A Year In The Code

Andy Kohler
4 min readSep 22, 2020
I opened this GitHub account in 2016 when I was getting excited about coding but never knew what it was for until bootcamp. 🤪 The blank part in January-ish represents some lethargy on my part.
Tower City, Cleveland
Greatest Location in the Nation.

I’ve passed my one year anniversary of coding. Or rather, I’ve finished Year Zero, and this is the start of Year One. A year ago, (and it seems more like 10 years ago — was I that person?) I walked into Tower City in downtown Cleveland to start a coding bootcamp in C#/.NET Core. True to its word it kicked my butt over and over.

Just getting there vaguely on time each morning was a stressful trial, an hour long minimum commute, with all of Cleveland’s sudden closed roads, accidents, breakdowns, slowdowns for no reason (and in saying so I acknowledge that Cleveland’s traffic is nothing at all compared to other cities). The first week I was nearly rear-ended on 480 West by a semi that didn’t realize we’d all come to a screeching halt a mile or so before the curve where Broadway passes over. Every morning after that I marveled at the long black skidmarks the truck had left with the last minute jog to the left around where my car was stopped.

I parked in the Ontario Street Garage, a building seemingly on verge of collapse. Every morning I took the creaking elevator down to Public Square with construction workers, office workers, women smoking cigars. We made uneasy jokes about if this was the day it would break and strand us between floors. One day I took a picture of an extraordinary amount of caulking someone had applied to replace rotted wood. I titled it “State of Cleveland” and posted it to the Cleveland subReddit. People got mad and said it was a downer so I deleted it. The caulking, I’m sure, is still there.

Sign warning that more than 8 people might break the elevator. Handwritten note plaintively asks how large.

In the early days at lunch I went outside far across Public Square and sat in the humidity and ate. It was early September. I don’t remember now what I was getting away from. I think I was afraid of spending too much time inside. I think I…

Andy Kohler