My Journey to Full Stack Part 4 — Fashion, Politics and Finance

After the Gamers Lounge closed I had some soul searching to do as I was still a few semesters away from graduating at Bowling Green State University. At this point in my life I was still spending a lot of time at the college radio station, practicing audio production and doing concert promotions so I was thinking of moving to Chicago in order to get involved in the music industry but things… changed.

While I was always curious and had strong opinions, I had never followed politics closely. As a way to motivate myself after the closing of the Gamers Lounge I booked a ticket to spend a month in Manila, the Philippines after the semester would end. I had written about Manila in some of my undergrad essays so I wanted to make the trip and when I arrived at the apartment I’d stay in for the next month the only English channel was fox news. I’d have it on in background in the evenings after exploring the city and one day there was a 2008 Presidential debate (this is May 2007) where a Congressman from Texas made some comments that disrupted me and made me curious starting what would be years of passionate interest in politics, history, philosophy, economics and finance that totally changed my path for the years to come.

This twist in my story took me to the Finance capital of the world, New York. When I first arrived in New York I looked for Marketing work and did a marketing internship with Footwear brand, Shane & Shawn, where I worked directly with Shane & Shawn acting as a liaison between them and their PR Company and in other projects. During this time my interest in economics made me want to get involved on Wall Street where I studied to get my Series 7 and Series 63 license to become a Stock Broker.

After some time being a Stock Broker I was hired as part-time administrative staff at Greico Financial Training but I volunteered hours and hours of work to learn the material the instructors taught and every aspect of the business and shortly afterward I became full time and one of the main instructors training financial professionals from new hires to C level executives and I wasn’t even yet 25. I’d work closely with the CEO and in all aspects of the business for the next 11 years where I’d work with our social media, managing the store website CMS and developing online courses using our LMS.

While all this is happening, in 2013 I am sucked into the world of third party politics when a fairly relevant third-party recruits me to become their candidate for NYC Public Advocate (think Vice-Mayor). My involvement continues past 2013 with a 2016 U.S. Senate run and 2017 NYC Comptroller run. In all three campaigns, I built out the campaign website and handled most of the marketing and technological aspects of the campaign (only the 2016 campaign had a dedicated staff). My status in this political party expanded during this time until in 2018 I was elected as the National Vice Chairman, a post which I still currently serve in.

Between all the technological responsibilities I had in my finance and political roles, my desire to learn more started to grow until in June 2019 I started learning Python and became quite enthralled with the subject of programming once again I decided to reignite the journey I had started back in High School of becoming a developer. While I was making good progress in teaching myself I wanted to join a program that would give me more discipline and good habits as I entered this new field so I researched coding bootcamps and learned about the great reputation of General Assembly and shortly thereafter enrolled and set things in motion to transition smoothly out of Greico Financial Training and put almost all political activities on hold so I can focus on my singular goal of becoming a developer and create the same kind of impact in the web development space as I have had in the past in other areas I’ve pursued.

*Sidenote: I had also followed Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies heavily during the last 10 years and is another contributor to my interest in learning more about software development.

Alex Merced is a Full Stack Developer, learn more about his work at AlexMercedCoder.com

Alex Merced is a Full Stack Developer, learn more about his work at AlexMercedCoder.com