My name is Rhonda and I am a former television producer, host producer, video editor, and copywriter. I was doing cable broadcasting but was always interested in internet broadcasting, coding, robotics, and cryptocurrency.

I actually started in computer science and transitioned out of that and into my career route, but I was always interested in the tech side of the work that I did and wanted to branch out. That was a huge motivator for me to really explore coding and what I could do with it.

I found Turing through a co-worker of mine who actually left the company we were working for to go to a coding school. I actually had two co-workers that left our company to go to coding schools. So I was doing research on coding schools that were local and found Turing. I was like “Wow, this is awesome! I don’t have to go to a 4 year school or go back to college in order to pursue something that I’ve wanted to do for so long.” Plus I just really liked the mission and style of the curriculum -- with the separate back-end and front-end. It was just a matter of choosing which one I wanted to go for.

Then I talked with Will about it. We were both researching different schools. There were some strictly online programs that we were looking into so we could go to school and work at the same time. But it was also a matter of: do we want to throw ourselves into this fully and be completely dedicated to coding, or have to balance work and school.

We did our research, talked about it, and went to a “Try Coding” that weekend. I thought: if I don’t just pursue it now, I’m not going to pursue it at all, and if I waited any longer I would still be where I was in my previous career. There was no upward trajectory for me in that same department. So it was like, “Okay, I can move to a different company and probably start over again, and have to build myself up.” And the industry that I’m in, there aren’t many companies that are local. It was unfortunate.

It’s kind of sad to me that I wish I would’ve discovered this sooner. I’m just like, “Oh, I wasted all this time, I could’ve been doing this a long time ago.” But it’s fine now because I’m pursuing coding and I’m almost done.

And the dream is, of course, to be able to work remotely and work from home. I think that a coding career provides that. So that was a long-term goal.

The big challenge is that it’s just so stressful. You know, it’s a stressful program in general, and so we’re both experiencing the same stress. That combined can be an issue if you aren’t able to communicate, work it out, and have healthy ways that you manage the stress. I think that’s probably the biggest challenge.

I don’t think being around each other for long periods of time is that much of a challenge, because we’re also working in groups, we’re working with other people, and we’re doing our own thing. We come together and just talk about what we did. We’re not necessarily working together constantly, we have that separation, so it’s been a good balance.

Based on my own experience, I think really preparing yourself for the curriculum is tough.The more time you can spend researching, learning on your own, and really immersing yourself as much as you can before you even start at Turing -- I think helps tremendously just to feel better prepared. Although I don’t know if there’s a good way to get comfortable with being uncomfortable!

Battling with that feeling in your mind of “Oh, I don’t know anything, and I can’t understand what’s happening”, that was huge. It definitely affects your learning. But just getting comfortable with not understanding what’s happening, but that I can research and really just dive into this and just accept that I’m not going to know everything, and it’s okay.


* * *

My name is William and I’m from Denver, Colorado and I am currently a part of the 1703 back-end program, which graduates next month. My background is in corporate investment and finance, so I used to work for various petroleum corporations. After several years, I began to feel a little bored with my full potential and wanted to seek out something a bit more challenging and creative and fulfilling. That eventually led me to software development, and after doing extensive research -- both internally and externally with multiple bootcamps -- I decided Turing was the best fit for me.

I was working in an industry that I just didn’t like. I thought I might enjoy it at first, and then I got stuck with a job - it was still a good salary, good career choice, but I didn’t have that passion every morning to wake up. I didn’t want to go to work.

You’re at your work how many hours a day, a week, a year? You know? That’s a big part of your life, and if you don’t want to wake up and go do it, then it’s either now or never to make the decision and do something you’re passionate about.

Rhonda basically gave the backstory to all of it. I just wanted to include that I’ve known about coding for probably over a decade now. I’ve had a lot of friends that were in the industry, and I’ve always been interested in it. But it was one of those things where I never thought I could do it. I think a lot of people have that barrier to entry, which is, you have to know all these operators, you have to have a CS degree, you have to be this, this, and that.

But that’s not the case, and that’s something you learn at Turing.This is something anyone can do if you just take up the challenge, just go out there and do it.

Coding school is something we had discussed for probably a year, and finally we decided to make the decision. It’s the best decision we’ve made. I think it’s always the time thing, but even that was kind of a good thing for us. A lot of people say they don’t spend that much time with someone, but I’ve loved it, and it’s great to see how much we’ve both evolved through this process.  Coming into this together is much more positive than negative. There’s always someone that we can reach out to if there’s a problem to be solved.

Turing can be very challenging. It can be very scary at points. There’s some nights that we would be here until three in the morning, but it’s one of those things that you get out what you put in. And if you do that with someone, together, whether that be a close friend or a partner, it’s so beneficial. It’s something that I wouldn’t have actually wanted to do alone, I prefer doing it with Rhonda.

Once again, I’ll say what she’s saying. Prepare as much as possible, there’s many online courses and tutorials people can look into before coming here, and then if they go through those and they feel passionate about it, or enjoy that coding process, then come to one of Turing’s information weekends, Try Coding, now. And if they enjoy that, then sign up.

The video version of this article can be found on YouTube. Another version can also be found on Medium.

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