Does not sound like much does it? Well, it did not seem like much at the time, but when I see where I am at today, it definitely makes sense.
One day at work, we started working on a new process to ensure better quality management. That process was a manual process consisting of a large number of simple unitary Excel tasks. Like many people who use Excel every day for work, I was rather good with the basics and knew about macros but had never learnt how to build them. After executing the new process manually two days in a row I decided that neither myself nor the rest of the team should waste 30 minutes a day for something that can be automated. I decided to try and create a macro that would replace the manual labor.
It sounded great but there was a tiny little insignificant problem: I had never built a macro and had no clue how to do it. As I said, it was a tiny little insignificant problem, and I tend to regularly say that there are no problems, only solutions. With the help of a friend working in another team, I learnt the basics of VBA. Asking Google for help and trying stuff did the rest. There I was, building my first macro ever, and curiously loving it. Curiously for a simple reason: I was never what people would call a geek. First day at work, one of my new coworkers was helping me with setting up all the necessary shortcuts on my desktop and his first question was rather clear: “Computers are not your thing are they?”. The day my macro worked, I gave him a call. I had to.
Last September, I reached a point in my job where I realised it was time to do something else. I was bored and no longer liked what I was doing. I felt I lacked stimulation and missed learning new things every day. Most days, there would be a point where I would get bored. A random day in September, I received an email from General Assembly about a workshop they were holding on the subject of career change for people who did not find their current career fulfilling. I thought that this email came at a very convenient point in time. During the workshop, we were asked many questions that you ask yourself from time to time without really thinking about it or without giving them the time needed to reach a meaningful answer.
Going home with these questions to find answers to, it became obvious: what I had liked the most in the past year was building macros. What I missed the most was learning stuffs. I’m not picky about what to learn, I like learning about virtually anything. These two things kept moving around in my subconscious the following days. And then, it came. This email about how there is a high demand for Full-stack Web Developers in London. I started making research on all the schools that were offering a training for a job requiring these skills and found in Flatiron School something that convinced me. I applied, started coding and had a cultural interview.
And the night before I had my leaving drinks at work, I received my Admission notification, and the great news that I was granted the Women Take Tech scholarship.
And this, kids, is the story of how I decided to become a developer.
N.B. This article was originally published on December 18, 2018.