Crafting Code for a Life of Creative Freedom

Rose, a full-time Dev Academy student, in her creative office.

December 11, 2023 | Graduate Profile, Student Life

People wouldn't usually link a mechanical engineer's daytime job with being a multi-media artist and performer by night. Introduce a software developer into the equation, and you might raise a few eyebrows! But for Rose, the Dev Academy full-time program is the first step in her journey towards her Batman-esque lifestyle of seamlessly blending a day and night persona while pursuing a career in an industry that can financially support her diverse passions.

Amidst the allure of a prestigious full-time artist title, Rose discovered a paradox. Commercial roles gradually overshadowed the artistic freedom she sought. Pigeonholing herself into market-friendly creations became a necessity to sustain a living and led her to a realisation: why not pursue something that aligns with financial success but also resonates with her passion?

Rose stumbled upon coding not just as a means to make money but as a thrilling journey into problem-solving and the echoing of challenges she initially sought in full-time artistry. With her tech-adjacent background in mechanical engineering, Rose has enjoyed learning about the educational components of the software world. She was attracted to software development because it offered financial stability without compromising her creative freedom, e.g. precisely what she had been searching for!

She enrolled in an online course, hoping for flexible learning at her own pace. She soon realised that the online course's promises didn't match her expectations of collaboration and fast learning. The financial implications of a non-accredited course added extra stress; with these challenges, she took a step back and reevaluated her options. In turn, a friend recommended Dev Academy. 

"I came into coding thinking this would be a good opportunity to make money, but I found something I'm passionate about. For the first time, it might be possible to make art without financial pressure."

For Rose, transitioning from a creative background to software development was natural. As an artist, she never reasonably believed the left-brain versus right-brain debate but found a harmonious blend in coding. Dev Academy became the playground where her creativity manifested in her artwork, debugging, and problem-solving, showcasing the worlds of creativity and technology coexist seamlessly.

In Rose's artistic realm, solitude often accompanied her creative endeavours. Most of her work was a solitary venture or collaboration where she was the expert in her craft. Dev Academy pushed her to work in a team and create something more extensive than her creations. The shift from a solo artist to a collaborative contributor became a skill set she had yet to fully explore.

"When I was working as an artist, most of the work I would do was by myself or with people who would bring me in as that one expert. Working within a team to make something bigger than I can make is a particular skill I am learning."

While initially attempting to maintain her familiar lifestyle, Rose discovered the power of positive adjustments during her journey with Dev Academy. Last week's stress became a catalyst for positive change. Now, she embraces evenings filled with relaxing runs and weekends dedicated to unwinding. Rose has chosen a simpler, more focused life for the four-month program by saying no to last-minute events, such as poetry and comedy gigs. This shift, far from a compromise, has become a source of empowerment, ensuring that she not only conquers Dev Academy's challenges but with a renewed sense of positivity and balance.

Dev Academy has opened up new possibilities for Rose. She believes that Dev Academy's flexibility will help her transition to the software development industry. She's also excited about contracting, allowing her to work intensively for part of the year and focus on her art for the rest.

"Looking at getting a higher paying job to support your passion is an excellent investment, especially when it's four months to upskill. If you can make that work, you've nailed it."

As Rose navigates through the program, she underscores the value of an open mindset, emphasising that it's not just about learning coding but a whole new approach to learning and relearning. By embracing the flexibility of contracting in the software industry, she envisions a future where she can explore and create for most of her time.

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