Wandering but not lost. Former tech-giant bean-counter turned digital nomad.
Hello! I am Wendy. My husband and I recently minimised our lives & walked away from corporate jobs to pursue long-term travel. I am taking my newly minted coding skills on the road, documenting our journey along the way, and putting my love for travel-planning to good use.
This blog documents stories from my days in the Peace Corps, grad school, 5 years of corporate grinding in Shanghai, and of course, all the wandering that has taken place. I write, to pay-it-forward, and I hope you find these stories useful, or at least amusing. Thanks for reading!
After walking away from the corporate grind, I put myself through a 9-week intensive coding camp. Next up, we leave Shanghai for good and will embark on the grand voyage to travel from Shanghai to Strasbourg via the Trans-Siberian rail!
Last week marked 10 years since I left the comforts of American suburbia for a different life. It was 2008….
Demo Day @ 3pm: We are 4 hours away from final demo day. Phew! My team pushed our final sets of Mini-Program codes to WeChat last night at midnight for approval, and have rehearsed our pitch a dozen times over the last two days. Final version approved this morning, and we are ready to go.
Final third of the coding camp! After some much needed solitude last week, I dove right into the project trial week, where we make an AirBnB/Mobike-esque app in 5 days. This practice project gave us a chance to work with our assigned group, to work out any kinks, and to trial run through the entire process beginning from idea on Monday to presenting a working demo by Friday at 6pm.
This past week was both extremely frustrating, yet exhilaratingly rewarding. I took a temporary break out of the coding camp bubble, and made incredible stride. For the first time, all the puzzle pieces emerged and I built a very simple, but fully functioning web app. This is the beginning of the rest of my life as a coder.
Saturday morning. I’m stealing some precious alone time at my favourite bakery before heading to Le Wagon for a full-day workshop on building WeChat Mini Programs. Since this is not standard part of Le Wagon curriculum, we are sacrificing two beautiful spring Saturdays. The things I do for this newfound “hobby”.
Nearly half way through the 9-week camp! We’ve completed the back-end portion of the course (human speak: the brain of an app), and have moved onto the front-end (human speak: the pretty web pages & app interface). Having worked on blogs off and on over the last 10 years, it’s been amazing to finally understand HTML & CSS codes.
In grad school, I once had a professor said that in economics, we have complicated terms to describe everyday phenomenon. The ability to speak this language earns us the big bucks. But if I no longer want my life goal to be about making the big bucks, what do I do with this language? Only three weeks into my coding education, and I am feeling similarly about programming.
Since today is International Women’s Day, the timing is perfect for what’s been on my mind this week – our general lack of resistance to sexist jokes.
Women being a minority in the tech world is no news. During my time at the tech giant, despite being in the non-technical side of the business, decisions makers were still often white & male. No surprise.
This post has been on my to-do list for ages. Today, I met new friends who are in the city for the first time to attend Le Wagon coding camp! Finally, I have a reason to write this and add some value. Here are some of my favourite places in Shanghai. If you’ve been in Shanghai for a while, please feel free to add your favs in the comments!
Isn’t it ironic that I am leaving a tech giant to go learn tech? Life is ironic that way.
It’s no secret that I had been thinking of all the ways to pivot my way out of being a sophisticated bean-counter. For a while, I even worked 15-hour days, volunteering my time to another group within the company, hoping for an opportunity to pivot. Alas, it didn’t work out.