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An open journal-- some of it written for you, but most of it is for me.

How I Got an Awesome Job

Code changed my life

On Thursday, I was offered a job with Carrot Creative in a very original way. I made the decision to learn how to program less than a year ago and code delivered me a mentor, an embracing community, and now, a new job.

The beginnings

I wrote my first line of code February of 2012 as a student in a Rails Skillshare class. That first class was three hours focused exclusively on Rails. In the first ten minutes, I realized I was out of my depth. The teacher, Avi Flombaum, offered me two options: 1) I could have my money back or 2) I could continue to come back until I got it. I took his class three times.

Tipping Point

Inspired by guys like Vin Vacanti, I knew that while it wasn’t going to be easy, I could do this. I had learned Spanish as an adult and I figured this wasn’t going to be much different. I started with the vocabulary; I wrote down the definitions of arrays, methods, blocks, hashes, arguments, accessors… Avi had to painstakingly explain all the concepts I didn’t understand, which was pretty much everything.

At that point, Codecademy was still very young and it wasn’t a great fit for me. Instead, I tried Ruby, learned to program, leaned on Michael Hartl, and even resorted to the Living Dead. While I learned a lot on my own, I knew it wasn’t really enough.

Immersion

With the summer rolling around, it was clear that in order to get to where I wanted to go I needed full-blown immersion. It just so happened that Avi was founding what eventually became the The Flatiron School, but back then it was called the Keyvoon Experiment. I could dedicate a lot of space to how awesome the program was, but you can just look at my archives. I wrote down pretty much everything we covered.

Get a hair cut and get a real job

Since finishing the program last month, I have interviewed with more than a dozen companies. Getting interviews was easy; getting though them was humbling. I got a lot of CS questions, though I had never been introduced to a binary tree structure. Some were nice about it. Others were dismissive. In the end, it worked out. A little extra-credit project led to a clever job offer. I couldn’t be happier.

WIP

It takes a village to raise a coder in less than a year. Learning something entirely new can be demoralizing. I have to thank my beautiful fiancé for the free passes to attend weekend classes and for her patience when I woke up to jot down that elusive solution which arrived during my R.E.M. cycle. I have to thank The Flatiron School guys for giving a shit.

Clearly, my education isn’t complete. That first day I didn’t know what a method was. Now, I don’t know what lots of things are. But just maybe I’ll make the aforementioned people proud by creating something to justify all the work that they put into me. No promises, but thanks to them, I at least have a chance.

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