Shane Bryan has always been a learner, always curious to find solutions to problems.
He helped his mother buy their first home when he was 10 after learning all he could from Carlton Sheets infomercials.
But over the past three years, a series of misfortunes have befallen Bryan, 38, leaving him in a situation that even he is struggling to find a way out of.
All of this led to his current status as a homeless software developer.
Fascinated by computer programming, Bryan was drawn to a career that made things cleaner and better. He started learning to code, wherever he could, but after a few years of learning he was diagnosed with dystonia, a progressive disorder that left him unable to make precise movements with his hands and almost unable to type.
He feared his dream was over, but he continued to learn and write whatever software he could in the time his fingers allowed, while earning a living doing whatever he could, including starting an e-commerce business on eBay and writing a children’s book.
“I think that’s why I bounced back during that time,” he said. “I knew what I wanted to do but I didn’t know how to do it given my limitations.”
Things got even worse three years later.
A few years ago, Bryan had a career at a successful 3D printing company, but said it suffered from a job too well done: the company had automated most of its biggest customers’ needs to the point where their work was no longer needed.
Bryan said he should have been better prepared for this result, one of the first outbreaks of a sense of humility in the face of many hardships beyond his control.
In 2018, he suffered a near-fatal car accident after being hit by a drunk driver near Cheyenne, Wyo., just weeks after his mother died suddenly from cancer, and after just four months he has was hit by a distracted driver a second time. .
His father died a year later, and now after an eviction following the collapse of his business, he oscillates between sleeping in his car and crashing in cheap hotels when he can scrape together some cash from small children. jobs and GoFundMe donations from friends, and battling severe depression that at one point manifested into a psychiatric confinement in a hospital that lasted four days. The stress of COVID-19 hasn’t helped matters.
But throughout this conflict, what seemed like a miracle happened.
“During all of this, there was a light at the end of the tunnel,” Bryan said. “I started to regain movement in my hands.”
What was originally believed to be dystonia had been determined to be a misdiagnosis, and two movement specialists concluded that he suffered from a different nerve disorder, showing the possibility of improvement.
Now he’s back at the keyboard, doing what he does best even when no one is watching, trying to get a potential employer to notice him. Bryan hosted live streams to show off his work to anyone who might be watching to make up for the fact that he’s largely educated and has gaps in his resume from times when he couldn’t type enough. good for working in software. industry. He runs them as daily as he can, though noise from CreatorSpace, his de facto base in downtown Loveland, and the hotel’s spotty internet has forced him to pre-register some of them.
He works on an Alienware laptop his mother gave to him shortly before her death, and it’s one of his most important possessions, which he describes as “his way out”.
He said it’s a complicated feeling, suddenly being able to do what he’s always wanted to do while being stuck in a situation that requires him to be in “survival mode” most of the time, with a resume. who has severe shortcomings from periods when he was struggling to type or recovering from car accidents.
“I’m facing an opportunity and a challenge right now,” he said. “I learned and researched about programming, but I have nothing to show because of the limitations I had. So now I’m trying to figure out how to show that I have skills in this area and why i don’t have a portfolio that i can show for the last 13 years.And that’s a challenge.
So he does what he can, looks for part-time work and does odd jobs at CreatorSpace to try to keep a temporary roof over his head, while trying to convince someone to give him a chance.