I am blessed to be in a career that lets me retire at a young age, but I am too young to quit working altogether. In recent years I’ve spent more time than I like to admit pondering what my next move would be. As a law enforcement officer, there are plenty of rather obvious options out there - bodyguard, bondsman, private investigator, corporate security. But none of them provided me much of a professional growth opportunity, and some of them would require working more nights and weekends, which I hate. I recently decided to go in a completely new direction, and break into the Information Technology field.

Let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I am a husband and father of three, living in Northern Virginia, in a community where the streets are lined with data centers and we eagerly await Amazon’s HQ2 being established nearby. I have been a law enforcement officer for twenty years, serving in nearly every capacity you can imagine: patrol officer, training officer, gang detective, financial crimes detective, sergeant, and detective sergeant. My current role has me overseeing community oriented incarceration programs, including work programs and home incarceration.

So where does a guy like me turn to when faced with the monumental prospect of breaking into Information Technology full-time, as a long-term career goal? After a couple “false starts” with other online resources over the last couple years, I finally found TheOdinProject and have committed to sticking with it until the end of the Full Stack Developer curriculum. I decided that TheOdinProject is perfect for me because:

  • It’s online, so I can work at my own pace;
  • The curriculum covers essential tools such as Linux terminal, git and github;
  • It covers complicated material in an understandable way; and
  • It’s free!

I’ve already completed part of the curriculum now, but I will go back and highlight a few of my most significant experiences from the introductory course. Then, I will begin providing regular updates as I proceed into the more in-depth courses, such as Ruby, which I just started. Please leave a comment below to introduce yourself, and follow me on Twitter.