what did I learn?

I learned a lot.

I learned a ton of technical skills: react, rails, ruby, css, html, tdd, github, heroku, google maps api…

I learned a lot about how to learn:

  • how to find resources
  • how to continue working on something when you aren’t sure what it is
  • how to ask a question in a way that someone can answer it
  • when to put something down and come back in a little bit
  • how to accept that some things are not important to know right now, and where to find that line.

I learned to have faith in the people around me: my friends and family, my classmates, my instructors (and the process @LaunchAcademy!)

I learned to be thankful for everything that I have:

  • the love and support of the world’s best wife
  • the financial ability (thanks again beautiful!) to take the leap and accrue debt before getting a job
  • the help and encouragement of lots of friends and friends-of-friends who helped me scope out @LaunchAcademy before enrolling and gave me tips on how to survive the process
  • the many kind internet strangers who paused their day to answer some random question I had or posted something useful to twitter

I’ve been very lucky with the opportunities I’ve been given. I am extremely thankful that I this risk has gone so closely according to plan. Not everyone gets that chance, and not everyone gets my outcome. I don’t think it’s entirely my hard work, but I do think that the harder you work, the luckier you get.

Methodology – There are a few days that I didn’t write a blog post for, so the exact values are unknown. Usually those are counted as 1 hour since I only actually took one day off so 1 hour is a safe minimum. The exception to that rule is in the last 2 weeks of Launch Academy. I was working from dusk to dawn and the only time I wasn’t working was when I was sleeping or when I was with my family. For those days I averaged the days around them.

Tell me what you think.

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