About This Blog...and How I Got Here...I guess this is a disclaimer

I started this blog 90% for myself and 10% for Googleability. It's for me to keep a log of my progress, a place where I can gather my notes and thoughts, and my own personal corner of the internet to review what I've learned. So please ignore whatever grammatical errors, tense issues, etc. you find.

My first exposure to programming was Codecademy. I took their HTML course first, followed it up with CSS, then Javascript. That was in February/March 2014 and at that time, I was working in commodities trading in Singapore and actively looking for a way to channel my creative, intellectual and mental energy.

That's not to say commodities trading doesn't involve any of that. It can, but only for those who are interested in it beyond paying off student loans and reading a few articles here and there.

Luckily, programming caught my attention and with the support and encouragement of my friends in tech, I started to learn in my spare time.

It was tough. With a full-time job, it was tough to carve out some time every day. I have no technical background; STATA is about as technical as it gets when you're an economics major. It's even worse as an Arabic major--Google Translate and DVDs. At work, we used a highly inefficient system of Excel document editing.

My first few months of coding was like a bad on-and-off relationship: some weeks I would study for ten hours, some weeks, none.

But I learned enough coding to know that I LIKED IT. I could write a few basic (note: ugly and janky) programs using Javascript, jQuery, and bad CSS styling. I was getting a handle on Coderbyte problems. But I wanted to be able to do more.

An entreprenuer friend told me about a trend of coding boot camps that were popping up all over the US. At first I was skeptical, but after a bit of research, I found Hack Reactor.

I knew that in order to go down this path, I had to quit my job and devote my attention to learning. So, in August 2014, I quit!


I got into Hack Reactor at the end of September 2014, after finally being able to devote my time to studying and not working.

So here I am, sitting on the 6th floor of Hack Reactor (I started in December 2014), writing this blog post about how I got here.

If you had told me one year ago that I was going to be a software engineer, I would have laughed in your face.

But here I am.


It's kind of interesting how I got here. I grew up in a tech-hub myself (Seattle) through the 90's and most of the noughties. Bill Gates probably single-handedly funded my public school education.

I am not sure why I never went into tech earlier--it was definitely a major interest of mine growing up. I guess it was never suggested to me. No one ever told me that I would be a good engineer and I didn't have anything in common with any of the tech people I came across or knew. Interesting how life pans out.