It's about time I restarted my blogging efforts and there is no better time than now.
I feel like I've undergone a transformation that started six months ago when I attended Startup Weekend
Seattle. A friend of mine invited me to the event and I went not knowing what to expect. Joining a team of developers, designers, and business people, we started to bootstrap a project in record time, that would take many names but eventually be known as 1TinyStep
(a halted work in progress).
I found out during that 54 hour stretch that with a little imagination and some technology, anything was possible. What separated me from contributing as much as my more experienced developer teammates however was experience in programming and development. I was frustrated, and I didn't like it one bit.
I spent the next three months learning as much as I could about Ruby on Rails including attending Ruby meetups every week and going through Michael Hartl's awesome tutorial both online and in book format.
But then, an opportunity came across from my work to fund my ticket to PyCamp
which was being held on campus at the University of Washington where I was currently employed.The Python language had kept popping up as a rival to Ruby and it kept piquing my interest, so when I heard about the PyCamp I did everything I could to convince my then supervisor to fund my tuition. The experience was a paltry $400 but I had to be convincing even when my contract would be up in less than three weeks. Needless to say I was successful.
The week-long forty hours I spent at the camp learning Python bootcamp style was so enlightening. Compared to my previous foray with Java, Python was a dream come true. It was elegant, and simple, and didn't require any declarations of public or void or those damn brackets.
dir() and help()
became my new best friends.
I was excited to come back to class every single day to learn more. It was the calm before the storm however as I would lose my job of 2+ years in just a couple weeks.
Flash forward three months.Whooosh!
I've now been recently promoted at my newly acquired current job at Nordstrom to that of a Build Manager, overseeing updates to the Nordstrom web trunk. I am also en route to receiving a certificate in Python Programming from UW PCE which so far has been a very fun experience.
Jobwise, I was hired three months prior as a Creative Web Developer. Yes, a developer. A junior one at that, but still a developer
. I couldn't believe what I was reading when I received my offer letter shortly after PyCamp.
In getting this job, I consider myself extremely fortunate and I attribute my success into the mindset I was able to fall into following Startup Weekend. All I wanted to do every single day was learn more and more. It took a lot of hard work, but eventually I was able to transform into what I wanted to be and now I here I am.
Overall, I think it was the self-confidence and passion, I didn't have just an idea, I knew exactly
what I wanted to do. My employer even admitted that I lacked experience but my excitement and passion was what drove them to hire me. And furthermore my abilities in Python allowed me to quickly build and demonstrate the potential for new tools for our department which I think made me a strong candidate for promotion.
Really, I just become crazy post-Startup Weekend. I was insatiable in my desire to learn more. And I was mad at myself for not being able to contribute in a way that I felt was significant and I wasn't going to allow it to happen again. All of these things compounded with a dash of luck, and now I feel more confident and more empowered than ever.
The spark which started the fire has now turned into a roaring flame.