Khalil’s Story

I decided to become a programmer because of an ATM.

I decided to become a programmer because of an ATM. I had a pretty standard management job for a large international hotel corporation with great benefits, good pay, and crazy hours. One summer, I decided to take advantage of one of the fringe benefits of this job (super cheap hotel rooms) and went on a trip to Europe with a couple of friends.

My first day in Paris, I went to withdraw some cash from an ATM and was suddenly struck by how technology simplified a process that used to be so arduous and inconvenient. I just found it to be incredible how this ATM standing in front of me was able to communicate with my bank thousands of miles away, specifically identify which bank account was mine, and give me the amount of cash I wanted on demand. No longer did people have to bring a bunch of cash in a suitcase or buy traveler’s checks. Technology was able to make something which would have seemed stupendous two or three decades ago and make it a commonplace and routine phenomenon.

I became so passionate about this pursuit that I chose to live like a monk to save up a bunch of money so that I could quit my job and focus on studying code full-time.

I thought to myself, “this is really freaking cool,” and decided that I wanted to be one of the people in the world making cool things that make life easier. When I came back to the states, I started using textbooks (JavaScript: The Good Parts, Eloquent Javascript) and some online resources (Codecademy, Codeschool, freecodecamp.com) to teach myself how to code on my days off. I became so passionate about this pursuit that I chose to live like a monk to save up a bunch of money so that I could quit my job and focus on studying code full-time.

After six months, I applied to LaunchCode. Passed the test, submitted a resume, scheduled an interview and got hired at a startup in Miami. Thanks to LaunchCode, I am currently creating custom software for a startup, How To Manage a Small Law Firm, that provides coaching and management services to law firms around the country.

Most importantly, I’m making programs and apps that help people live more efficiently.

Every day, I learn a lot. I get to bike to work (onsite showers, woo!), and I’m surrounded by cool people (including several other LaunchCoders). Most importantly, I’m making programs and apps that help people live more efficiently.
That ATM inspired a dream, and the great people at LaunchCode made it a reality.

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