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The Beginning

I recently went back to school. If you don’t know me, I’ll back up a bit. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was 15. My whole world immediately changed. Previously, I had been a student who excelled at nearly everything, including attendance, but then I wasn’t even able to make it to school for several months.

Some Background

Fast forward several years, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise that I hadn’t achieved nearly what I wanted to in life thus far. It felt dangerous to even consider moving away from home to where I could either pursue a career in film or software development (a small town in southeast Minnesota isn’t exactly a hot bed for either of those) cuz if I had a flare up, I’d pretty much be screwed. After actually getting a job in tech (working for an MSP that works almost exclusively with Microsoft products – again, not much choice in Winona), I had another flare up. This one ultimately made it so that I couldn’t keep working at my job (to be fair, I was on my way out anyways as I was TRYING to be brave and move to Seattle to be closer to my wife’s family and be in an area with actual tech before the flareup hit).

My Motivation

That flareup was the last straw and I decided to have surgeries to get my large intestine removed. Finally, after the last surgery and recovery, I was ready to get back on the job market. I applied and applied (and had been through this before), but never got a bite. I didn’t have any formal schooling in software development and didn’t have any previous professional experience doing so either, so my assumption is that my resume got passed over without a second look.


During this entire time, I had spent a decent amount of my free time (and I frequently had a lot of free time) learning software development with Xcode, Swift, Objective C, and a few other languages here and there and I got pretty good at it. That’s not to say I’d gotten anywhere near mastering any of them – I know I have some gaps in my knowledge and skipped a lot of things that might be important to computer science that just didn’t interest me or wasn’t relavent (as far as I could tell) to the project I was working on. The final ingredient is that I had stumbled upon a new online school called Lambda – this was a really cool looking school that had a fast program (9 months), good reviews from my research, but most importantly, featured a radically different method of payment.

If you’ve never heard of Lambda’s income share agreement (ISA) before, it’s where you pay nothing initially and only pay AFTER you get a job. And that job is in the field that you studied. And that you’re making more than $50,000 a year. And it’s capped at $30,000. And you only pay a flat percentage (17% as of this writing) of your wages for 24 months (not necessarily consecutive). And the ISA is cancelled 5 years after your graduation, whether you’ve paid it off or not. I mulled this over in my head as many ways as I could to see how they were trying to rip me off, but the only conclusion I could come to was that they first, REALLY believed in their effectiveness and second, positioned themselves in a way that strongly motivated them to make their students’ skills marketable and incentivized them to really help their students find work following graduation. I had a talk with my wife and we decided it was the right thing to do.

The Present

Class started about 2 weeks ago and so far I’ve been loving it! The instructors are great and very knowledgable, the assignments routinely challenge my classmates, and we’ve already covered many things that have been in my blind spots. The catch here is that I’m well beyond the difficulty of the material we’ve covered so far. This definitely isn’t a dig on Lamdba – I’m completely unique in my class in that regard (that I know of!), but I’ve found myself struggling to figure out what to write for notes since it’s either covering something I already know or just clarifying my existing understandings, neither of which seem to help keeping in notes so far. Then I had an idea… What if I blogged about it instead? That would help me justify writing things down that I already know since it could, ostensibly, be read, used, and found helpful by others as well. Hopefully it’ll help me retain both the old and the new information as well by repeating it to myself.

What To Expect From This Blog

I don’t know if I intend to go back and do my best to recall my previous lessons or just go forward from here. I learned some good stuff previously, so maybe I’ll just cover those snippets and then go more in depth going forward. We’ll see. I hope you enjoy this and learn some Swift (or other topics if I decide to expand at all) along the way!

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