Blog post #1

Hello World! …Capstone Edition

This year I turned 30 and looking back ten years ago, I would have never guessed that this is where I’d be. My father worked in the wine industry as a Viticulture Professor and wine-grape grower so it felt natural to follow in his footsteps. My affinity for farming, the wine industry as a whole, and the huge bonus of getting to spend extra time with my dad made it any easy choice, so I pursued my first degree in Viticulture from Cal Poly – SLO. When I lost my father a year before my graduation date, I found it increasingly emotional to continue working in the wine industry where it seemed like everyone knew him. I’d work a harvest here and there but without my dad, my love for the industry began to fade. So I decided to go to graduate school, got accepted to UVM and moved from California to Vermont. Then when my financials fell through, I sat myself down and thought about what I’d really like my life to look like. And I had no idea.

Me and my dog ‘Pinot’
Small Lot Winemaking – WA
San Juan Mountains – CO

I spent the next eight years moving from state to state… searching for meaning or purpose and found none other than a deep love for our outdoors and a disdain for waiting tables. Along the way I fell into a tumultuous relationship that ultimately led me to computer science. When we first met, I was a waitress and he was a bartender at a ski lodge in Montana. These were ‘temporary’ jobs we did while we searched for our ‘career’ jobs. While we were separated, we both tried to break out of the service industry. I moved to Washington to work for a small winery and he had a friend suggest ‘coding’. He knew nothing of computer science or even what coding meant (neither did I) and so when we got back together, we looked into it and that is when he realized it was not a great career choice for him but I instantly fell in love with it. I began teaching myself but quickly realized that this program would probably do a better job teaching me than me teaching me. So there you have it, possibly the longest winded response to why I chose to go into Computer Science.

While I do love coding and computer science in general, my great love is for the outdoors and our National Parks. I have gone on many, many road trips, including a 10,000+ mile trip to Alaska. The apps I had at my disposal may not have been numerous, but they were invaluable. Ranging anywhere from safe places to camp to do-not-miss hikes and attractions. Now as a software engineer, I can look at them through a different lense and see how they might be able to be improved upon. This is a primary reason why I chose the ‘Crowd-Sourced Travel Planner’ as my first choice for projects. It hits both of my passions all at once. Additionally, I chose the ‘Emergency Response App’ for my second choice. After spending a single day in the backcountry, you’ll realize just how much you rely on emergency services in an emergency. You literally rely on them with your life, so if there is a way to help make their job easier, which in turn saves more lives, then sign me up.

Got any book recommendations?