Getting ready for a new start…

My name is Gregg and I’m a Web Designer/Front-End Developer. I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens. I got into Web Design 4 years ago. I knew absolutely nothing about it, but was always interested in how a website or even just a simple web page was created, designed and then published on the internet. I was intrigued that something could be created on the computer, whether it be something fun, informative or to learn, for the entire world to see. As a kid, I was always into art and drawing things. My family would always support me and would tell me what an amazing artist I was. I liked designing things and took an AutoCAD class in high school, which really opened me up to computers and just how powerful they could be in designing things.

Fast forward to four years ago. I was always on the internet and I started thinking about the process of making a website. I researched like crazy and found out about HTML, CSS, Javascript, WordPress(which was so new at the time and not nearly as big as it is today as a CMS) and bought books to learn the basics. I started with building the most simple website that said “Hello World!”, but it blew my mind how I just wrote a short line of code and it was on the internet…more like a local server but I didn’t know about web hosting at the time! But just from seeing what I did, it really got me hooked and I was researching more online, learning more online through free courses, watching tutorials on Youtube, getting more books, spending hours every day practicing and practicing HTML and CSS. It wasn’t easy because I had no background in this at all but I found it so interesting that I kept at it.

Fast forward to 2015. I was confident enough in my design and coding skills that I started my freelance business to create websites for people, startups, brands etc. I built a few websites, even some fake re-design websites to showcase my skills in my portfolio. But I started coming to the realization that throughout the entire process of designing and coding a website, I was loving the beginning of the process; researching, designing, creating, figuring out what information was relevant to the user, what went where etc. and when it came time to code everything, I would get really bored and started losing interest.

I started looking for jobs at different agency’s, startups, companies, wherever. I posted my resume on all different job sites looking for a Front-End Developer position. What I didn’t realize was that every job opening for a Front-End Developer also required or were looking for skills of a Back-End Developer also; mySQL, PHP etc. I knew a little bit of PHP but again, it was never interesting to me. So I started reconsidering what exactly I wanted to do and what would make me happy.

A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail for new Front-End Developer job openings. I would check those e-mails here and there, but for some reason, I opened this one and found a job that seemed like it fit my skills. I clicked on the job listing and then did a Google search on the company. When the results came up, I saw at the top ‘General Assembly’ and I clicked on the ad. I had heard about GA a while ago, followed them on social media and knew they were a very good school for developers. I was looking all over their website, reading about the different courses they offer and was interested in the WDI course. I came across their Events page and saw that they had an upcoming WDI Info Session that I RSVP’d to. I also saw that a few days later they were having a UXDI Info Session and it got me thinking about looking into the UXDI, which is exactly what I did! I was reading about the course , downloaded a syllabus and found it so interesting that I RSVP’d for that info session as well.

That’s where my Admissions Producer David A. came in. Not even an hour later, he called me and wanted to talk with me to figure out why I chose those two immersive’s and to learn more about my background and see which might be a better fit. We had a great conversation and I came to a 99% conclusion as to which immersive I would be taking but I wanted to make absolutely sure. I attended the WDI Info Session and found it pretty interesting. With the way the course was structured and outlined, I knew that I would be well prepared as a Developer when I finished it. But I wasn’t excited about it. The following week, I attended the UXDI Info Session. I was surprised at first because the instructor that was supposed to be there to go over the course and answer questions couldn’t make it last minute. Another GA faculty member was going over the course with the people who attended and a few minutes in, Nevan, one of the UXDI Instructors came in. He wasn’t ready for it, but from what he was talking about the course and what was taught, I was hooked! I knew from there that the UXDI was 110% for me. It’s what I loved about websites from the beginning; everything up until the Front-End and Back-End Development. Figuring out how to best please the user and their overall experience while also producing results for what the people running the site are looking for. Researching. Designing. Creating great user experiences — that’s what I’m passionate about and I can’t wait for the UXDI to begin and to join my fellow UXDI course-mates!!