To my Coding Bootcampers: 365 days later
One year ago today I walked into my first day of General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive class. One year ago today I sat in class dreaming about where I would be one year later. One year later I’m sitting at my work station thinking about how far I’ve come. *cue I Can Go The Distance from Disney’s Hercules * I actually played that song EVERY morning as I rode the Caltrain from Redwood City to SF. (Shout outs to Spotify!)
In the year since I started to code I’ve created about 10 projects (5 of which I’m very proud of), I’ve caused countless merge conflicts, applied to countless jobs, received countless rejections(you’ll love me one day Google), went through about 20 job screening processes, made it to about 6 final round interviews, received 4 job offers, experienced my first layoff, and left one company for another. It’s been the quite the journey and I’m so happy to have gone through all of that because I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I didn’t go to GA. (Shout outs to General Assembly SF)
In the year since I started to code I’ve learned that even though that the masses of tech companies talk about the “shortage of tech workers”, the masses of tech companies still aren’t open to the idea of hiring people who went to coding bootcamps. I found this very intriguing because the companies who are spearheading this “everyone should code” mentality were the ones who were actually the most against hiring bootcampers. (You got the resources to teach us and help us grow. C’mon give us a shot)
In the year since I started to code I’ve learned that a lot of engineers are self taught just like me. My last boss and my current boss were both self taught! I’ve met so many awesome people in senior positions who were given a chance by someone. Which is probably one of the most beautiful things about the tech field. If you’re willing to learn and someone is learning to teach you could become a hacker,coder,ninja,wizard in no time. Well, in due time.
In the year since I started to code I’ve learned that everyone could code but not everyone should code. I realized that coding is learnable by everyone. It’s just like learning a language. If you know the basic structure you’ll be able to learn the more complicated stuff with practice and experience. However, you’re going to need patience and the willingness to sit there and just code and make mistakes and code and cry and make mistakes and question life and then realize you had a missing semicolon,comma,period. Not everyone has that and that’s okay. Coding isn’t for everyone.
In the year since I started to code I’ve never been more thankful for the show Silicon Valley and the movie The Internship. Cheesy and dumb as it sounds those two things were actually what got me initially interested in the tech field. I was especially motivated by The Internship because I mean if two guys with skills irrelevant to this century could learn to code and get cushy jobs at Google, it could mean that I possibly could be a Googler one day! (Please love me Google)
In the year since I started to code I’ve never been more thankful for Facebook ads. I hate them but if it wasn’t for a General Assembly Facebook ad, I would’ve never found out about the world of coding bootcamps!
It’s been a super long journey to get to where I am today. There’s been a lot of stress, a lot of disappointments, a lot of broken promises, a lot of tears, and a lot of nervous trips to the bank to see how much money I had left. It’s been all worth it. It’s made me so appreciative of where I am right now and all the people who gave me a chance. Hopefully in another year from now I could be in a position to give others the chances that I’ve been given.