Recap: Follow Me from HTML Illiterate to Professional Programmer
In case you haven’t read Week 0 (about my preparation), I am currently a student at a programming bootcamp in the San Francisco Bay Area. I finished college a few months ago, but decided my business degree wasn’t going to let me do what I really wanted: to build rather than manage. This realization and my love for startups (and California) led me to begin working toward a career in software development.
Social Media: I’ve never been hugely involved with social media, but my later years in college and now my time at this bootcamp convinced me very quickly of the importance of Twitter and LinkedIn to my career. I really only got a Twitter account at the beginning of the summer and didn’t particularly do anything with LinkedIn until then either. After realizing that ignoring my social media accounts was probably a mistake, I began to make a few updates here and there and started interacting with people a bit. Still, my cyber-life was pretty lame until this past week. I had a whole bunch of awesome conversations with successful people in the industry and even got to schedule a couple of pair programming sessions! I’ll be honest – I am not a fan of networking with random people who have no desire or need to speak to me; but that was pretty awesome!
myCard: I’ve tentatively started calling my business card project (See Week 4) myCard and its been moving very slowly. Fortunately, I’m also learning a lot and getting better with the backend as a result. Repetition is the best way to remember something, and that’s exactly what I’m getting from working on myCard and my other personal projects.
Interview Assessments: Week 6 came with a few emails and LinkedIn messages from potential employers. Problem was, I’m still vastly under qualified for most of these since they wanted at least 2-3 years of experience in development. I don’t have 2-3 years of experience in any profession, let alone development. Still, I somehow managed to land a couple of Interview Assessments that needed to be completed before an in-person interview. A lot of what I saw was way over my head. The great part, though, was that I was actually able to do some of it. Being able to look as something I had done that would have looked like gibberish to me a mere few weeks ago was a fantastic feeling!
Ruby on Rails: Okay, so Ruby on Rails is not a low, per se. I’ve actually been really excited to learn it because so many companies use it (and look for it in potential employees!), but the learning curve has definitely gotten steeper and steeper as the amount of material has increased. Imagine learning Algebra, Geometry, and Trig all at once in high school – yup, it can get pretty crazy no matter how cool the material itself is.
The Home-Stretch Rush: When I started the bootcamp, multiple people told me that the first half would rush by and I would feel like I have all the time in the world to learn the material and do my job hunting. Then, the second half would come and it would hit me like a sack of potatoes that I’m running out of time – fast! I have to say, these were some pretty intelligent people because what they said is very true. Bootcamps are hard work, but they also fly past in a flash. Before I knew it, I was already in the home stretch. Time to find a job (‘nudge nudge‘ if you know someone hiring)!
Perpetual Fatigue: Realizing I’m running out of time has put me into overdrive which means I get even less sleep and have to work harder because its difficult to focus when I’m tired. As a result, I’m pretty much always ready for bed. Luckily, I’m planning to make up for lost REM time for about three days straight after I finish!
Hijacking the Kitchen: Ethnically Indian, I have grown up around Indian food my whole life – so suddenly not having access to it can be saddening. Luckily, the bay area is overflowing with Indian stores so I’ve been able to get some groceries and have pretty much hijacked the kitchen with my Indian stuff. Our Food Director, Sarah, is an amazing cook herself who’s always trying something new in the kitchen herself. I try not to get in her way, but nobody stands in the way of me and my samosas!
Dusting off that Resume: I’d forgotten how time consuming it could be to write a resume. As a business major in college, I spent a lot of time learning to write a solid business resume. It is a lot harder to organize a techie’s resume, though, because of all the little skills (different languages, frameworks, technologies) that need to be communicated without crowding the single piece of paper. Basically, I have to relearn how to write my resume and it is taking a looong time. I also happen to be one of those people who love building a resume, though, so its really not so bad!
- Even if you’re an introvert, don’t shy away from social media! It is integral to making connections, especially if you have issues walking up to people and talking to them in person.
- Starting your own project can be daunting, but all the mistakes you make will be your own and you will learn from them. It is definitely worth the effort.
- Not all resumes are made equal! Make sure you learn about how to optimize your personal experiences on your personal resume.