August 25th, 2016
I don't update everyone on what I'm up to very often, and if that upsets or worries anyone, I'm sorry. Those who are close to me know I value face to face interaction more than whatever meme posts or video snippets end up on Facebook, but I've had a lot happening recently.
I started teaching myself to code in earnest about 14 months ago when I started working for the federal court. In order to progress my skills more quickly, I signed up for a web development boot camp this summer. Our cohort learned a lot. REALLY QUICKLY.
A couple of intranet UI overhauls, several bespoke apps, and a fleshed out MVP for a local startup later, I've been invited to present one of my applications at a national district courts operations conference at Disney World next month.
It turns out that my coworker and I found a problem, extrapolated the core issues, and (mostly I) developed a solution, that to my knowledge, no one in our nationwide organization had solved yet. That garnered us two separate 45 minute presentations/demos in front of operations staff, IT directors, and Clerks of Court for all 94 federal judicial districts. If enough courts decide to integrate our application into their HR workflows, we get money from DC to help support it; and possibly hire underlings!
The code camp I'm involved with teaches about moments of truth - a time when everything you've been working on comes to a head, and you present yourself and your work in a fantastic light.
I had such a moment last night, at a small hack event at a local smart light company. The group opened up an API (an interface to interact with a program someone else built) to let us play with the lights all over their training room. Between getting a tour, talking with their developers, and eating some pizza, I built a functional tic tac toe game using fluorescent lights in the ceiling. I got in front of the group at the end of the night, wired on caffeine, and demoed what I made. I freaking nailed it.
There are still several decades ahead of me in my career, but every once in a while, I need to step back to look at what I've accomplished, and remind myself that I'm only 23. I've done a lot in the past year or so to push myself forward and it feels amazing to be recognized for the work I'm doing to make my co-worker's jobs more pleasant to do.
Here's hoping that the presentations next month go even better than I intend them to.
To top it all off, my Soylent Coffiest came in the mail yesterday and I cracked the first bottle for breakfast this morning.
Am I a software developer yet?
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