A love letter to a newfound passion
“Learn to code”.
Every Humanities student heard that at least once. Sometimes said as genuine advice, other times as a pretentious sneer. This little statement haunts many of us as the digitalization of the world proceeds at a steady, fast pace.
It does so because, whatever the motivation of the phrase, learning to code is a great idea for a career, in a pragmatical sense. But are career choices always made with this in mind?
For us, the artists, the historians, the sociologists, the writers, the anthropologists, the poets, it was never about this. We knew those careers aren’t as lucrative as STEM. We knew the jobs are fewer. We took the plunge either way because it is what inspires us.
Some thrive. Others, not so much. Myself, I spent 10 years dabbling in many jobs. I reaffirmed my love for teaching History and had great experiences but, in the end, I realized I needed a more stable, higher income to start a family. What I didn’t know at the time was that I wouldn’t need to drop my passion for it.
I decided to “Learn to code” after all. If I was going to change my entire career, I wanted to go somewhere where things happened. I found Le Wagon’s Web Development Bootcamp. The slogan seemed perfect: “Change your life in two months”.
I went in afraid. Coding? Isn’t it like math? Will I be happy?
If only I knew how wrong my misconceptions were, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time thinking about it.
Coding has math, yes. It has logic. But it’s far from the cold precision of the stereotypical STEM image many have.
Coding empowers the creative within you. Code is art. The art of building the abstract. Of ordering the idea. Of simplification and efficiency.
It reminds me of architecture. The triumph of human creativity by using the logic and laws of our environment without losing the unique expression of our imagination.
The joy of building an application is similar to completing a painting. It’s something you build with your own hands, with your technical expertise, and in the way you want. It’s something you can contemplate after finishing it, and something you can make even better next time.
My message to my Humanities colleagues, to my friends and partners in the trenches of the human imagination: do not disregard coding without experiencing it. Do not be afraid. Believe in yourself. Your passion can be found in the last place you’d think of searching.