Update: Congratulations to Dawoon, Udacity’s very first Nanodegree graduate!  He has recently completed the Front-End Web Develop Nanodegree and all of us at Udacity wish him much success in all his future endeavors!

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As you know, we at Udacity believe that learning is a lifelong activity and that we all have our own personal mountains to climb, our own personal journeys to walk. But without taking that first step down your own yellow brick road, your dream will always be exactly that. A dream.

Understandably, the first step can be an intimidating threshold to cross.  Today, we’re sharing a story from one of our students who has taken his first step, and many others, on his journey to success.

Meet Dawoon!
Meet Dawoon!

Dawoon is both a long-time Udacity student and a member of the inaugural Front-End Web Developer nanodegree. Besides being enrolled in the nanodegree, he has taken and completed fifteen Udacity courses!  When we look at Dawoon’s student profile, we can’t help but cheer for online learning.

Dawoon’s story starts at Yongin University where he had the goal of becoming a professional golfer.  After a while, Dawoon realized, as many university students do, that he did not want to professionally pursue his original choice of study. He dropped out of university, spent time fulfilling his duties in his country’s military, and eventually became an assistant manager at a civil engineering company.

Be Open to New Possibilities

After seeing an article on MOOCs and Udacity, he was intrigued by the Udacity course, How to Build a Startup, but ended up taking his very first course in programming, Intro to Computer Science.  This course opened up an entirely new world for him, and re-energized his quest to continuously learn and better himself.

“Before I learned how to program, I didn’t know our life is surrounded by software. I think there are unlimited posibilities with programming, and I wish I could be a part of big changes or maybe even lead the changes myself. “ tweet

Be Persistent

Dawoon knew he loved programming, but wasn’t sure where this enthusiasm was going to lead him.  He continued to take courses with Udacity, including Web Development and several introductory courses in a variety of programming languages, but always hoped for more opportunities to learn front-end web development.  For him, our Front-End Web Developer Nanodegree was the perfect fit, and with it, he hopes to find himself a job in this new field he’s so passionate about.

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Be Brave

Despite the unknowns, Dawoon has kept pushing forward.  He realizes he’s found something he enjoys.  He’s set a goal for himself to eventually find a job in Silicon Valley, and along the way, continue to increase his learning.  He has quit his current job at the civil engineering company so he can better focus his time and energy on climbing his personal mountain.

“I’m also interested in machine learning, so I’m going to learn about it.” tweet

Now that he’s taken the first steps, the steps that follow become a little easier.

To see Dawoon’s work through his courses at Udacity and the Front-End Web Developer Nanodegree, head over to his online portfolio, which he created as the first project in the nanodegree curriculum!