It’s already been a year since I’ve last written and 9 months since I’ve been a full-time developer/engineer. Crazy to think about what it feels like to be on the other side of a goal you’ve worked hard to reach. Going to try to recap some thoughts I’ve felt and experienced over the past year.
Graduation from Fullstack
Fullstack Flex was 100% worth it for me. There was simply no other way I was going to learn development as much and as efficiently while still working full-time as with Flex. The project phase was way more difficult to balance with work since it also included a lot more working on off days, but everything came through in the end. Our capstone was a native app that saved the progress of your coding projects for you and played back its diffs over time, so you could easily track the progress of your code as well as scrub back to a previous version. Was a ton of fun to work on and I’ve been meaning to get back on improving it.
I chose not do to Hiring Day since I was able to successfully transition to engineering at my current company, but the classmates of mine who did were all able to successfully find new positions which is exciting. Just last week I caught up with some alumni at an event hosted at their sister school. Talking about everything from impostor syndrome to our first time deploying a feature was really amazing. Knowing that network is always there to rely on is super invaluable.
Coding on the 9-5
I made the official transition to junior software engineer in July, and it’s been a full nine months now. I work on our company’s internal CRM app for stylists so our team is much smaller, which I appreciate. I’ve been blessed to work with incredibly talented and experienced coworkers who I have so much to learn from and a well-maintained, clean codebase (something most devs don’t have the privilege of).
My first task was a full-fledged feature in the app, which I’ve since iterated on and added more features as well. It took some time getting onboarded and learning my way around Rails (something I’m still working on) but I was really proud to see something I built go live and be used and depended upon by our stylists. That addiction to seeing code change someone’s productivity or lifestyle, even in the smallest way, is singlehandedly my biggest reason for coding (yeah, sounds like a Silicon Valley spiel but it’s true). Besides that I’ve worked on more backend related tasks, which is more of a challenge so far but also a good opportunity to learn.
I find that getting into code flow is pretty difficult in an office environment, especially with tasks that require more planning/thinking than bug squashing or CSS tweaks. I’m aiming to get better at concentrating and iterating faster, starting and failing and trying again harder. It’s also been said many times but working on the tech team I do realize now how key communication is with each other, and it can easily be the downfall rather than just ‘bad code.’ I’ve heard this learning amongst many other junior devs too and it’s funny how it takes seeing it personally to fully realize.
The feeling of reaching a goal (in this case, becoming a full-time dev) is always strange because after a month or two of bliss, our human minds are wired to think, what’s next? It seems weird to be content and put your full effort into where you are presently, but that’s what I’m trying to focus on. I am also making time on the side to create simple side projects that I had wanted to make before Fullstack (and now can approach with much more confidence!) and practice algorithm problems. A part of me does feel insecure that I didn’t go through the multiple tech interview process that most other bootcamp devs do, so I’m trying to up those skills. I do know that the insecurity is unfounded and I am where I am because I work hard and am capable — something that slips my mind a lot of the time but I try to consciously remember.
In the mean time, I’ve been thinking about where to take this blog. It’s not so niche that it can have a consistent following really, nor is it just a personal journal since I keep that separately, but I think I’d just like to have some sort of public forum so any passersby can have a feel for my voice and my interests. On that note, with the time I have now not going to class every other day I’ve been back to working out at least 4-5x a week and am really enjoying it, thanks to Classpass! Thinking my next post will be about that :)