The written word was my first love. From the moment I could, I devoured books — under the dinner table, in the dentist’s chair, during recess. While my friends’ parents would take away their cellphones or revoke their party privileges as punishment, mine would take my novels. I won silly reading awards at the community library, received silly writing awards at school, and studied creative writing in hopes of someday receiving less-silly literary accolades.
When I began teaching myself to code a few years after graduation and realized I could be interested in programming, it was a revelation. In my mind, programming was as far removed from writing as possible — one of the last things a bibliophile like me could, or should, want to pursue. Friends and family saw my transition as an innocent change of heart at best, “selling out” at worst. For months, I felt a pang of guilt for leaving my first love for this exciting new fling.