Read and watch a recap of Scrapping the Roadmap: Navigating Products Through Change, the latest in BrainStation’s Thought Leadership Series.
As someone who loved to code in high school, amongst many other interests, I always enjoyed seeing the fruit of my labour come to life. To me, this was my canvas, my piece of clay, a fresh piece of sketch paper. I remember once, I was able to make the image of a cartoon lady bug scamper across the top of my screen, turn 90 degrees southward and then zip to the bottom right corner. I was awestruck. I had made something that had in turn done something else. This was finally an art form that meshed my love for technology with the want to build something. Luckily, it was also not too hard to pick up.
Unfortunately, I quickly learnt I needed to start thinking about my professional aspirations (because every 18-year-old loves hearing that). I was told that these teenage interests, like my basic coding abilities, either had to become a career option, or fall to the wayside as a waste of energy and focus. My outgoing personality and ‘talk-a-lot’ attitude gradually drew me to a management degree, and then into sales. While I greatly enjoyed my studies, and the early years of what could be a long career, I still held a deep fascination with how things were created. Like many other service-oriented jobs, I rarely saw the actual outcome of my work. All those long hours, late nights, blood, sweat, and tears simply boiled down to numbers and dollar signs. There was nowhere I could truly look and see what all my hard work had become.