Grant recently got a job as a Web Programmer in Tokyo, Japan after enrolling in Software Engineering.

We asked about his journey from teacher to developer. Here's his story, and a few tips on how you can be on your way to a new career with Thinkful.

Tell me: what were you doing before Thinkful?

I was an English Teacher.

Why did you end up taking the course?

I  discovered my passion for writing code late in life — or at least  that’s what I thought when I was younger. As a senior physics major, I  was chosen to be a member of an international research program, where I worked in China for six weeks writing code. Though it sounds cliché, I  honestly fell in love with programming after my first “do loop.” When I  returned from China, I continued my research, writing more sophisticated  algorithms and picking up various skills such as using the command line. Although I have a strong passion for physics, after graduation I  regretted not studying computer programming. However, being young and  naïve, I told myself that it was too late. With the cost of a college  degree, how could I rationalize going back to get another bachelor’s  degree? I ignored my feelings and decided I should do something with my physics degree.

I  decided to enroll in the graduate mechanical engineering program at the  University of Minnesota. In graduate school there are few required  courses, so naturally I found myself choosing courses which allowed me  to write more code. After doing well in one such course, I was offered a  paid research position, writing algorithms and running them through a  super computer.

I also did a considerable amount of work with simulation-driven product development. Though I studied mechanical engineering, my  thesis was based on computer simulations, hardly resembling what one  might consider traditional mechanical engineering.

Ultimately, what I  enjoyed most was writing code and was once again left with that same  sense of regret after graduating.

On  top of being a student, I am also teaching English at a very  prestigious junior and senior high school in Tokyo, Japan. I’m blessed  to be residing in Japan, where I’ve wanted to live ever since first  meeting my Japanese friends a decade ago. I absolutely love teaching and  have an amazing job with fantastic perks.

My passion for learning and  study naturally led me into education. Helping others discover knowledge  is one of the most fulfilling things a person can experience in life. Overall, I’m quite fulfilled.

After  reading this, you might question why I wanted to start a career in web  development. Ever since my time in China doing research in numerical  computation in 2010, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with writing code  and, in recent years, web development. I find nothing more fulfilling  than writing some code, having my computer get angry and flash error messages, spending hours debugging and reading through Stack Overflow posts and documentation, and then finally getting it to work. I wanted a  job that would let me do this every day; I wanted to be a developer.

How did Thinkful change your life?

I have accepted a development job offer from a Japanese company working with  cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is booming in Japan and I’m very excited to be getting  into it.

Looking  at my first message to my mentor, my goals were to 1) learn Ruby on  Rails, 2) find a job within a year, 3) continue to live and work in Japan, and 4) to receive a salary similar to other junior developers in Japan. I have achieved all of these goals and so much more. Armed with a  wealth of knowledge I gained at Thinkful, I am ready to set new goals. I want to continue to work internationally and the beauty about code is  that it’s the same everywhere, no matter what language is spoken.

What advice would you give to other students who are currently looking for a job?

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