SF & First Step Coding!

I’m very excited to share why I’m in San Francisco, and what I’m up to this month!

Two weeks ago I was awarded a full scholarship to attend First Step Coding’s 4-week Javascript prep program in the City!

First Step gives beginners an intense dose of preparation — either for admission to intensive, full-stack bootcamps, OR, in my case, some real feedback on my ability to learn and think like a programmer. You can read more about my interest in programming and how it connects to my other work, HERE.

I really believe that the greatest gifts women and other minorities have given to those interested in coding is an honest account of their experiences, so expect weekly recaps about what I’m learning, challenges I’m facing, and more. Otherwise, I’m putting some of my experiences with the application and admission process, my hopes for the program, and how I’m making this work with my other commitments, below.

APPLICATION & INTERVIEW PROCESS

I found the full scholarship opportunity on the WWCode ‘CODE Review’ Email Newsletter (you can subscribe, here!). There was a brief online application, which included what I’d done so far to learn code, my current work, and what I hoped to do after completing the program. About two weeks after submitting my application, I had a phone interview with Andy Tiffany, founder of FSC. The conversation was brief, and mostly involved me elaborating on the reasons behind my interest in coding, plus, what I had done to learn already (keeping a blog helped with this!).

CONTINUING WORK

My work is not technically remote.

As Sustainability Program Director at Cedar Valley College, I definitely have more than one committee and project which relies on in-person collaboration. I’m grateful for my team which allowed me to manage them remotely for the duration of the course, and am using my [now standard] set of collaborative tools: Trello, Slack, Google Calendar/Hangouts.

I’m also continuing my work as a lead consultant for a sustainability assessment of the City of Denton, TX. This role has been largely remote and should continue smoothly.

All this means I’m still holed up in an office for a good part of the morning before venturing out in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends to practice code at coffee shops and explore!

HOPES & EXPECTATIONS

I hope to get a sense of how my thought process must evolve to become a successful programmer, and cut through baseless online dialogue about what’s important to get started.

My current work in social good has been over a decade in the making, and the skills required have always come naturally to me. While my education did include some statistics and math courses (which I actually did enjoy!), until now, I’ve relied heavily on my own actual experiences in leading and facilitating social change (leading campaigns, doing qualitative research, volunteering, traveling, etc.). So, creating something I can’t physically experience, which can’t communicate complex feedback, using terms which neither feel nor relate to me -is new territory, in more ways than one.

More to come, soon.
 with love & gratitude, c.

Thank you WWCode!!

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Originally published at www.womenwhocode.com.