From Boxer to Engineer

StockSnap_W0RUS6FWBJBy Anders Howerton, Software Engineer 

Prior to becoming an engineer. I was at one time ranked in the top ten amateur boxers in the country, and I also graduated top of my class as a Master of Poetry at East Anglia. These may seem disconnected from programming, but with my first line of code, I knew that I’d found the juncture between the agility fostered in boxing and the care with language required of poetry. Computer code is language as architecture. It is a series of physical responses, an orientation and a refinement (a constant reorientation) to objects.

My boxing practice was rigorous, but what was unique about it was that my coach taught not only physical skills, but he also indoctrinated an awareness of what boxing can bring to all areas of life. Finding my own personal rhythms and patterns, recognizing efficiency, honing intuition, and learning to work from and with my weaknesses – rather than avoiding them – were instrumental to staying and succeeding in the ring.

In my writing, boxing was instrumental in bringing down my watcher at the gate, in helping me to accept those innate patterns and to work with form and techniques compatible to my natural style. The tuned coordination of sense and reflex helped bring to fruition a voice and a signature.

My work with Glassbreakers has been as a generalist; I’ve handled assignments spanning from the database to the CSS. The agility fostered in my past experiences has bolstered my ability to dive in and take on a range of projects. Our mission at Glassbreakers is funneled in part through the construction of mentorship relationships. Internally, I have had the opportunity to receive the tremendous mentorship that we project in everything that we strive to do at Glassbreakers. As a result, every one of my pull requests and successes this year have been emblematic of our company’s mission, proof that what we are doing does extend power and opportunity and does foster inclusive and creative innovation. As someone with a diverse, non-traditional background, experiencing our company’s mission as it’s enacted internally is incredibly powerful, and it inspires me deeply in terms of what our team can accomplish.