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Alexandra Lim

From pastry chef to front end developer

1 min read

This post was originally posted on Medium, and has been slightly edited for this blog.

A year ago I would have never considered pursuing front-end web development as a career nor would I have looked into taking a coding class. Code seemed intangible, like something out of The Matrix. It’s hard to believe that seven months after my first HTML class, I’m one week into my 9 week web development immersive bootcamp.

From a young age, I wanted to become a pastry chef. My ambition to become a pastry chef took me to pastry school and notable kitchens throughout the years. But to thrive in the food industry, you need to be extremely passionate to withstand the long working hours, working conditions, and minimal financial compensation. After almost a decade, I’d sustained injuries from repetitive movements. Baking stopped becoming a hobby for me. I couldn’t see myself doing the same work for 30 more years.

I tried other career paths in the food industry — cafe manager, bakery administrator and logistics coordinator. I started applying for jobs outside of food, but quickly realized that my lack of education and training outside of culinary school was impeding my success.

Through a brainstorming exercise in a career exploration program I participated in, front-end web development became a possibility. I did a few HTML/CSS exercises through Codecademy and loved it. The idea of being able to create something using a few lines of code — I was hooked. The time investment in a web development bootcamp didn’t hurt either.

Needing more of a challenge than Codecademy, I signed up for continuing education web development classes at a local bootcamp called HackerYou College of Technology. The material was presented in a fun and relatable manner, and by the end of the course, I could code a responsive website. Tomorrow, I start week 2 of the web development immersive bootcamp at HackerYou.

I now understand why I was so drawn to web development in the first place. Both coding and pastry involve problem solving, creativity, persistence, and constant learning, just different mediums. I can’t wait to see where this new path takes me, and what a journey it will be.