So it’s been a tough hill to climb to get back into coding. Four years out from software engineering is a long time in itself; it probably didn’t help that what I was working on at my previous software engineering job wasn’t state of the art. It does, however, feel good to be in front of a computer and have the world at my fingertips (so to speak). If something doesn’t work, I can create it. Or something like that. At my old law firm, computers were treated as an afterthought, a technical convenience to a historically paper-driven practice. That was one particularly irksome attribute of law firms. Ours in particular bogged our computers down with cumbersome antivirus software, microsoft word plug-ins, security monitoring programs, and the like. Our internet was blocked. We couldn’t install new programs onto our laptops. We used an antiquated and buggy version of internet explorer. Even java was blocked, despite it being a necessity in certain scenarios to do our job. This was all to protect us, protect the law firm, and protect clients’ information and work product. Perhaps these safety measures are a necessary evil to doing the job, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t annoying as f***.
In my trek to return to the software engineering life, I’m starting out by doing things a little differently. Before going to law school, I skated by in computer science. I learned best practices as I encountered them in real-life and didn’t make much of an effort to expand my learning beyond what I was directly exposed to. I’m trying to start out on a new leaf. I’ve picked up a copy of Effective Java and am trying to understand some best practices before I encounter the problem. Lots of concepts are confusing, especially in light of my spotty knowledge. Despite these difficulties, I’m hoping that this will train me to be a better programmer than I was before law school and will hone my skills so that I can do better and more expressive things than before. I intend to drop in and discuss a few of my coding projects and learnings along the way. They will probably be too basic for most software engineers, but they’re really more of a chronicle for myself. I’m selfish like that. 😛
Oh and one more thing: Apparently, all the cool kids are using github these days. I didn’t even know what git was 3 months ago when I was first interviewing to come back. Now I’ve gotten with the times, and you can see some of my amateurish code at my Github page.