My father always had an interest in electronics and computer technology. From a young age, I had access to those resources he had made available. One resource I always had was access to computers. I watched him build them, and joined in, but it didn't end there. Any projects we built together, he was considerably better with the hardware aspect of a project, and I was considerably better with the software. It was the difference of what we enjoyed more.
I have had many different careers throughout my adult life, but regardless, every day when I got home I would get on my computers and spend as much of my free time as I could. In that free time, for a while I was working with a small startup out of New Zealand as the Programming and Production Lead. I had an incredible time doing this, but game development is tough to make much if any, money at in the independent scene. Sometimes, I would come home and tell my wife about the things I disliked about my day job I was currently working at. Then lament that I wish I could be making money with the games I made. One of those evenings she was encouraging me to just go for it and find a different way to make money and really get into the industry at a more professional level.
I had begun to look at school choices to try to determine a route I wanted to go down. When I was younger I had attended Portland Community College, as well as Oregon Institute of Technology. So I looked into 4 year colleges again, when I had attended before, everything that had been taught was very broad. I had spent a lot of free time outside of school learning many of the things they taught. Most cases the material never goes very in depth and you get a general overview. It really hadn't felt very worth the cost and time to attend traditional college for me. There were some new courses that seemed to be a lot more focused on a single topic, that increased the knowledge depth beyond my own. Those courses were based on other aspects of Computer Science, which were interesting, but, I love to code! So, no or little income for 4 years which just didn't work with a family. No, or little expansion on my coding knowledge from 4 years of dedication. Traditional College just wasn't going to be the right route for me.
I reached out to some friends in the professional tech industry and began to meet with them and go to events to try to network and find a path to success. Through the meetups I met with a previous Boise CodeWorks student. I had looked at the BCW site, but hadn't put much thought into it. I was told about a Virtual Reality event by a friend who had a professional team entering into the event. At the event I was talking with the previous BCW grad, who told us we had to go check out the project BCW had made. It was this awesome bike that as you pedaled, it controlled the speed in a VR game, and the handlebars actually could steer you in game as well. These guys were building awesome projects that genuinely interested me! Just talking to the instructors gave me confidence that it would be worth my time.
I signed up knowing that I would get to be coding all day, doing the thing I love most. I knew this path would lead me to challenges to conquer and I would never be bored and tired of my job again. During the course so many light bulbs lit up for me. I had found the missing pieces I needed that I may have never found without my Instructors. When I finished I told my wife, "It's incredible, the thing (coding) I have done for free, or even paid to do, I can now do every day and get paid to do it!". After completing the course I've continued to live my dream of coding every day as well as helping other people achieve the same thing. It took me more than 10 years to find the right path, CodeWorks was the best decision I've made.