The Journey Begins…

Hey everyone,

My name is Katherine Guzman and I am excited to be starting what promises to be an interesting journey into the Java programming world!

A little bit more about me:

I am insanely curious (although shy to admit it), an optimist at heart, and a Raleigh native. My story as to what sparked my interest in programming started with a class that I took during as an undergraduate.

As a clueless young adult, I signed up for several elective classes in different fields to see if I could figure out my life’s calling. Among one of those classes was Intro to Programming. In the end, I graduated with a BA in Economics but I couldn’t quite get myself to forget about that programming class that I took.

Over the years, I ended up taking intro to programming courses during the evenings in different languages (SQL, C++, C#, Java). I thought these evening classes were fun and interesting but I didn’t know what the next steps were when it came to learning more about a particular language to be able to do anything useful. I abandoned the idea of learning programming for a while because I couldn’t make up my mind when it came to picking a language and exploring it in depth.

Now if we fast forward to my most recent job…

Earlier this year, I helped oversee modifications that freelancers made to the main website for the company I worked for. Before this task, around 2 years ago, I enlisted the help of freelancers to start a hobby website ( so that I could experiment with internet marketing techniques and learn more about the process of creating a brand from scratch. I used freelancers to help me set up that website and several others (,, because I wanted to be able to execute my ideas without running the risk of getting discouraged when I encountered bugs with website functionality.

Both of these experiences made me realize that I had a greater interest for learning more about back-end programming (more than front-end) and that I really wanted to understand more about the programming world.

Class goals:

I want to be able to learn enough about the Java language and the object-oriented programming (OOP) paradigm to be able to learn other OOP languages with greater confidence in the future. I want to be able to know the right questions to ask when I encounter a roadblock in my path to learning.

To mitigate the challenges that I am sure to encounter, I will make sure to google and step away from my computer whenever I get very frustrated (to give my mind a break).

I foresee the growth mindset being crucial in my quest to learn programming. This mindset is what has helped me overcome obstacles in the past that I believed were insurmountable at the time.

I do have a tendency of getting overwhelmed and getting discouraged at times when I don’t see myself making progress. However, I ultimately view all setbacks as being temporary. After encountering a significant setback, giving myself time to reflect on the experience is usually all I need to get motivated to give it another shot. After all, you only truly fail if you give up trying to succeed:)

Intentional practice is something I definitely need to work on. At one point in time, I use to believe that multitasking was the way to go. It took me a while to realize that multitasking actually slows me down in the long term and makes me produce sub-par work. I am working hard to break this habit.

Goals after this class:

My goal is to ultimately find a job that would allow me to practice the skills that I learn in this class in the real world. I’m not picky when it comes to what industry I end up working for — as long as I feel like I can make a meaningful contribution to the company and there are learning challenges involved, I’m a happy camper!

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