Hi, my name is Tyler
And I work,
In a coding factory.
(its like the song “hi my name is bob, i work in a button factory” but actually its not at all like a factory its pretty awesome and I love it)
I’ve been learning about computer science since I was 15 but wasn’t really able to put any of it to any use in college other than in extremely long excel functions and in Mathematica to compute some crazy non-linear differential equations.
But in the summer of 2006 I saw the “blog in 15 minutes” video showing off Ruby on Rails and quickly understood its importance. I always felt Java was just too heavy and I understood, but never really liked its syntax. I never got behind PHP because I didn’t look enough like a real programing language to me. So I didn’t really pursue any kind of web framework or scripting to integrate into my web design hobby.
After seeing the basics of Rails I wanted to learn more but being unemployed in San Francisco didn’t really lend to being able to spend a month to learn a new language. I abandoned any hope of doing something with my education in mathematics, economics, and computer science and took a sales job.
This quickly became a daily grind that didn’t yield any kind of monetary returns and basically started to turn my brain to mush.
I moved back home to Colorado for what was to be a few months and fumbled around with mortgage processing and tech support. I ran into a company that wanted to hire me for in-house desktop support. After two weeks they approached me about a problem they had maintaining customer and product information in spreadsheets they emailed to each other. I said, hey sure, I can build you a CMS or something (“psssh right, you’ve never done this but they don’t know that'” I said to myself).
So I started learning Ruby, Rails, and SQL to manage and store information.
I’m glad I was in the position with a company that would basically pay me (very little) to learn Ruby and Rails and provide them a product. I stayed on with them for 11 months, but the feature creep and drama got to be too much after about 8 months so I started looking elsewhere to use my new skills.
I’ve now worked for several startups and I am currently working on the Consumer Apps team at LivingSocial.
I’ve learned over the last few years after college that an expensive education won’t get you anywhere – the willingness to push yourself to do something new and having the drive to follow through will get you somewhere. The expensive, well lets say, rigorous private education is sort of proof that yes, you can work hard and have the drive to succeed. But really college is not about learning how to do a job, its more about giving you the tools to make you successful at anything you approach.