I Built a PC Over Quarantine — What It Did For Me

Let’s go back to the early days so I can set the scene. It was early March 2020, work from home was indefinite, I can only facetime my friends to hangout and going out in public was basically a sin. Like other people, I was looking to use this time to learn something new. First thing I did was purchase some coding classes and starting to learn JavaScript (I’ll dive into this another time as it also relates to my journey to Understand Tech as a PM). With my new tech mojo, I then wondered why not build a PC? I can use it for gaming or maybe if I ever develop an application (with my new cool coding classes.. sigh) it can become useful. So the PC building begins! 😎

First step — What parts do I need to build a PC? For someone that works in tech shipping products this may seem like a crazy question but I really didn’t know everything involved to make a computer run. I must admit, I probably did a week amount of research on this step as parts can be expensive and this is practically an investment. I ended up spending around $1200 total which built me something that I can run pretty much run anything on — For anyone interested, below is a list of all the parts I bought from Canada Computers (this basically cost less than any pre-built 2020 gaming PC).

All bought from Canada Computers (don’t forget to buy a wireless adapter..)

Second Step — Build the computer. Let’s use the word “Build” loosely.. we’re really just assembling the already built parts. I didn’t include this in the first step but I also spent hours and hours of research learning how to build the PC before I bought all the parts. I wanted to know what I was getting into and if it was something that I could accomplish. So after I picked up the parts I headed down to the basement, opened all the parts up and fired up YouTube (yup). After a short 4 hours I had the PC built and It felt fantastic. My dad even joined to help build as he’s in tech and originally graduated in electronics. He was impressed of how simple the manufactures made it to assemble something that was once very complex.

For those interested, I compiled a Computer Build YouTube playlist at the time that included what parts to buy, how to build it and what to do after the build.

Going into this I asked myself — what am I going to lose from doing this AND what will I gain? The truth is that it was something that helped me get out of my comfort zone because I knew there was benefits outside of the monetary or technical benefits. The only thing I lost was money but I looked at it more as an investment in myself. These benefits included:

  • Understanding the fundamentals of hardware. Simply put, what makes a computer run? I put in a ton of hours on not only what computer parts are required but also what these parts do, how they’re efficient and why they’re important.
  • I learned a skill I can use forever. Whether you‘re a student or an adult in the workforce, building a PC gives you an advantage over those who have not built their own computer.
  • Sharpens Your Problem-Solving Skills. During the computer building process, you are going to encounter some obstacles and bumps along the way.

Product Manager in Tech. I'm early in my career, growing, learning and have no idea where the next product will take me. I