A few months back I was on Twitter looking for a place to volunteer to mentor people learning Ruby on Rails. I had not heard of Operation Code until somebody suggested it to me.
I was in the Army for 6 years in the 80’s. My unit went to Desert Storm a couple of months after I go out. I almost went back in a couple of times. It was hard for me to transition back to the civilian life after the Army. You take so much for granted when you are in the service. There is no worry of cutbacks or layoffs. There is no worry about whether your paycheck will be there for payday or not. No worry of health insurance. Just do your job and life is good.
I bounced around a bit after the Army, trying to find a good career. That did not come for many years…
I started learning programming almost 20 years after getting out. I knew people that we retiring from the Army and I was still trying to get that career that would make me happy.
In 2009 there were not a lot of resources for learning programming like there is now. I did not have the time nor the money to go to a school for programming and there were not that many places available at that time. I luckily found a mentor that became a friend that became a business partner.
What drew me to Ruby on Rails was the community. That was something that I had missed from the days in the military. The friendships, the camaraderie and the unity.
Finding Operation Code was a blessing. I found other vets, active duty and military family members that were all there for one of two things. To learn programming or to help others to learn programming. I had no idea of all of the resources that were available to vets until I joined OC.
When I got my first mentee I was so happy. Then I got my second. They are both super smart people that really do not need a lot of help at all. I think it is more of the fact that they have somebody that they can talk to if need be. What if I am not online? There are 100’s of others that are there to help and answer questions.
Total strangers that will jump on a screen share just to help out somebody with questions. There are no charges and no fees. OC is just one great big group of people that are there for one another.
What does Operation Code mean to me? Friends, family and a place that feels like home for this vet.
If you love your freedom, thank a vet. If you really love your freedom, then help a vet become a programmer.