Being a chef has shaped my life in many ways. I spent about ten years working as a pastry chef, and I worked hard. I love the marriage of creativity and science that is fine-dining pastry: the snap of perfectly tempered chocolate, the delicate wobble of a panna cotta, or rise of a soufflé in the oven. Much of being a pastry chef is problem-solving! When I was a teenager I decided that I wanted to work in a Michelin starred restaurant, and in my twenties, I did.
I sacrificed a lot to get to that point, and now I’m working hard to learn something completely different: programming!
I was learning web development in high school- not as part of a class but on my own. That was a while ago now; there were an awful lot of iframes and in-line CSS back then! I wanted to be a chef though, so I continued to pursue that as my career.
Chefs work long hours- starting at 8am, and finishing whenever the last plates go out- often not until after midnight. Breaks are dependent on business; if lunch service is quiet enough or finishes early enough you might get a break before getting ready for dinner service (though it may just be long enough to run down the road for a coffee!) I have worked many, many 16-hour shifts. A chef who works those hours or fewer for any less than five days a week is branded (only somewhat jokingly) a Part Timer, no matter the reason (health, family…sanity!)
After learning on my own for a while, I’ve taken the plunge and enrolled in higher education in order to transition to a career in tech. I’m currently pursuing two certificates (which will be used to move onto bigger, more exciting qualifications!) of course, I also have bills to pay, so my courses are being taken two or three at time- but that’s just me being a Part Timer!
4 thoughts on “About the Part Timer”
Oh man, hey so I’m just learning this stuff too! And I’m doing it while I’m a nurse!
Dude if you think you’d benefit, I would love to have a pen pal (a la e-mail, duh) to bounce things off with! I feel like, as maybe you might have too, it feels like I’m just banging my head against a computer, and I get no feedback. I don’t have time for school either, so my self-education has been a lonely one, unless my wife is watching TV or my 15-month old is crying because I won’t let him beat up my laptop.
Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you get time / are interested!
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Yes! Expect an email from me soon! I actually stumbled on a community of people learning to code (various languages) called CodeNewbie (http://www.codenewbie.org/) that’s the most amazing resource, I would defo check that out if you’re not on it already 🙂
Hey! I’m @wendybeth010 on Twitter. I remember adding you on Twitter because I saw ‘pastry chef’ and ‘learning to code’ in the same descriptive block and thought, ‘I really need to say hi to this person!’ And then I’m pretty sure I promptly forgot. -_- But then I found your blog, which is sweet. I’m a fellow CodeNewbie and a pastry chef-turned-developer.
Anyway, it’s really nice to see another pastry chef around. I often feel like I’m in way over my head because the skills just don’t overlap very much. I couldn’t afford (more) college on top of my baking degree, either, and it’s baffling to me that I spent so much time and money on something I could never really put my heart into, and then I came across web development, haven’t spent anymore money than it took to buy two Kindle e-books (that I didn’t even really *need* to buy in order to learn most of what I’ve been able to learn), and I’m developing a skill that is fun, rewarding, and highly valued by a large amount of employers who *hopefully* won’t treat me like a robot who only incidentally needs to eat or rest if it happens to be a slow day. And, oh yeah, that ‘having a life’ thing *is* really quite lovely. 🙂
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I actually did exactly the same thing! Except I did the same thing again (“oh, hey look! A pastry chef doing web development!”) only to see I was already following you!
I like to think we have plenty of transferable skills: attention to detail, ability to work under pressure, ability to adhere to strict deadlines (not that I’ve EVER seen a chef yelling because a plate is ten seconds late to the pass, right?) and based on feedback I’ve had from potential employers, while I don’t have experience as a developer, they can see from my CV that I’m willing to put the hours in, and that I’m good at what I do.
I think you’re doing fab, and I can’t wait to see more from you!