South by Southwest

Today I finally returned from South by Southwest (SXSW). My whole goal in going was to avoid a mistake similar to one that I had made in the past: if I had spent some time at an American Bar Association Conference (or really any lawyer conference) prior to becoming a lawyer, it would have given me more insight into who lawyers are, what it is like to practice law and whether (or not!) it was something I should have pursued.

With that in mind, I took some vacation time to go to SXSW. If I am going to become a developer, I want to find out what types of things developers do all day, what issues are facing the industry, and honestly, are these my people – am I comfortable here and do I want to be here?

The answer is an emphatic yes! I have pages of notes, so many memorable moments and smiles and all around excitement!  Here are my top 10 pictures:

My flight landed on Friday, March 11. As I waited in the Alamo rental car line for my turn, I received an email that changed my life – I was accepted at Hackbright! I managed not to scream loudly, but my excitement was palpable. Could it really be? Well, I had to give an answer “yes” or “no” to Hackbright by Monday, March 14. What better place to think about such a decision than in Austin at SXSW?

I made the decision the night of March 13. The next morning, March 14, I emailed Hackbright. Then, came my next challenge: I had to call my boss, who was an amazing boss, that I was done being a lawyer, that I was moving to San Francisco to study software development, and that my last day would be March 25.

In order to ease the transition, I cut my vacation short by a day and flew to the holding company headquarters in Dallas on the evening of March 15. I was very busy and the folks in the legal department all pitched in to help out, despite being extraordinarily busy themselves. Everyone was extremely kind and gracious. When I left the afternoon March 17, I was exhausted. I hadn’t yet spoken with anyone from my office in San Diego, and I hadn’t told my friends.

However, that night, it was the birthday of one of my best friends. I decided it was not the time or place to say anything about myself – and just got to enjoy my friends (and trivia – and birthday cake!)

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