The Next Adventure

Seattle

I’m mak­ing some pretty rad­i­cal life changes. Today’s my last day at Twit­ter. Claire and I are mov­ing to Seat­tle. And I’m tak­ing a step back from the law: start­ing in late March, I’ll be spend­ing 19 weeks train­ing to become a web devel­oper at Dev Boot­camp.

Con­fused? I get it. Read on!

* * *

I’m proud to have achieved the pro­fes­sional goal I set out for myself almost 8 years ago: become a Prod­uct Coun­sel at a rev­o­lu­tion­ary tech com­pany. It’s been an incred­i­ble jour­ney, allow­ing me to work on cut­ting edge issues and prod­ucts with extra­or­di­nary peo­ple. I’m very lucky and hum­bled to be where I am, and to do what I do.

I also trea­sure my legal edu­ca­tion and train­ing. I’ve learned so much about our coun­try, our Con­sti­tu­tion and our jus­tice sys­tem, and tech law issues like copy­right and pri­vacy that orig­i­nally drew me onto this path. I’m a bet­ter per­son, a bet­ter cit­i­zen, and bet­ter pro­fes­sional because of it. When I look back, I have very few regrets about the choices I’ve made or the expe­ri­ences I’ve had.

* * *

But!

I’ve been doing this for a lit­tle while, and I’m increas­ingly con­vinced this is not the career path I’m meant to stay on. There are cer­tainly many things I like about being an attor­ney, and I like to think I’m good at it. But I don’t love it, and there are a few things that I dis­like quite a bit. Know­ing that life is both short and long, I’ve decided that it’s time to explore a new tra­jec­tory.

Am I sure I want to stop being a lawyer? For right now, yes. There’s cer­tainly a great vari­ety of attor­ney roles in the world — but I’ve worked with or near a lot of them, and they just don’t appeal to me very much. And while there are “legal-adja­cent” roles that could poten­tially lever­age my attor­ney expe­ri­ence, those aren’t call­ing out to me right now, either.

What is call­ing out to me is a desire to build and cre­ate things for the Inter­net. I’ve always been pas­sion­ate about com­put­ers and tech­nol­ogy. In fact, the law was really just the avenue I chose to work with tech­nol­ogy, because I thought it was the most suited to my exist­ing skills and expe­ri­ence. I’d never really con­sid­ered the pos­si­bil­ity of learn­ing how to pro­gram and hav­ing a more tech­ni­cal career. It always seemed like it was just “too late.”

But that didn’t stop me from dab­bling. Over the course of run­ning sev­eral blogs and web­sites, I’ve loved tin­ker­ing with the HTML and CSS to change how they look and func­tion. I some­times spent entire days on it. Last year, I took myself through Codecademy’s Ruby course, and more recently, through their Javascript and Git tuto­ri­als. It comes nat­u­rally, and more impor­tantly, I get energy and sat­is­fac­tion from it.

So, to cod­ing boot­camp I go! In a cou­ple weeks I’ll start the first phase of Dev Bootcamp’s 19 week pro­gram, where I’ll be learn­ing Ruby, Javascript, HTML, CSS, and a lot more. I can’t wait to get started and see what comes next.

* * *

Chang­ing careers has also opened up an oppor­tu­nity to change geo­gra­phies. Claire and I have long wanted to move to her home­town of Seat­tle. We love the Bay Area, our apart­ment, our neigh­bor­hood, and the friends we’ve made here. But as we’ve thought about where we want to be long term, and espe­cially where we’d want to raise a fam­ily, it’s always been Seat­tle. Claire has a lot of fam­ily there, we have good friends wait­ing for us, and the real estate mar­ket is slightly less insane than San Fran­cisco (though it’s catch­ing up!). I’ve spent enough time in Seat­tle to know that it will very quickly come to feel like home.

It’s all going to be a great adven­ture, and I think a really pos­i­tive change. There’s a lot of hard work ahead, and there will be many moments when I won­der if we’re doing the right thing. But I think I have pretty good instincts, and they’re telling me this is what is meant to be. And know­ing that, I’m excited and happy.