The wonder years
During this decade I learned the basics of using DOS. I installed games and programs from floppy disk using a CLI. The mid-90's was when I truly began to explore the web after my family purchased our very first computer, a Compaq Presario. I got up to speed with Windows while learning OSX at school using an Apple IIe (that we all shared.)
I decided to move to Orlando FL to attend Full Sail University. The knowledge I gained about the basics of digital design and audio engineering have continued to be a strong foundation throughout my life. The fundamentals of audio never change, although the way we use them continues to evolve. The same rules apply to the basics of HTML & CSS. My Web Dev journey had officially begun!
MySpace has entered the chat...
Social media was on the rise during the mid-2000's. You had to have a seriously good (and tricked out) MySpace page to even think you were cool in the 00's. Learning how to edit CSS styles to add animation and color themes to your page was a vital skillset.
During this time I was committed to starting a family, raising my son and growing my career as an audio engineer. I produced & recorded entire albums of music for myself and others while working professionally in the live sound industry. My DJ hobby slowly grew into a full-time career allowing me to perform at music festivals, nightclubs, and special events for some of the biggest organizations in the world. I was recruited to work as a booking agent for one of the most reputable agencies in Florida. During this time, I spearheaded a re-branding of the company which included full-stack web development using WordPress and SQL. Time was flying by until the pandemic changed everything. These industries were hit hard by the lock-down. I suddenly found myself with lots of time on my hands, looking for a change... I started to get back to my roots with computers. With so many options for learning, where do you even start?
Drinking from the firehose
It was time to go back to school. I started by reading books and listening to podcasts all about software engineering & computer science. I didn't know what they were talking about most of the time but whenever I came to a new term, I would stop to reserach that topic. (JSON, by the way, is not a reference to the months in a year.) My plan was working, I decided to design Apps, make games and create art using code. I put pen to paper creating lots of layouts for products to develop. I learned the basics of Xcode & Swift but quickly came to a dead-end. My designs were great but where do I keep all this data? It was time to learn about the full-stack!
I understood the basics of frontend design while starting to grasp what was going on behind the scenes. I realized it was time to take my education to the next level. There's an endless amount of programs out there offering to take you to the promised land. What path should I take? After careful consideration I decided the best path forward was to become a "Full Stack Web Developer." This would allow me to obtain a job in a growing industry without a CS degree. I decided that Bootcamps were the best option but which one?
A New Challenger Approaches...
I was feeling conflicted about which Bootcamp to take. I was hoping to find something close to home that I could also attend in person. That's when I found the SCF Coding BootCamp Powered by Flatiron School. This was PERFECT! I jumped at the chance to learn about this new program while working hard to find the resources to join. Everything I've learned so far in life has prepared me for this moment.
I'm proud of myself for going back to school to change careers. Now it's time to apply the skills I've acquired to finding my first job as a Full Stack Web Developer. It's my goal to work for an established company that challenges me to continue growing as a software engineer while allowing me to pursue my passion of making the world a better place with code.
Landing my first role
After many rounds of interviews, take home coding challenges, calls with hiring managers, CTOs, PMs, Senior Devs, and business owners I received four job offers! I was able to narrow my decision down to two companies, ultimately making one of the toughest decisions of my life.
I’m very happy with the choice I made and excited to continue growing each day as become a well rounded software engineer!