Hello World!

I decided to learn programming languages and pursue a professional career building web-based digital products. Even though it was a hard decision to make, and it has been an uphill process, I am really satisfied with the change.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and multiple years of experience in the manufacturing of Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals. So, I dabbled with programming a couple of times during my college and professional careers. I enjoyed working on those projects but programming was not my career focus. In fact, I honestly did not have a career focus. Industrial Engineering has a lot of opportunities in different industries such as banking, hospitality, hospitals, software development, among others. In Puerto Rico, my home country, it is expected for an Industrial Engineer to have a career in the manufacturing industry. I write this because I only remember having one engineering class that gave examples that were NOT about manufacturing. Although manufacturing has its striking aspects and it is a solid industry in Puerto Rico, after 5 years, I was ready to move on. But, I was not sure how to move on.

It is a real thing that if one wants to make a change, it will happen or you make it drastically. And what a drastic way it was done! My partner and I went through simultaneous events that affected us deeply and required us to make sudden changes. One of those events affected all puertorricans as well, hurricane Maria. From those events, I concluded that what I wanted in life was to have the freedom to work at my own time and freedom of working location.

Why a career in web development?

My partner is a web developer, works as a freelancer, and owns his work time and location. Also, he taught himself how to program. The moment came when he was overwhelmed with work but with an opportunity to delegate and teach. My internet creative itch was on high so I made a compromise with myself. I decided to focus on learning to program digital products for the following year. If by the end of the year I did not like what I was doing, I would go back to the manufacturing industry. My mentor would be my partner. I thought of my mom telling me: “La luz de a’lante es la que alhumbra (saying in Puerto Rico that means something along the lines of “consider that opportunities may never show up again”). It is a huge compromise to work with your life partner. But it has been so beneficial for both of us. I discovered that I am passionate about programming! I haven’t felt so motivated in long years like I have felt with programming. It is really important to WANT to learn how to program in order to learn to program.

When I put my headphones on, with good upbeat music and coffee in the morning to code my design, it gives me such a great high. Something clicked in my brain when I realized that, not only I can read and interact with the internet, but I can also create it.

Then, why share this page?

From writing code, I felt the need to write human words. Something I did notice while I was researching resources for beginner coders was the lack of actual references to the experiences of a self-directed programmer. Especially Latin Americans and women. From the personal blogs I read from female programmers, most of them had a Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or a degree along those lines. I would like to provide the perspective from a Latin American female entering the programming world without a formal education in the matter. Also known as venting my thought in regards to this transition. And I’ll do it in public because sharing is caring. Maybe there is someone between the internets’ corners that can relate to, or is interested in reading extracts from someone else’s cerebral muscle, and this helps? Who knows.

I just put my headphones on, zip my coffee, and press play…

Talking about hitting Play button…

I am sharing this playlist that I created considering my “Welcome to the programming world!” mode. Includes electronic songs that make me want to type furiously. Take a peek below and follow! I add new songs regularly.

Thanks for reading this far!

So… Are you ready for a great day today?

Press play and…

Happy coding! 😎💻

— Yari Antonieta