Web Development Career Path Later In Life

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: July 13th 2023

And sometimes that's just how things work out.

"I NEVER fell out of love with it," said Adam.

You've heard the story before, right?

Someone tried a little bit of coding, maybe some HTML in their younger years, they really liked it, but life got in the way, they got a job, and before they knew it, the idea of coding as a career never materialized as it slid down the spiral slide of forgotten memories.

Then something strikes. Trouble, adversity, dissatisfaction, "I can't take this $#!4 anymore," as they ponder their job and want out.

So they start looking into ideas, they find coding and web development, etc. etc.

You know the rest.

That's NOT Adam's story.

Because he was NOT talking about coding.

He was talking about MUSIC.

As a professional touring and studio musician, he loved his job.

He'd been doing it for 20 years and was still going, still touring, still making music, still in love with it.

Everything Comes To A Grinding Halt.

This part of the story, however, I know you've heard of.

When COVID came on the scene, it was like slamming on the brakes in a sports car going 150 MPH, all the rubber flies off the wheels, and the metal is scraping the pavement for 200 yards as sparks fly in every direction like a New Year's celebration.

Unemployed.

For the first time.

Here's the thing.

You'd think that unemployment was common in this industry.

It was.

But not for Adam. He was fortunate to have 2-3 things going on at the same time and so he never had to experience it.

But all of a sudden he was, AND he was stuck at home for the first time.

Not something that's easy to get used to when you've toured your whole life.

Maybe The 1972 Alpha Romeo GTV Gives A Clue

"You should check it out," said one of Adam's friends.

His friend was going through Nucamp when everything changed.

But Adam wasn't even looking at coding as an option.

"Coding?" he thought.

One thing he was always into when he wasn't touring was working on vintage cars. He's collected a handful of hobby cars over the years. They were always a way to calm his mind.

Fixing them, that is, as a way to calm his mind.

His favorite was the Alpha.

But fixing cars wasn't the only tinkering he'd done, but it was a clue.

He's always had a nerdy streak (that's how he put it). He had worked on computers, tinkered with websites, even a bit of WordPress.

He didn't think much of it at the time, but he knew he liked it.

Hitting The Gas On Something New

Despite his friend being in Nucamp at the time, he started looking at a few other options.

The seed was planted and Adam was going to try coding.

A local school in Nashville was a lot more expensive AND seemed less comprehensive. Adam was evaluating what kind of knowledge you could gain in 6 months and it appeared that Nucamp was offering more.

Adam went for it and signed up for the Web Development Fundamentals bootcamp with the expectation that if things went well, that he liked it, he would continue and take the Full Stack Web & Mobile Development bootcamp—knowing that the whole thing would be a 6-month commitment.

Adam's confidence was high at the beginning.

But over time he learned something about himself—something that tempted him quit.

Easy For Some, Not For Others

Let me tell you the ONE thing I hear over and over from graduates.

It's actually something that I've heard a bunch of times, from many students, and most of the time when students hear this advice, their response is like "oh okay" and then they just take the advice.

But somehow, Adam never got the advice, at least in a deep enough way, not until well into his first job.

I'll explain the ONE thing in a second, hang with me.

Towards the end of the Full Stack bootcamp, during the backend portion, when Adam was almost at the finish line, he was about to break.

"I was walking into the Lake of Discouragement at the back half of the bootcamp saying 'I'm not getting this,'" Adam explained.

Doing something challenging reveals who you are, in a sense. Know what I mean?

How can you know what you're made of unless you put yourself to the test?

But when you do, things are illuminated.

What do I mean?

Adam is a great example, and to explain, I need to tell you the piece of advice I hear more than anything else:

Even if you're not fully understanding the material, just keep going, don't give up. Go with the program. Eventually it will click.

For Adam, though, the way he's wired, he feels like he needs to completely understand a concept before he can move on.

He didn't move on to the next topic—no, not until he fully understood.

This resulted in countless hours going back through material, studying extra, falling behind, playing catch up.

It was grueling, but he made it through.

So was the lesson illuminated for Adam? Not quite yet. It had to incubate.

COVID Ended, But Did Coding?

As COVID ended, touring started picking back up, and for something that he loved, Adam started touring again.

But by then, Adam was ready for a change.

In between tours, Adam would apply to jobs. 86 of them to be exact, which took about 8 months with the touring.

He was fortunate to land a job at a small company that valued his work experience and his tenacity to learn to code.

The Lesson Finally Clicked

It was actually something his boss said, and I like it.

Watching Adam struggle, spending excess time with concepts, time that wasn't necessary, he said to Adam "I know you don't feel like you understand it completely, but sometimes you put the clothes in the dryer, you press start, and eventually the clothes come out dry. Sometimes that's enough."

And it was after that moment he learned just how hard-wired he was to fully understand concepts.

And sometimes that's great. And sometimes dried clothes are enough.

"All I can say is 'don't give up."
Adam Nitti, Nucamp Graduate & Junior Software Developer, Sodium Halogen

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Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.